BYU women’s volleyball fights back to defeat Pacific 3-1

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BYU woman's volleyball team celebrating a win earlier this season. (The Universe)
The BYU women’s volleyball team celebrates a win earlier this season. (The Universe)

No. 10 BYU dropped its first set to Pacific, but Alexa Gray led the Cougars’ comeback in their four-set win (20-25, 35-27, 25-21, 25-17) Thursday night in Stockton, California.

“I was very impressed with our composure through this match,” Coach Shawn Olmsead said. “The team stayed in the moment and didn’t get rattled by a good Pacific team. An overall great team performance.”

The Tigers jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the first set, forcing the Cougars to take a timeout. BYU continued to play sloppy, and Pacific took advantage by extending its lead to nine at 17-8. The Cougars were able to fight back and cut the lead to three at 23-20 after back-to-back kills from Jennifer Hamson, but the Tigers were able to hang on to win the set 25-20.

BYU was able to regroup in the second set and take its first lead of the match, jumping to an early 7-2 lead after back-to-back kills from Amy Boswell. BYU was able to extend its lead to 10 at 18-8 after Pacific was forced into errors. Gray’s six kills helped BYU hold on and win the second set 25-17 and tie up the match.

The third set was back-and-forth between Pacific and BYU, as the set consisted of 11 ties and five lead changes. With the game tied at 19-19, BYU was able to extend its lead to two after a kill by Gray and an error by the Tigers. The Cougars were able to close out the set 25-21 after another kill from Gray and two kills from Tambre Nobles.

The fourth set was another close battle until, at 9-9, Pacific started to play sloppy and BYU went on a 5-0 run thanks to another kill from Gray and four errors by the Tigers. The little bit of breathing room was all the Cougars needed to close out the set and win 25-17.

BYU was led by Gray, who had 20 kills and a .419 hitting percentage. Hamson added with 11 kills and four blocks, while Nobles also had a solid game, with 11 blocks and 18 digs. Boswell and Whitney Young led the blocking effort with six blocks a piece, and Camry Willardson had 41 assists.

The Cougars look to extend their winning streak to 11 when they travel to Saint Mary’s on Saturday to take on the Gaels at 1 p.m. (PDT). The match will be streamed live on theW.tv.