No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball defeats LMU, sweeps Pepperdine

Cosy Burnett goes to spike the ball against Pepperdine on Sept. 26. (Savannah Hopkinson)

The No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball team beat Loyola Marymount in a five-set thriller (21-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-12, 15-11) at the Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Cougars improved to 21-1 this season and a perfect 10-0 record in West Coast Conference play.

“I thought we made some nice adjustments after the second set,” said BYU coach Heather Olmstead. “Our serving got tougher, our passing got better and we played some great defense. The one constant throughout the match was Roni (Jones-Perry). She took some big-time swings and brought great energy. I’m proud of the team for battling back. It’s not easy to do on the road but they were resilient.”

Veronica Jones-Perry led the team to victory against LMU with a career-high 34 kills, which set a BYU record for most kills in a match. For her play last week — including a sweep over Pepperdine — Jones-Perry was named WCC Player of the Week, the third time she’s earned the award this season.

Additionally, Mary Lake had 16 digs at LMU and Cosy Burnett added 10 blocks while Lyndie Haddock contributed 50 assists. McKenna Miller had 12 kills in the win.

The Lions began the opening set with back-to-back service aces and opened a 5-1 lead over the Cougars.

Jones-Perry tied the set at 5-5 with four straight kills before LMU went on a 4-1 run. The Lions went on to win the first set 25-21.

The second set proved to be just as tight, but an ace from Lake propelled BYU to an early 3-1 lead.

Back-to-back kills from Miller pushed the Cougars up another three points before LMU responded with a 4-0 run to take the lead at 11-10.

Sara Hamson helped BYU get back in the game with a kill to put BYU back within a one point difference at 19-18, but the Lions finished strong with a third rally to win the set 25-22 on an ace.

The Cougars came out strong in the must-win third set, starting with a 5-1 run. LMU rallied back but a pair of Jones-Perry kills put BYU up 18-10. The Cougars went on to win the set 25-18 on a Lion attack error.

BYU rolled to a 25-12 win in set number four to force a decisive fifth set.

Double kills from Burnett gave BYU a 4-0 lead in the set. LMU responded with two points of its own at 7-5 before a kill and block from Burnett gave the Cougars a 13-9 edge. Burnett finished the set off with a kill, ending the match at 15-11 for BYU.

BYU swept Pepperdine on the road Thursday, Oct. 19; Jones-Perry led the Cougars with 12 kills, and Miller followed with 11.

Junior Haddock helped her team with 31 assists and 10 digs for a double-double and Mary Lake contributed 15 digs.

The Cougars will return home to the Smith Fieldhouse on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. MDT to face No. 18 San Diego. The game will be televised on BYUtv.

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