BYU volleyball falls short in five set heartbreaker to end season

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Amy Boswell strikes the ball against Texas. Boswell and the Cougars fell to the Longhorns in the Sweet 16. (BYU Photo)
Amy Boswell strikes the ball against Texas. Boswell and the Cougars fell to the Longhorns in the Sweet 16. (BYU Photo)

The BYU women’s volleyball team fell just short in its attempt to come back after being down two sets to No. 4 seed Texas. The Cougars pushed the game to a decisive fifth set but was unable to close out the fifth set and lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals (23-25, 14-25, 26-24, 25-22, 14-16).

“Congratulations to the University of Texas on advancing in the tournament,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “They played a great match. I don’t think that I could be any more proud of the way the team played. I thought, except for a lapse in the second set, it was phenomenal volleyball. I’m very proud of the team and the courage and fight that they showed in the match tonight.”

BYU was out hit .323 to .251 and Texas earned four more total blocks (14) than the Cougars (10). Both teams had three players with double-digit digs and at least four with more than 10 kills.

BYU was led by freshman McKenna Miller who had 16 kills. Senior Whitney Young Howard put away 15 kills on a .500 clip, while fellow senior, Amy Boswell had 14 kills, seven digs and eight blocks. Lacy Haddock had a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 48 assists and had 20 digs. Freshman libero Mary Lake picked up a match high 30 digs and two aces.

All the sets were extremely close, with the lead changing every other point and numerous ties, except the second set. In the second set Texas took off and never looked back winning the set by more than 10 points (25-14).

The Cougars brought back the fight in the third and fourth set to tie the match at two a piece, and pushing the game to a fifth set.

BYU came out strong in the fifth set with a 5-0 lead with the assistance of two aces from Lake. A kill from Veronica Jones-Perry gave the Cougars a 20-5 advantage. However, Texas went on a 7-1 to tie the set at 12-12. Kills from Howard and Boswell made it match point for BYU at 14-12, but Texas scored four straight to take the game and move on to the elite eight.

The Cougars ended their season 29-4 and in the NCAA tournament sweet sixteen for the fifth consecutive season.

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