No 7. BYU women’s volleyball sweeps Gonzaga and Portland

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Cosy Burnett and Veronica Jones-Perry block a Gonzaga attack on Oct. 14 at the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU swept games against Gonzaga and Portland last week. (Savannah Hopkinson)

The No. 7 BYU women’s volleyball team swept both Gonzaga (25-11, 26-24, 25-16) and Portland (25-15, 25-10, 25-14) at the Smith Fieldhouse last weekend.

The wins pushed the Cougars to a 19-1 record for the season, which includes a perfect 8-0 record in West Coast Conference play.

Coach Heather Olmstead was very pleased with how the weekend started with a win over Portland.

“I thought the girls came out Thursday really focused,” she said. “That was one of the most complete matches we’ve played and we didn’t really let Portland have any chances.”

The surprise of the weekend, however, was BYU’s sweep of Gonzaga.

Prior to this week, the Bulldogs were undefeated in the West Coast Conference as well, before losing to both San Diego and BYU consecutively.

“I thought we served really well today and that helped us get some great touches on the block,” Olmstead said. “Gonzaga made some changes in the second set and we had to show some fight, which was awesome to see. For the second match in a row, we passed well. I’m really proud of the improvement there.”

Senior Cosy Burnett led the team with 10 kills, five blocks and two service aces followed by Veronica Jones-Perry who had a match-high 15 kills.

“I think our passing was outstanding,” Burnett said. “Man, did that work throughout this weekend. We just played (the matches) point by point and were just being really resilient.”

Another surprising leader was freshman Kennedy Redding who had seven kills and five blocks. Junior Lyndie Haddock had 33 assists and sophomore Mary Lake gave BYU 21 digs.

BYU started strong with three kills from Jones-Perry to go ahead 7-2. This lead to an amazing 8-0 run fueled by many Zag errors.

Sara Hamson, Haddock and Jones-Perry all contributed kills as BYU took a 22-9 lead, then won the set, 25-11.

The second set was a close one as the teams stayed within two points of each other until Gonzaga broke free at 12-9.

BYU rallied to tie the set at 14-14 and the set remained close again up until set point.

The Bulldogs held a 24-23 advantage but Burnett tied the set at 24.

Then, Jones-Perry ended the set with back-to-back kills, giving BYU a 2-0 lead after the 26-24 second set victory.

Jones-Perry carried her momentum into the third set, helping the Cougars open a 5-0 lead on the Bulldogs.

BYU continued to lead later in the set despite a rally from Gonzaga that cut the Cougars’ lead to six.

Burnett then helped the team with a set of kills to put BYU up 19-15. Gonzaga then lost the next 6 points, giving BYU the victory.

The Cougars will return to California to face Pepperdine for the second time on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. MDT and Loyola Marymount on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. MDT.

Both matches will be streamed at TheW.tv.

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