Perfect No More: No. 2 BYU Falls in Regular Season Finale at Loyola Marymount

  0 Wendy Mayer | November 21st, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, News, WCC

Loyola Marymount def. No. 2 BYU 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-20)

  • Loyola Marymount moves to 20-9, 10-8 WCC; BYU moves to 27-1, 17-1 WCC
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Box Score

Courtesy: Loyola Marymount Athletics

LMU volleyball (20-9, 10-8 WCC) closed the 2018 season out on the highest of notes. The Lions swept top-ranked BYU (27-1, 17-1 WCC) in straight sets, 25-23, 27-25, 25-20 to hand the previously-unbeaten Cougars their first loss of the year.

Senior Sara Kovac led all players with 22 kills on 45 swings … she also added 10 digs for a double-double … Tess Reid dished out 48 assists as LMU hit .252 as a team … Reid also had a 10 digs to record a double-double of her own … Senior Kekai Whitford led the way with a game-high 19 digs from the libero position … LMU held BYU to just .158 on their attack … Roni Jones-Perry totaled 20 kills on 49 attacks for the Cougars … Lyndsey Haddock-Eppich led BYU with 10 digs … LMU recorded 52 kills as a team, and allowed just 36 … All 52 kills had assists for the Lions … BYU’s strength was at the net recording 13.0 blocks compared to four by the Lions … The match featured 29 tie scores and 11 lead changes in the game, including 19 lead changes in the second set alone.

This is the program’s first-ever win over a #1-ranked team.. LMU was previously 0-3 against the top team in the country … 1990 loss to #1 UCLA, 1997 loss to #1 Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament, 2003 loss to #1 USC in the NCAA Tournament … This is just the second-ever time LMU has beaten BYU, with the last coming at home in 2015 … Kovac finishes her LMU career with 753 kills and 183 digs, after her career-best 753 and 243 as a senior …  Whitford tallied 1058 digs in her time as a Lion, also recording her best season as a senior with 424.

“The crowd was unbelievable,” said Head Coach Aaron Mansfield. “Obviously there were a lot of BYU fans, but there were a lot of LMU fans here too, and the girls definitely fed of that. Our preparation is our preparation. We prepared for the match just like we did all the others and a lot of things went our way tonight. Obviously, BYU is undefeated for a reason and they make it really tough on you, but we felt like we earned it tonight. I’m really proud of our team, especially for Kekai and Kovac’s last match at Gersten. I couldn’t be prouder of that. It was really a team effort tonight. Everyone stepped and played really good volleyball. Nothing special, but it was good enough to win.”

Courtesy: BYU Athletics

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball team finished the regular season with a loss at Loyola Marymount (25-23, 27-25, 25-20) on Tuesday.

BYU is one of only three teams in the nation with just one loss at 27-1, 17-1 in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars, who won their fifth-straight West Coast Conference title this season, will now wait until the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, Nov. 25, to find out their spot in the bracket. The Selection Show will air on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. MT live on ESPNU.

“I’m proud of the regular season we’ve had,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “Nobody can take away what we’ve done this season and that it’s been something special. We didn’t play our best tonight so that means there’s room for us to grow and get better.”

Senior Roni Jones-Perry led BYU with 20 kills. Junior Mary Lake had 13 digs, senior Lyndie Haddock-Eppich recorded 31 assists, 10 digs and six blocks and freshman Heather Gneiting finished with seven blocks and five kills.

BYU held the lead for most of the first set, scoring the first four points before eventually pulling ahead by as many as five points at 13-8 after a block by Haddock-Eppich and Gneiting. Jones-Perry and Sara Kovac of LMU exchanged attacks until finally the Lions tied the game at 22-22. LMU would score three of the last four points to take the set.

From LMU’s 3-2 lead on, neither team held more than a one-point lead the entire second set. Jones-Perry had 11 kills in the set and the Cougars staved off two set points but ultimately fell, 27-25.

In the third set the two teams again battled close until a 17-16 BYU lead turned into a 22-17 margin in favor of LMU. The Lions then held off BYU for the 25-20 victory.

BYU will next play on Friday, Nov. 30, in the NCAA Tournament. Details will be announced after the selection show Sunday night.

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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