Sophomore Alexa Gray’s all around play leads No. 24 BYU to a 3-0 victory over the Gonzaga Bulldogs Thursday night, Nov. 14, at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Grey had 17 kills and 8 digs over the course of the three straight sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-22). The victory tonight was the 14 conference win for the Cougars, who now improve to 21-5 for the season.
“I’m really happy with what Alexa did,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said in reference to playing without defensive specialist Ciara Parker. “The team responded well since we’re used to having two defensive specialists on the back row.”
Gray played all three sets and led the team and kept her composure when the sets got close. Along with Kathryn LeCheminant’s four blocks, Camry Godfrey and Amy Boswell contributed three blocks apiece. Tambre Haddock added 10 kills and a career-high four service aces.
“I’m really happy with the win,” Olmstead said. “Gonzaga’s a really good team. I’m excited with how we maintained our composure. We lost it a little and gave up leads, but we were able to successfully respond.”
In the first set BYU came out strong, taking the first four points. As Gonzaga tried to rally back with the offensive the Cougars capitalized with big counters and blocks to clinch the first set.
The second set started with the Bulldogs taking the lead and the Cougars coming back. It was back-and-forth play as both teams desperately tried to break away from each other. After a media timeout BYU took the lead 20-17 with a block by Whitney Young and Gray and a service ace from Haddock.
Gonzaga would come back to make the score 24-23. Olmstead called the timeout, and LeCheminant came back in with a crucial kill to clinch the second set.
The third set saw BYU take the 13-7 lead. Gonzaga once again would fight back to tie up the game at 17-17. From there it was point for point until BYU finished the set 25-22.
BYU will look to wrap up its last home game this Saturday, Nov. 16, against Portland. The Cougars will look to improve to 22-5 before heading to San Diego for their last game of the regular season.