- #7 BYU def. Saint Mary’s 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-10)
- #7 BYU improves to 16-1 (5-0, WCC); Saint Mary’s falls to 5-11 (1-5, WCC)
- Moraga, California (WCC Match)
- Attendance: 170
- Box Score
Moraga, California – The Cougars came in as heavy favorites, but struggled early against a Saint Mary’s team on its ‘A’ game before coming back from a 2-0 set deficit for the five-set victory.
Fresh off the WCC Player of the Week award, Veronica Jones-Perry put on an encore with 24 kills while hitting .304, 11 digs, three blocks and two aces. She had plenty of help behind her too, as BYU hit .271 and won the block battle 12.5-6 with Cosy Burnett (12 kills, .360, five blocks), Kennedy Redding (nine kills, .438, six blocks) and Taylen Ballard (eight kills, .368, four blocks) posting big numbers as well.
Saint Mary’s had their own top performers in Lindsey Knudsen (17 kills, .455, 16 digs), Morgan Hughes (nine kills, .227, three aces) and Madi Wilkerson (22 digs, three assists), but were held to a .179 mark as no player beyond Knudsen and Hughes hit over .171. Their biggest strength in forcing five was their serving and back-row defense as they netted 14 aces to BYU’s seven and had seven more digs (69-62). They also held BYU’s McKenna Miller and Lacy Haddock to a combined five kills on 30 swings with five errors (.000).
Early on, BYU wasn’t fazed on the road and pulled ahead 18-10. However, a 8-1 Gaels run put Saint Mary’s within one. The home team had one more run in them trailing 22-20 in the set too, as a pair of Knudsen kills starred in a 5-0 spurt to take a 1-0 set lead.
In set two, the run for Saint Mary’s came early on as they jumped out in front 14-7. BYU did tighten things up to 23-20, but the final two points of the set went to the Gaels for a 2-0 set lead.
Needing the third set and leading just 17-16 in the game, BYU needed something to ignite a run. Jones-Perry earned a kill that started four unanswered points as she wasn’t done and would finish things off to force a fourth. That fourth would be the most back and forth, as after 11 ties and three lead changes combined in the first three sets, the penultimate game would take part in 14 ties and six lead changes. Even at 23, Burnett and Jones-Perry earned back-to-back kills to extend the match to its final set.
With momentum on their side, the Cougars nabbed the first point of the fifth and never looked back in holding the lead. Saint Mary’s did make things more interesting from 11-4 to 14-10, but in the shortened set it was too little, too late.
Moving ahead, BYU stays in California for a match at Pacific on Saturday. Saint Mary’s on the other hand stays at home for another ranked foe as they take on #25 San Diego.
Courtesy of BYU:
MORAGA, Calif. — Junior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perryhelped push No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball to a five-set come-from-behind victory (22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23, 15-10) against Saint Mary’s Thursday night at McKeon Pavilion.
Veronica Jones-Perry led the Cougars with 24 kills to go with 11 digs for a double-double. Lyndie Haddock collected 46 assists and Mary Lake had 15 digs. Cosy Burnett contributed 12 kills and five blocks while Kennedy Redding added nine kills and six blocks. Taylen Ballard had eight kills and four blocks in the win.
BYU (16-1, 5-0 West Coast Conference) collected the first two points of the decisive fifth set from errors by Saint Mary’s (5-11, 1-5 WCC), taking a 2-0 lead. A pair of Haddock kills extended the lead to four, 6-2, forcing a timeout from the Gaels. A Haddock ace made it 11-4, and a Jones-Perry kill ended the set and match 15-10.
A Haddock dump kill helped BYU on a 4-0 run to go up 6-2 in the first set against Saint Mary’s. A service ace from Burnett extended the Cougars’ advantage to seven, 11-4. Back-to-back blocks from Haddock and Burnett made it 17-10, but an 8-1 rally from the Gaels brought them back within a point, down 19-18. With BYU up 22-20, Saint Mary’s scored the last five points to take the set 25-22.
A kill and ace from Jones-Perry made it 4-2 for the Cougars early in the second set. The Gaels scored 12 of the next 15 points, with help from five aces, to take a 14-7 advantage. BYU took a timeout down 19-11, and three blocks from Redding helped the Cougars get back within three, 23-20. The run proved too late as Saint Mary’s won the set 25-20 on a kill.
Three-straight errors from the Gaels helped BYU take a 7-3 third-set advantage. Saint Mary’s scored the next four points to even the score at 7-all. Consecutive kills from Jones-Perry pushed the Cougars up 12-9 and then again at 15-11. The Gaels got back within a point, down 17-16, after another service ace. BYU scored six of the next seven points to make it 23-17, but another ace from Saint Mary’s pushed it back within three, trailing 23-20. The Cougars then closed out the set 25-20 on a Jones-Perry kill.
A Jones-Perry ace put BYU ahead 6-4 to begin the fourth set. A kill down the line from Ballard made it 11-8, but the Gaels followed that with a 5-1 run to take a 13-12 advantage. The teams traded points until Saint Mary’s scored three-straight, forcing a Cougar timeout with BYU trailing 18-15. The Cougars then countered with a 5-0 run to retake the advantage at 20-18. The Gaels continued to compete, tying things at 23 apiece, but kills from Burnett and Jones-Perry gave BYU the 25-23 set win, forcing the decisive fifth set.
The Cougars stay on the road next, traveling to Pacific Saturday at noon PDT. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to the video stream and live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
Courtesy of Saint Mary’s:
MORAGA, Calif. — The Saint Mary’s women’s volleyball played right alongside another nationally ranked opponent Thursday, but it was No. 8 BYU who escaped with a thrilling five-set West Coast Conference victory, fighting back from being down 2-0 to win 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-25, 25-23, 15-10) at McKeon Pavilion.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Saint Mary’s (5-11, 1-5 WCC) started slow in set one, trailing the No. 8 Cougars (16-1, 5-0 WCC) 11-4 and 18-10. But it charged back with an 8-1 run on multiple kills from Lindsey Calvin and Lindsey Knudsen. Then, still trailing 22-20, the Gaels grabbed a 1-0 match advantage by closing the first frame on a 5-0 sprint with two more kills from Knudsen and accenting it with an ace from Alexsa “Crash” Parker
- SMC grabbed a 9-6 lead in the early goings of set two thanks to a 7-2 run anchored by four more service aces – two from Parker and two from Knudsen. The Gaels would never relinquish the lead, fighting off a late 8-2 BYU run in winning, 25-20, and taking a 2-0 match lead.
- BYU worked its way back into the match by winning sets three and four, but it did not come easy. Saint Mary’s was only trailing by one point in set three at 17-16 before the Cougars went on a 6-1 run to secure an eventual 25-20 win. The fourth set was an even bigger battle featuring 14 ties and six lead changes, but BYU closed it out on a 5-2 run to overcome a late, 21-20 SMC lead and tie the match at 2-2.
- The Cougars took control in the final period, running out to 6-2, 9-3 and 11-4 leads before closing out the comeback victory with a 15-10 win. BYU was nearly perfect in the final frame with nine kills and only one error. Saint Mary’s hit .174 in the set compared to BYU’s .421.
- Saint Mary’s serving game was on point Thursday, notching 14 aces — the third-most ever in SMC history for a single match and just two off the program record of 16.
- Knudsen posted her first double-double of the season with a team-high 17 kills and 16 digs. She hit a team-best .455 and also added three aces, two blocks and an assist. Parker also had a double-double, her team-leading fourth of the year, with 31 assists and 10 digs.
- Sienna Young tallied her third double-figure kills performance in the last four matches with 15. Jennifer “Boo” Laird gave Saint Mary’s three players with double-digit kills, adding 10 of her own.
- Veronica Jones-Perry led all players with 24 kills. She notched a double-double with 11 digs and also had three blocks and two assists.
Rob Browning BITES
- They decided on their own that they knew they could play at a higher level and they needed to just kind of embrace the moment, have a ton of fun, bring a lot of energy. We’ve played like that a bunch this year but we haven’t done it recently. It was good. It was great to see. It wasn’t any kind of a fluke. That’s how good we are.”
- “I told them early in (set one), ‘Don’t change anything. We’ll be fine. You’re not going to keep making errors like that. Just keep playing the way you’re playing.’ And they did, and came back and won against a really good team.”
- “It’s just a matter of continuing to play at the same level. It’s not about, ‘OK now we need to do something different because it’s close or it’s match point.’ You just have to keep playing the same way. BYU did a good job of coming back. They responded well after the second set. But it’s just a matter of maintaining. You just keep doing the same things and you don’t let anything else affect you, and we didn’t do that tonight.”
- Saint Mary’s continues its home stand with another nationally ranked opponent on Saturday, hosting No. 19 San Diego at 1 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx.