Career night from Burnett leads BYU to sweep of Gonzaga
PROVO, Utah – A career night from Cosy Burnett led No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball to a sweep (25-21, 25-16, 25-14) over Gonzaga at the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday night.
"I couldn't be prouder of the team the way the team came out with energy - they excuted and stayed together," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "They really played for each other. The defensive effort was excellent. Offensively, we got into a good rhythm. Camry did a really good job. She followed the game plan and led the team."
With the win, BYU (16-2, 6-1 West Coast Conference) increases its overall record against Gonzaga (12-8, 3-4 WCC) to 12-1, including its seventh-straight victory over the Bulldogs.
Alexa Gray led all players in kills with 21 and a season-high .545 clip. She also had three aces, which is a career high for the senior outside hitter. Burnett earned a career high in kills with 15 and in hitting percentage with a .636 clip. Camry Godfrey Willardson had 41 assists in the game and was a perfect six for six on attacks, which ties a career high for kills. Libero Ciara Parker led the defense with 14 digs while Amy Boswell had six blocks in the win.
The Cougars took the early 2-1 lead in the first set after an ace from Makenna Santiago. After trading sideouts, the Bulldogs went on a 5-1 run to go up 9-5. Two back-to-back kills from Whitney Young Howard and another from Burnett got BYU within two, 11-9. The Cougars were finally able to tie it up at 20-all after Gray nailed the ball with a deep cross for the kill. Santiago’s second ace of the night, and the fourth of the set, made it set point for BYU, 24-21. A kill right on the sideline for Gray won the first set, 25-21.
Burnett got things rolling in the second set for the Cougars with a kill in the first rally to go up 1-0. After a setter dump from Willardson, BYU went on a 4-0 run that included a BYU block and an ace from Gray to push its 7-3 lead. Gonzaga answered by putting itself within one before a kill from Burnett extended the lead back to 10-8. A 4-0 run, that had two BYU stuff blocks, extended the Cougars’ lead to 16-10. Burnett had three kills in a row to widen the distance from the Bulldogs, 23-16. With another kill from Gray, this time tooled off the Gonzaga block, BYU won the second set 25-16 to go up two sets to none.
A 6-0 run from the Cougars early in the third set got them the 7-2 lead behind two backrow kills and an ace from Gray. Boswell’s quick kill from the middle made it 13-8 before the Bulldogs earned a sideout on the next rally with a kill of their own. A stuff block from Howard extended the BYU lead to 16-10, but a well-placed tip from Gonzaga prevented another run. However, the Cougars eventually got a 4-0 rally to push the lead to 23-13 capped off by a rally saved multiple times by Parker flying all over the court. The sweep was completed after the Bulldogs missed their serve on match point, giving the Cougars the 25-14 win.
BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday to take on Portland at 1 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast live on TheW.tv. Live stats will be available on the schedule page.
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