No. 1 BYU sweeps No. 24 Utah in front of record crowd
PROVO, Utah – Kennedy Eschenberg, Roni Jones-Perry and No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball swept rival No. 24 Utah (25-20, 25-14, 25-17) in the Deseret First Duel at the Smith Fieldhouse in front of a record crowd Thursday night.
"Offensively, we were really sharp tonight and Lyndie (Haddock-Eppich) did a great job distributing the ball," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "After midway through the first set we started to settle down and really find our rhythm. The energy in the Smith Fieldhouse was electric, and we appreciate all the fans who came out to support this rivalry match."
Jones-Perry scored a match-high 13 kills and Eschenberg contributed nine kills on a .615 clip to go along with four blocks. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich earned a double-double with 31 assists and 10 digs while Mary Lake added 12 digs on the night.
Match attendance hit 5,472 Thursday night, breaking BYU women’s volleyball’s previous record of 4,672 set against Utah Valley in 2016.
Jones-Perry earned her first kill of the first set before Utah (7-3) scored four-straight points to take a 4-1 lead. BYU (9-0) evened the score at 8-all with kills by Jones-Perry and McKenna Miller. A service ace from Jones-Perry regained the lead 15-14 and the Cougars wouldn’t trail again, taking the set 25-20. Jones-Perry and Miller led the team with six kills apiece.
Two kills by Jones-Perry helped the Cougars gain momentum with a 4-0 lead start the second set. BYU pushed its advantage to 10-3 with kills from Eschenberg and Madelyn Robinson. Haddock-Eppich scored back-to-back dump kills against the Utes to give the Cougars a 16-8 edge. Haddock-Eppich tallied her third dump kill to set up match-point 24-14. Eschenberg and Haddock-Eppich blocked a Utah attack on the following rally to win the set 25-14.
Utah jumped out to an early 3-1 lead at the start of the third set. Both teams battled to gain an advantage until Jones-Perry and Escheberg each recorded two kills to establish a 14-9 lead. The Utes rallied to cut the advantage to three points, but the Cougars quickly pulled away again with kills from Miller and Heather Gneiting, re-extending the lead at 20-14. Miller scored back-to-back service aces before Eschenberg’s kill gave BYU the 25-17 win and sweep over Utah.
The Cougars travel next to play Weber State at Swenson Gym on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 2 p.m. MDT. The match will be streamed live by the Big Sky Conference and a link to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
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