PROVO, Utah – No. 9 BYU women's volleyball handed UNLV its first loss of the season in a three-set (25-19, 25-17, 25-21) win Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse to conclude nonconference play.
"I thought our girls were great tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "They had great focus and energy. They knew the game plan, they knew what we wanted to do and they attacked it. I thought tonight was great and all three nights were good for us heading into West Coast Conference play next week."
McKenna Miller led the Cougars in kills with 12 and had two blocks. Amy Boswell and Veronica Jones-Perry followed close behind with 10 kills each and Boswell added two blocks as well. Mary Lake finished the night with a team-high 17 digs as Hannah Robison added eight digs.
"We held them offensively to some low numbers," Olmstead said. "I thought our block had good touches and we were scrappy on defense. We wanted to match their scrappiness and we did a good job of that."
Three kills from Jones-Perry helped the Cougars (11-1) pull ahead of the Rebels (11-1) early in the first set, 6-4. BYU increased its lead to 11-8 after several UNLV errors and a Whitney Young Howard kill. The Rebels rallied back, going on a 3-0 run to tie the score at 11-11. BYU broke the tie with kills from Lacy Haddock, Boswell and Jones-Perry to put it ahead 14-13. A few Cougar service errors brought the Rebels back into the game, but the Cougars held the close lead at 16-15. BYU began a run of 5-2 that ended in an UNLV timeout as the Cougars were up 20-16. Kills from Haddock, Howard and Jones-Perry set the Cougars up for match point as a Boswell kill ended the set 25-19.
The Cougars took a 3-1 edge early in the second set after a Jones-Perry kill and stayed ahead 8-5 after back-to-back kills. With a 7-4 run, the Rebels rallied back to tie the Cougars at 12-all before BYU took six of the next eight points, which gave it an 18-14 advantage. Two errors and a Miller kill brought the Cougars’ lead up to 21-14. BYU cruised from there, taking four of the next seven points, including a set-winning kill from Emily Lewis, to claim the set 25-17.
Errors from UNLV helped BYU take a 5-2 advantage to start the third set. The Rebels took the next five of seven points to tie the Cougars at 7-7. A pair of kills from Boswell and Miller helped BYU jump ahead again 13-9 in its 6-2 run against UNLV. The two sides then went back and forth as a pair of Jones-Perry kills helped the Cougars maintain an 18-13 advantage. Despite UNLV pulling within two points, BYU would clinch the match after a block from Haddock and Howard, 25-21.
The Cougars will remain home at the Smith Fieldhouse as they face off against Santa Clara next Thursday, September 22, at 7 p.m. MDT. Links to live stats and video feed can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.