Senior middle blocker Whitney Young Howard helped No. 14 BYU women’s volleyball past Pacific in three sets (25-15, 25-20, 25-19) Thursday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
“Tonight was a great team win,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We had good energy and were really focused. Lyndie (Haddock) did a great job spreading out the offense and everyone got involved. I'm happy for the team.”
Howard led the Cougars with a career-high-tying 12 kills while hitting on a .600 clip. McKenna Miller added nine kills and Veronica Jones-Perry had eight kills. Lyndie Haddock set the team with 34 assists, while Mary Lake chipped in 13 digs. Amy Boswell collected a match-high five blocks to go with eight kills and Lacy Haddock contributed six kills in the win.
BYU (21-3, 10-2 West Coast Conference) and Pacific (14-11, 8-5 WCC) stayed within a point of each other to start the first set until a Jones-Perry ace gave the Cougars a 5-3 edge. A pair of kills from Howard forced the Tigers to take their first timeout of the set, trailing 10-7. A Lacy Haddock kill extended BYU’s lead to seven at 16-9 and a 5-0 run increased the advantage to 11, 21-10. Pacific scored the next three-consecutive points, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars took the set 25-15 on a Howard kill.
A Miller kill gave BYU the first point of the second set en route to an early 4-2 lead. A pair of Tiger errors extended the Cougars’ advantage to four at 8-4, but Pacific scored five of the next six points to tie the score at 9-9. The set remained close from there until a 4-1 Tiger run gave Pacific its first lead of the set at 14-13. BYU retook the advantage with a 7-1 run, capped off by a Miller kill, to go up 23-19. A Howard kill again ended the set for the Cougars, 25-20.
BYU took a 6-2 advantage to begin the third set, capped off by a Boswell kill. The Tigers scored the next three points from blocks, but the Cougars rebounded by collecting the next three points to go back up 9-5. With three kills from Howard, BYU went on a 4-1 rally to extend its advantage to six, 15-9, forcing a Pacific timeout. A pair of Boswell blocks kept the Cougars ahead 19-12, and an ace from her gave BYU a double-digit advantage at 23-13. The Tigers countered with a 6-1 rally, but the Cougars finished off the set, 25-19, on another Howard kill.
BYU returns to action on the road Saturday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. PDT, against Saint Mary’s. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
Royce Hinton is the men's and women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.