Gray helps No. 9 BYU past Oregon State in four
PROVO, Utah – Behind Alexa Gray's double-double of a career-high 13 digs and a season-high 26 kills, No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball beat Oregon State 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15) at the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday night.
"I'm really proud of the way the team battled tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Lots of players stepped up when it was needed. Alexa was pressured all night and she was phenomenal."
The Cougars (8-1) finished the match with a season-high 70 kills. Sophomore Cosy Burnett totaled a new career-high of 11 kills, and freshman Veronica Jones also added a career-high 10 kills. Additionally, Amy Boswell tied her career-high with 11 kills. Alohi Robins-Hardy ended the night with a team-high 37 assists and 12 digs. Ciara Parker added a team-high 19 digs in the win.
The first set proved to be a close back-and-forth affair between the Cougars and Beavers (2-6). The teams remained within a point or two of each other until BYU made a run, pushing the score to 18-15 on an Oregon State attack error, which forced a Beaver timeout. Shortly after the break, the Cougars came out strong with two kills by Gray. The kills put BYU up 21-16, when Oregon State then called its second and final timeout of the set. The Beavers rallied back to 24-21, but the Cougars finished off the set 25-21 with back-to-back kills from Gray and Burnett. Gray had seven kills and six digs in the first set alone.
BYU came out strong, leading 7-2 to start the second set. The Beavers came back on a 7-2 run of their own, making it 9-9 after three consecutive BYU errors. That forced the off-sync Cougar team to take its first timeout. Oregon State then went on to score six-straight points, putting the Beavers up 15-9. BYU followed with a great offensive run behind crucial kills from Burnett and Whitney Young Howard to bring the score to 16-14. Two key kills by Gray and two unforced errors by Oregon State then brought the Cougars to a tie at 22-all. A kill and a net violation followed to put the Beavers up 24-22. Oregon State finished off the set with a kill from Dana Backlund to end the set in its favor, 25-23.
BYU got ahead early in the third set behind a good offensive sequence from kills by Gray and Jones, putting the Cougars in the lead at 12-8. With errors on both sides, the match stayed close as BYU maintained a close lead. Following a BYU timeout, the Cougars continued strong with three-consecutive points from Burnett and Gray to extend the advantage to a comfortable 23-18. The lead proved large enough as BYU won the set 25-19 on a Boswell block.
BYU started the fourth set up 5-1 with help from a pair of Burnett kills. Kills from Jones and significant defensive plays as a team then put the Cougars up 11-4. BYU continued its impressive offensive production, extending the score to 15-7 where Oregon State decided to call its first timeout of the set. Gray, Jones and Boswell scored before the Cougars finished off the set and match on another Gray kill, 25-15.
BYU travels north on Thursday, Sept. 17, to face Utah at 7:30 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network. Live stats will be available on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.