BYU defeats Ohio in first round of NCAA tournament

Ari Davis
Whitney Young Howard spikes the ball during the NCAA tournament game against Ohio. The Cougars won and advanced in the NCAA tournament. (Ari Davis)

BYU defeated Ohio 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament in front of an electrifying crowd.

“We love to play at the Smith Fieldhouse,” Camry Willardson said. “It makes a huge difference, but we control our own energy, in our own bubble, and then we feed off the fans.”

BYU started the match off with a few points and took the lead 5-3. However, Ohio ruled most of this match and outkilled BYU. Ohio stayed a few points ahead of BYU and won the first set 25-19.

BYU began the second set with a 5-2 scoring streak using a pair of kills from Alexa Gray. From there both teams rallied back and forth until the set was at tied at 10-10. After that BYU went on a 5-0 scoring streak which cause Ohio to call a timeout. The timeout proved to be effective as Ohio went on an 7-3 streak catching up to BYU to make the score 19-17. The set went down to the wire with BYU finishing the set 25-23 off a kill from Amy Boswell.

Both teams started the third set fairly equally rallying back and forth until it was 4-4. From there BYU went on a 4-0 streak and didn’t slow down. Due to three kills from Gray, two kills from Cosy Burnett and several errors from Ohio, BYU took a commanding lead 22-15. BYU finished the set 25-17.

The final set started with both teams battling back and forth staying within one or two points of each other. The excitement started midway through the set when BYU was down 12-15, then after series of errors from Ohio and another pair of kills from Gray and Burnett, BYU caught up making the score 20-20. From there BYU finished the set 26-24 defeating Ohio 3-1.

BYU plays Western Kentucky on Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Smith Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.

“We are excited to be advancing,” head coach Heather Olmstead said. “It was just a great volleyball match. We play in a great conference that prepares us for battles like this.”



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