No. 10 BYU sweeps Pepperdine

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Number 20 Camry Willardson gets ready for the ball in a game earlier this year (The Universe)
No. 20 Camry Willardson gets ready for the ball in a game earlier this year. (The Universe)

BYU extended its winning streak to seven with a win in three sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-20) over WCC foe Pepperdine Tuesday night.

“I was impressed with our team’s focus through some rough patches tonight,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “We have a long season ahead of us, so it’s important to take a few things from each match.”

Pepperdine started off the match by jumping out to a 4-1 lead. BYU was able to inch its way back into the set by tying the set at 8-8. The Cougars were then able to take their first lead at 9-8 after an attacking error from the Waves. BYU and Pepperdine remained even, trading points until the Cougars went on a 4-0 run to take a 14-10 lead forcing the Waves to take a timeout. BYU continued to play well, with kills from Jennifer Hamson, Camry Godfrey Willardson, Amy Boswell and Alexa Gray. BYU took a 24-14 lead, but the Waves fought off three set points, bringing the score to 24-17 and forcing Olmstead to take a timeout. Gray responded after the timeout with a kill, giving the first set to the Cougars, 25-17.

BYU and Pepperdine played even in the second set as they traded kills. With the score 14-13 BYU, the Cougars were able to build some separation from the Waves by going on a 4-0 run after a kill a piece from Willardson, Gray and Hamson. The five-point edge was large enough for the Cougars to close out the second set 25-21.

The Cougars and Waves started off the third set even, with Pepperdine taking a 8-7 lead. BYU then went on a 6-0 run after two kills from Gray, a kill from Boswell and three attacking errors from the Waves. BYU was able to extend its lead to 19-12, but Pepperdine responded by going on a 4-0 run, cutting the Cougars’ lead to 3 at 19-16 and forcing BYU to take a timeout. BYU was able to re-focus and close out the set 25-20 and completed the sweep over the Waves.

BYU was led by Gray, who had 14 kills, five digs and three blocks. Hamson added 12 kills and six digs. Boswell had a solid game, with eight kills and a .677 hitting percentage. Willardson had a game-high 31 assists and 10 digs, and Ciara Parker added 23 digs herself.

BYU hasn’t dropped a set since Sept. 12 against Colorado State. BYU returns home looking to extend its winning streak Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. (MDT) at the Smith Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on BYUtv and streamed online through BYUtv.org.

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