Offense powers No. 1 BYU past Pacific in three
PROVO, Utah – Roni Jones-Perry, McKenna Miller and No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball swept Pacific (25-12, 25-20, 25-14) in the first match of West Coast Conference play at the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday night.
"It's fun to start play in the West Coast Conference," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "I liked how dialed in our team was. Our outsides did a great job attacking and overall our block did its job. I'm happy with the way the team competed."
Jones-Perry led the Cougars with 13 kills on a career-high .765 hitting percentage. Miller followed with 11 kills on a season-high .688 hitting percentage. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich collected 35 assists and five digs and Kennedy Eschenberg contributed seven kills. Heather Gneiting added six kills and five blocks.
As a team, BYU hit at a .507 hitting percentage for the third-highest clip in BYU rally-scoring era history.
The Cougars (11-0) began the first set with a 5-3 lead after two kills from Jones-Perry and an ace by Gneiting. The first rally with the Tigers (5-7) ended with a kill from Miller to keep the Cougars ahead at 10-4 following a six-point run. After three kills by Miller and back-to-back kills from Gneiting, BYU stayed on top at 15-6. BYU went on a 4-1 run that included an ace from Mary Lake to continue BYU’s advantage of 20-10. The Cougars took the set, 25-12, with a block from Jones-Perry and Gneiting.
The score was tied at 4-4 in the beginning of the second set. The Cougars gradually started to gain the advantage following attack errors from the Tigers and a kill from Eschenberg to push them up 8-4. Momentum from the Cougars continued with a four-point run and service ace from Jones-Perry, bringing the score to 11-5. Kills by Jones-Perry and Miller continued BYU’s lead at 17-10. A kill from Jones-Perry ended a rally with Pacific, bringing BYU ahead 21-13. Despite the Tiger’s effort to catch up, the Cougars won the set 25-20 after a block from Gneiting.
At the start of the third set, BYU jumped to a 6-2 lead following a rally that ended with an Eschenberg kill. An ace from Jones-Perry helped the Cougar’s jump ahead, 8-2. Three-consecutive kills from Miller continued BYU’s advantage at 13-5 after a five-point run. Back-to-back kills from Jones-Perry helped the Cougars keep the lead in double-digits at 17-7. A kill from Allison Stapleton brought BYU to match point and a kill from Haddock-Eppich gave her team the 25-14 win and sweep over Pacific.
BYU will return to the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday, Sept. 22, at 1 p.m. MDT, to play Saint Mary’s for the second match of WCC play. The match will be televised live on TheW.tv and a link to live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
BYU women’s volleyball season tickets for the upcoming 2023 campaign will go on sale beginning Wednesday, July 26.