BYU women’s volleyball loses Sweet 16 match to No. 4 Kentucky

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Savannah Hopkinson
Veronica Jones-Perry celebrates a point with her teammates on Oct. 14 against Gonzaga. Jones-Perry selected BYU out of multiple schools to continue her volleyball career after high school. (Savannah Hopkinson)

The No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball team finished its season Friday afternoon after losing to No. 4 seed Kentucky in five sets (20-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, 15-9) in the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament.

The Cougars finished the season 30-3.

“I’m very proud of the match our team played today,” said BYU coach Heather Olmstead. “All year we’ve challenged them to work hard to see how good we could be, and we saw that we are a really good team. Congratulations to Kentucky on a great match.”

Veronica Jones-Perry lead the team with 24 kills and eight digs while Lyndie Haddock assisted the team with a season-high of 52 and an additional 10 digs for a double-double.

Mary Lake added 19 digs while Kennedy Redding contributed seven blocks.

BYU gained an early 7-3 lead in the first set against the Wildcats thanks to a Lyndie Haddock solo block to cap a 6-1 run.

The Cougars extended their lead after a Jones-Perry kill, making it 12-7.

BYU then went on a 4-1 run to push its lead to eight points.

Kentucky responded with a 4-0 run of its own to get back within four at 16-12.

The Wildcats continued to fight and pulled within two at 20-18 before the Cougars rallied and took the set at 25-20 on a Jones-Perry kill.

Both teams stayed within one point of each other up until 5-5 in the second set.

From there, Kentucky opened a two-point lead before BYU responded with three-straight points to take the lead at 10-9.

The Wildcats responded with five-consecutive points to extend their lead at 14-10 before surging ahead and taking the set 25-17.

A Cosy Burnett kill tied the score at 4-4 early in the third set, which remained close until a 3-0 run from the Wildcats gave them a 14-11 advantage.

BYU cut the lead back to two before a Sydney Martindale ace brought the Cougars back within a point down at 19-18.

Back-to-back kills from Burnett made it 21-21 and the Cougars won the set thanks to consecutive Kentucky errors.

Kentucky responded to BYU’s lead by starting strong in the fourth set. The Wildcats went on a 3-0 rally to open a 6-2 lead.

The Cougars responded with a 5-1 run to get back within a point, down 8-7. After several BYU errors, Kentucky capitalized and took the lead at 14-8.

The two teams traded points until a 3-0 BYU rally pulled BYU within four at 20-16.

However, the run proved to be too late for BYU as Kentucky won the set 25-18 to force a fifth and final set.

Jones-Perry started the Cougars out strong in the fifth set with back-to-back kills and BYU opened a 5-1 lead.

The Wildcats responded with an impressive 8-1 run to take an advantage at 10-7.

Overall, Kentucky finished the set on a 14-4 run, taking the set and match at 15-9.

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