Volleyball Falls To No. 14 BYU

Volleyball Falls To No. 14 BYU

Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific volleyball team fell to the visiting #14 BYU Cougars in Thursday night  in the Alex G. Spanos Center, 3-0, (25-15, 25-20, 25-19).

Lexi Elman and Emily Baptista each posted 11 kills, and Katrin Gotterba led all players with 21 digs.

Whitney Howard led the Cougars with 12 kills while Amy Boswell added five blocks in the win.

The loss brings the Tigers to 14-11 on the year, 8-5 in WCC play. The victory propels the Cougars to 21-3 overall, 10-2 in conference action.  

Pacific, which entered the week with an RPI of 58 and an extremely strong strength of schedule with six matches against top 15 teams, was looking for a signature victory to impress the NCAA Selection Committee down the stretch. But the Cougars used their depth to go on late-rotation runs of 5-0 in set one, 4-0 in set two, and 6-1 in set three with Lacy Haddock serving.
 
Down 6-7 in set one, Jessica Diederich served up an ace to knot the score at seven-all. BYU would string together five-straight points behind Haddock to extend their lead 12-7. Pacific would end the Cougar run on an Emily Baptista kill but BYU scored four of the next five points to go up 16-9. Consecutive Lexi Elman kill and service ace cut into the BYU lead, but the Cougars stormed back and take the first set 25-15.  

Ashlyn Fleming opened up the Tiger scoring with a kill, and Elman knotted the score 2-2 with a kill of her own in the second set. The back-and-forth continued with Elman bringing the Tigers within striking distance with a kill, making the score 8-6. Pacific got their first lead of the night off another kill by Elman to pull ahead 14-13, but a kill by Amy Boswell tied the score yet again.  The Orange and Black took the lead 16-15 on another Elman kill, the senior's seventh of the night. After the Cougars broke serve, Haddock held for the Cougars five-point sequence to go up 23-18, and eventually closed out the second set with a 25-20 victory.

It was déjà vu in the third set as Elman once again tied the score 2-2 with a kill. The Cougars would go on a 4-0 run immediately after, but the Tigers came back to pull within one on an Andie Shelton kill and two Cougar attack errors. However, Pacific was whistled for a ball-handling error. BYU surged ahead, as Haddock's served up the opening half of a 6-1 BYU run to seize control. The Tigers rattled off five-straight coming off two Baptista kills to pull within five, but the Cougars halted the potential comeback and took the deciding third set, 25-19.

The Tigers are back in action this Saturday as they take on No. 7 San Diego in the final regular season home game. Pacific will honor seniors Lexi Elman and Alicja Wilk before the game.

Pacific pushed then-No. 5 San Diego to five sets on Oct. 6 on the road, before a momentum swing late in set five allowed the Toreros to escape, 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-12).