BYU women’s volleyball advances to sixth-straight Sweet 16

Dani Jardine
The BYU women’s volleyball team celebrates a point against American in its first round game of the 2017 NCAA Tournament. BYU swept Oregon in the second round to reach a sixth-straight Sweet 16 appearance. (Dani Jardine)

The 13th-seeded BYU women’s volleyball team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after sweeping No. 24 Oregon (25-20, 25-21, 25-19) Saturday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.

This will be the Cougars sixth-straight Sweet 16 appearance.

Veronica Jones-Perry led the team with 27 kills and a .535 hitting clip. McKenna Miller also contributed 11 kills while Mary Lake helped the Cougars with 20 digs.

“I’m so proud of the way our team played tonight,” said BYU coach Heather Olmstead. “They never wavered from what they wanted and stayed focused the entire match. Dave (Hyte) and Jonny (Neeley) put them in great spots and the team executed what we worked on. Roni (Jones-Perry) was unbelievable on the front and back row. Mary had some fantastic digs that kept the rallies alive and Lyndie set a great match. We’re excited we get to practice on Monday and want to keep getting better.”

The first set was close until BYU was finally able to break away thanks to a four-point run that put the Cougars ahead 10-7.

BYU extended this lead to seven points before the Ducks rallied and were able to narrow the Cougars’ lead to just three at 21-18.

However, the Cougars maintained their lead thanks to a service ace from Lyndie Haddock and a kill from Miller before Jones-Perry finished the set with a kill.

Oregon came out strong in the second set, taking the first two points before BYU responded with a short run to tie things up.

The teams were neck and neck until the Ducks broke away with a three-point lead at 13-10.

BYU rallied and eventually caught up to tie the score at 15-15.

From there, BYU found its stride and took a three-point lead of three at 20-17.

The Cougars extended this lead to 24-21 on a Miller kill and a Jones-Perry kill gave BYU a 2-0 lead.

The teams stayed within one point of each other early in the final set, going back and forth until BYU took a two-point lead at 11-9. The Cougars extended their lead to four at 15-11 thanks to back-to-back Cosy Burnett kills.

BYU extended its lead to 20-15 before Oregon got back within two at 20-18.

The Cougars rallied with a four-point run to put them at match point and a kill from Jones-Perry ended the game at 25-19.

The team advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament and will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats on Dec. 8.

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