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BYU Volleyball Advances To Third Ever National Semifinal With 3-0 Win Over Texas

Dec 8, 2018, 7:53 PM | Updated: Dec 10, 2018, 11:28 am
BYU celebrates match point over Texas. The BYU Women's Volleyball team defeated Texas 3-0 in the Re...
BYU celebrates match point over Texas. The BYU Women's Volleyball team defeated Texas 3-0 in the Regional Final of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championships. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU)
(Jaren Wilkey, BYU)

PROVO, Utah – It took two comeback set wins but BYU beat No. 5 Texas 3-0 to advance to the NCAA Women’s Volleyball National Semifinal in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Roni Jones-Perry had an outstanding performance as she racked up 25 kills, including the last two kills to win the match. She had 25 of BYU’s 51 kills. Heather Gneiting added 9 kills.

The Cougars advanced to their third National Semifinal in school history, their first since 2014.

BYU Comes Back To Win First Set

After Texas scored the first point of the game, BYU scored three straight before the Longhorns responded with two straight to tie the game at 3 in the first set.

BYU was up 5-4 but Texas outscored the Cougars 5-0 to lead 9-5. The Cougars responded with two straight led by Jones-Perry to cut the lead to 9-7.

Texas held a 17-13 lead and BYU scored two points but Texas’ lead was back to 18-15 after a net violation but the Cougars rattled off two straight points to pull within one, forcing Texas to call a timeout. Eschenberg scored two of the four BYU points in that run.

The Cougars tied the game at 20 when they scored three unanswered points before Haddock-Eppich’s block gave BYU the lead back late in the set, 21-20.

Haddock-Eppich had a kill that gave BYU a two point lead but Texas pulled one point back before Jones-Perry had a kill to put the Cougars two points away from winning the set.

Longhorns’ Logan Eggleston gave her team some light with two kills for Texas but Jones-Perry’s kill put BYU on set point.

Eschenberg gave BYU the first set with a kill. BYU wins the opening set 25-23.

Jones-Perry had 5 kills while Eschenberg and Gneiting had 4 kills apiece.

Cougars Snatch Second Set

Jones-Perry scored BYU’s first four points of the set and then would get three more points from blocks to lead 7-3.

Texas responded with a 2-0 run of their own to trim the lead to 7-5.

When BYU was leading 12-9, the Longhorns scored three unanswered points to tie the game at 13. Gneiting stopped the run with a kill but Texas rattled off two more to take the lead 14-13.

Jones-Perry scored BYU’s next two points but Texas added another score to tie the set at 15. Two blocks by Eschenberg gave the Cougars a 17-15 lead and Smith Fieldhouse erupted. The Longhorns managed to tie the set at 19 but BYU scored three straight points on one kill and two blocks.

BYU was up 24-20 as Texas saved three set points but still trailed by one, 24-23. The Cougars won their second set 25-23 on a kill from Jones-Perry.

Another Comeback Send BYU To Minneapolis

Texas gained a 7-5 lead to start the third set before BYU battled back to an 8-7 deficit. When the set was tied at 10, Texas went on a 5-2 run to lead 15-12.

Both teams scored two straight points with Texas holding a 17-14 advantage. Then the Cougars added another 2-0 run to trim the lead to 17-16.

Each school exchanged two points before Texas added a kill to lead 20-18 approaching set point. Jones-Perry and a service ace tied the game at 20.

A kill by Texas gave them a one point lead but an attack error and a kill by Jones-Perry gave BYU the lead back, 22-21. Lacy Haddock added a kill to put BYU on a 3-0 run to lead 23-21 approaching match point.

Roni Jones-Perry capped the match with two kills and BYU takes the third set 25-21. They punched their third ticket to the National Semifinals in school history and first appearance since 2014.

“I have a lot of love for this team and the fans,” said BYU head coach Heather Olmstead. “I thought that we stayed composed through the whole match.”

Up Next

BYU will face the winner of Stanford and Penn State on Thursday in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball National Semifinal.

“I love the opportunity to play in the next match and keep going. It’s going to be an awesome match,” Olmstead said.

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