Jordan Christiansen | Posted: 2 Nov 2018 | Updated: 24 Dec 2020

Key blocks lead BYU to win over San Diego

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PROVO, Utah – No. 1 BYU had a season-high 16 blocks, including a number of key stops in the fourth set, as the Cougars downed San Diego (25-19, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20) Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

With the win, the Cougars (23-0, 13-0 West Coast Conference) kept their undefeated record intact in front of 5,082 in attendance, the second-largest women’s volleyball crowd ever at BYU.

“I love the way we fought tonight,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We got our block going and our middles were a big part of that. Offensively we were pretty solid and just kept swinging.”

Miller added five blocks and three digs while senior Roni Jones-Perry added 18 kills of her own with 13 digs. Freshman Heather Gneiting had a career-high 12 blocks in addition to seven kills while senior Lyndie Haddock-Eppich led all players with 44 assists to go with 16 digs and five blocks.

Set 1

BYU recovered from a couple of early three-point San Diego (13-10, 10-3 WCC) leads to go back and forth through the middle of the set. With some breathing room from San Diego errors, the Cougars got a kill from Gneiting and both a block and a kill from Miller to go up 22-16 and clear the way for a 25-19 result.

Set 2

San Diego chipped away at an early deficit and trailed BYU by just one point at 14-13. But the Cougars proceeded to go on an 11-2 run to close out the set. Two late kills by Miller and an ace by Jones-Perry helped BYU win comfortably, 25-15.

Set 3

The Cougars played from behind for most of the third set before tying the score at 20-20. A pair of attack errors and a service error pulled the Toreros in the lead before a kill by San Diego's Addie Picha cemented the 25-22 win. The set was the second San Diego has taken against BYU this season and are the only two sets surrendered by the Cougars in WCC action this year.

Set 4

The Toreros again played BYU tough, going up by five points as late as 14-9. The Cougars slowly clawed back and scored a game-changing point down 18-16. Cougar blockers stuffed five-straight San Diego attempts, finally scoring on culminating block from Miller and Gneiting. Back-to-back kills by Miller and an ace by senior Sydnie Martindale gave BYU a 22-19 lead.

With BYU up 23-20, a line judge called a Jones-Perry kill attempt out. But after Olmstead asked for a video review, the call was overturned. On match point, Gneiting ended the match with a final kill.

The Cougars stay home next week to host their final two games of the regular season and the chance to clinch at least a share of the WCC title. BYU will first play Santa Clara on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. and San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. Thursday's game will be shown live on BYUtv while the Saturday contest will be shown on TheW.tv.

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