Gray leads No. 10 Cougars past Pacific 3-1
STOCKTON, Calif. — Alexa Gray led No. 10 BYU women's volleyball to a 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-17) victory against Pacific Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center to remain undefeated in conference play.
"I was very impressed with our composure through this match," BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "The team stayed in the moment and didn't get rattled by a good Pacific team. An overall great team performance."
Gray led the Cougars with a season-high 20 kills while hitting a .419 clip to go along with a trio of blocks. Sophomores Amy Boswell and Whitney Young tied a match-high six blocks apiece while Tambre Nobles led the team in digs with 18 to go with 11 kills. Camry Godfrey Willardson had a match-high 41 assists in the win. Additionally, Jennifer Hamson contributed 11 kills and four blocks for the Cougars.
The Tigers (14-4, 3-2 West Coast Conference) jumped out to a 6-2 advantage early in the first set after a few early errors from the Cougars (15-2, 6-0 WCC). Pacific maintained a five-point lead at 10-5 after a kill from Kat Schulz. A block from the Tigers helped extend their lead to eight at 15-7 and forced Olmstead to call timeout. BYU continued to struggle offensively as Pacific got another block to go up by double digits at 19-9. Nobles followed with a pair of service aces to cut the Tigers' lead to seven at 19-12. The Cougars ended their 8-2 run with a Gray kill to bring BYU within four at 21-17. The rally proved too short as Pacific took set one 25-20.
A kill from Young gave the Cougars the first point of the second set. A pair of BYU blocks then helped extend the Cougars' lead to four at 6-2, forcing a timeout from the Tigers. BYU stayed ahead at 10-5 with another kill from Gray. The Cougars went up by eight at 16-8 after consecutive Pacific attack errors, and a Boswell and Nobles block followed to give BYU a 10-point lead at 18-8. The Tigers then added seven-straight points to cut into the lead and make the score 18-15. The Cougars battled back with a 6-1 run to bring up set point and Gray finished things off with a kill to give BYU the set 25-17.
Willardson started the third set with a kill for BYU, but a 3-0 Tiger run put them ahead 6-3 early. The Cougars countered with a 4-0 rally, which included two Hamson kills, to retake the lead by one at 7-6. The teams remained within a point of each other from that there until Willardson had another dump kill to go up 18-16. With the score tied at 19, BYU scored a pair of points to make the score 21-19, Cougars. BYU maintained its advantage after consecutive kills from Nobles. A block from her and Boswell followed to end the set 25-21 and put the Cougars up by a set, 2-1.
Pacific began the fourth set with a pair of points, but the Cougars matched that with consecutive kills to tie things at two apiece. A solo block from Gray brought BYU's lead to two at 7-5, but a 4-0 Tiger rally gave them a 9-7 advantage. The back-and-forth set continued with an 8-0 Cougar run that put BYU up 14-9. Pacific fired back with a trio of points to bring the Tigers within two at 14-12. The Cougars then roared back with a 6-1 rally to bring the score to 20-13. Both teams traded points from there until a pair of Gray kills finished off the set and match 25-17 for BYU.
The Cougars stay on the road Saturday when they visit Saint Mary's (4-11, 0-5 WCC) at 1 p.m. PDT. Links to live stats and a streaming video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.
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