Gray leads No. 14 BYU volleyball in a close match against Pacific

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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)

Alexa Gray led No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball over Pacific in a close 3-0 victory (25-21, 27-25, 26-24) and helped improve the Cougars’ record to 21-4 (12-2).

“It’s great to get tested and pull it through,” head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “It’s great to have this home court advantage; the crowd was unreal today.”

The second set started off with BYU and Pacific, (19-7, 8-5), trading points. With the set tied at 10-10, BYU went on a 4-0 run after an ace from Ciara Parker and a kill from Gray. Pacific called a timeout, and the Tigers responded by going on a 6-1 run to give them a 16-15 lead. The two teams continued to trade points until the Tigers took a 21-19 lead and forced BYU to call a timeout. BYU responded by going on a 3-1 run after two kills from Jennifer Hamson and a block from Amy Boswell. With the set tied at 22-22, the teams traded points and forced the set to go into extra points. BYU finished off the set with back-to-back kills from Gray and Hannah Robison to give them the second set 27-25 in front of a loud crowd at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Pacific took an early 6-3 lead in the third set, and it was able to extend its lead to four at 13-9. BYU then went on a 5-0 run to take a 14-13 lead. Pacific then went on a 3-0 run of its own to take a 16-14 lead. Hamson then led BYU on a 5-0 run with two blocks and two kills. The two teams traded points again, and Pacific tied the game up at 24-24 and forced extra points again. With the score tied at 24, Hamson had another kill, and then Whitney Young had a block to give the Cougars the set and match.

The first set started off even with the two teams trading points. With the score knotted up at 8, BYU went on 6-1 run to give them a 14-9 lead. The Cougars extended their lead to six at 16-10 before the Tigers started to inch their way back into the set, cutting the deficit to two at 21-19. The Cougars were able to close out the set at 25-21, led by Gray, who had seven kills in the set.

Gray led the Cougars with 18 kills and four blocks. Hamson started off slow but caught fire late and ended up with 12 kills, four digs and three blocks. Parker had an impressive 13 digs, and Camry Godfrey Willardson had another solid match with 36 assists and eight digs. Young had seven blocks and four kills, and Boswell had six blocks and three kills.

The Cougars next face the San Diego Toreros on Friday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Smith Fieldhouse. Friday night’s match will be BYU’s final home match of the season and will also be senior night. The match will be televised on BYUtv and will also be available for live streaming online through BYUtv.org.

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