No. 12 BYU rolled past Utah (25-18, 25-16, 25-7) to win the Deseret First Duel matchup, handing Utah its first loss of the season.
“I don’t know if (our players) could have played a better match,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I was impressed by their composure.”
BYU (9-2) got off to a fast start by taking a 5-1 lead after three kills from Jennifer Hamson and a service ace by Hannah Robinson. BYU extended its lead with a kill from Amy Boswell to give BYU a 10-5 lead. The Cougars were able to maintain distance from the Utes (10-1) throughout the set. BYU called a timeout at 21-16, and Alexa Gray responded with four kills to give the first set to the Cougars 25-16.
BYU started the second set 2-0 with a kill by Hamson and a service ace by Robinson. BYU continued to keep the pressure on Utah and jumped out to a 15-5 lead after back-to-back kills from Gray and a service ace from Boswell. The Utes responded by going on a 4-0, bringing the score to 15-9 and forcing the Cougars to call a timeout. BYU was able to regroup after the timeout by closing out the set with a 10-7 run that was capped off with a Boswell service ace. The Cougars went on to win the second set 25-16.
BYU started the third set with a 7-0 run, led by two aces from Camry Godfrey Willardson, two kills from Gray and a kill from Hamson. BYU kept its momentum and won the third set easily 25-7 and the match in a straight set sweep at the Smith Fieldhouse in front of a crowd of 3,814 excited fans.
BYU was led by Gray, who had a season-high 17 kills. Hamson added 11 kills, two service aces and six digs. Willardson had a game-high 27 assists; Ciara Parker also had a solid game, with 14 digs.
BYU starts West Coast Conference play at home on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. (MDT) against Gonzaga. The game will be televised on BYUtv and will be available to be streamed online.