- #1 BYU def. #25 Utah 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-17)
- BYU moves to 9-0; Utah falls to 7-3
- Attendance: 5,472
- Box Score
In front of a record crowd of 5,472, the Cougars swept away instate rival Utah in the Deseret First Duel. With the win, BYU moves to 9-0, matching its 2016 start, and ups its all-time series record with the Utes to 71-30, including a 41-10 mark when playing in Provo.
BYU hit at a .427 clip with just nine team errors in the match, while limiting Utah to a .167 effort. The Cougars bested the Utes in every statistical category: kills (44-30), aces (5-4), blocks (5-3) and digs (39-23).
The Cougars hit at a .379 clip in Set 1 and followed that with a match-high .500 effort in Set 2 and .407 clip in Set 3. The Utes started with a .188 clip and fell off after that with a .161 effort in Set 2 and .148 in Set 3.
Roni Jones-Perry notched a match-high 13 kills, while hitting .333 and adding an ace and a block. That .333 effort was the lowest among the Cougars’ six hitters with a kill. Heather Gneiting was the best of the group at .636 (7-0-11), while Kennedy Eschenberg hit .615 (9-1-13) and put up a team-leading four blocks. McKenna Miller served up two of the team’s five aces and chipped in eight kills. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich posted a 31-assist, 10-dig double-double and three blocks, while libero Mary Lake pulled up 12 digs.
Dani Drews was tops among the Utes with 11 kills to go with two aces and two blocks, both team highs. Kenzie Koerber and Lauga Gauta added five putaways apiece, while Lauren Sproule registered four putaways and two blocks. Bailey Choy tallied eight digs to go with 21 assists.
Utah struck first with a 4-1 run, including two Drews aces, in Set 1. BYU rallied to tie it up at 8-all with two putaway apiece by Jones-Perry and Miller. The Utes maintained the advantage at 14-11, before a 9-2 surge gave the Cougars a 20-16 lead of their own. Four Utah miscues and two Miller kills aided the rally. Utah pulled within one at 21-20, but could not break through. BYU closed out the comeback with a 4-0 run, capped by a Jones-Perry putaway and another Ute miscue.
The Cougars carried the momentum into Set 2, running away to an 10-3 advantage. Three Jones-Perry terminations and three Utah errors lifted BYU to the seven-point lead. The Utes never got closer than five the rest of the way (11-6). A kill and a block by Haddock-Eppich clinched the 25-14 win.
The teams tied seven times in Set 3, last at 9-all, before BYU broke away with a 5-0 run, featuring two kills and a block by Eschenberg. Utah cut the margin to three at 17-14 on a Gauta ace, but the Cougars responded with a 9-3 run to wrap up the match. Back-to-back aces by Miller made it 23-15 and a Gneiting kill gave BYU its first match-point try. A service error kept the match going, before Eschenberg closed the door.
The Cougars will look to move to 10-0 to start a season for the first time since 2012 (15-0) at Weber State on Saturday. The Utes play host to Utah Valley on Friday in Salt Lake City.
COUGARS WIN#BYUWVB #GoCougs pic.twitter.com/ncW4GCM6Mj
— BYU Women’s Volleyball (@BYUwvolleyball) September 14, 2018