COLUMBUS, Ohio – Freshmen McKenna Miller and Mary Lake propelled No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball to a come-from-behind five-set (19-25, 24-26, 25-14, 25-20, 15-9) victory Saturday night on the road at Nationwide Arena to win the Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic.
“We showed some unbelievable heart and fight tonight,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “The team never gave up and everybody contributed. I'm really happy for the team.”
Miller led the Cougars with a career-high 31 kills, second-most all-time in the BYU rally-scoring era, to go with four blocks while Lake added a career-high 38 digs in the defensive effort. Lake’s 38 digs were second-most all-time in the BYU rally-scoring era. Additionally, Miller’s 76 attempts tie for most all-time in BYU rally-scoring era history. Lyndie Haddock chipped in a career-high 60 assists and 13 digs for her second career double-double while Danelle Parady-Stetler had a season-high tying 10 digs. Amy Boswell contributed a match-high five blocks to go with 13 kills while Whitney Young Howard added 10 kills and four blocks in the win.
BYU (6-0) scored the first five of six points in the decisive fifth set, with help from a pair of Miller kills, to take a 5-1 lead against Ohio State (5-1). The Buckeyes stayed within four, down 8-4, after a kill from Audra Appold, but the Cougars went on a 4-1 run, capped off by a Boswell and Cosy Burnett block, to take a 12-5 lead. Despite a 4-1 Ohio State run, BYU held on to win the set and match 15-9 on a Boswell kill.
Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set against BYU. Boswell then collected three kills to tie the set at 4-all. The teams traded points from there as a 3-0 Cougar rally tied the set again at 11 apiece. The Buckeyes quickly followed with a 4-0 run of their own to take a 15-11 advantage and force BYU to take its first timeout. Ohio State maintained control of the set from there until a trio of Miller kills brought the Cougars back within a pair, down 19-17. The Buckeyes then reasserted themselves, taking the set 25-19 on a kill from Taylor Sandbothe.
Ohio State got off to another quick start in the second set, taking a 3-1 lead early on. A Veronica Jones-Perry kill kept BYU close in the set, down 7-6. Another 4-1 Buckeye rally put them ahead 11-7 before the Cougars countered with a 4-1 run of their own to get back within a point, down 12-11. Another Jones-Perry kill kept BYU within striking distance, trailing 15-14, but a 5-1 rally from Ohio State followed to give them a 20-15 edge. The Cougars countered with a 5-1 run of their own to come back within a point, 23-22, and three plays later a kill from Howard tied the set at 24-all. The comeback wasn’t enough, however, as the Buckeyes won the close set 26-24 on a kill.
BYU took an incredible 21-2 advantage to start the third set with help from multiple Ohio State miscues and seven kills from Miller. Following an 8-1 Buckeye rally to bring them back within 12, down 22-10, the Cougars ended the set 25-14 after an Ohio State service error.
Another three kills from Miller helped BYU take a 6-1 lead to begin the fourth set. A pair of Boswell kills maintained the Cougar advantage at 11-6 and another two kills from Howard kept BYU ahead 16-8. The Buckeyes followed with a 5-0 run to come back within three, down 16-13, but the Cougars scored the next three to stay ahead by six. BYU then closed out the set 25-20 on back-to-back Ohio State attack errors to send it to the decisive fifth set.
Following the match, Lake and Boswell were added to the all-tournament team with Lake being named the Most Valuable Player of the invitational.
The Cougars stay on the road next week when they compete in the Idaho State Invitational, beginning with Boise State on Friday.