Gabriel Mayberry, Gabriel Mayberry
17 wVLB vs Pepperdine
An ecstatic Sydnie Martindale celebrates with her team after scoring another point.
The recently ranked #9 Cougars defeat Pepperdine 4-1 on September, 26.
September 26, 2017
Photography by Gabriel Mayberry /BYU
© BYU PHOTO 2017
All Rights Reserved
PROVO — Veronica Jones-Perry was swinging early and often for the No. 9-ranked Cougars on Tuesday, and that’s almost always a good thing. The junior outside hitter scored a match-high 23 kills on a .295 hitting percentage to help lift BYU over visiting Pepperdine in four sets (25-17, 18-25, 25-21, 25-21.)
It was the type of play that BYU coach Heather Olmstead has grown accustomed to, considering Jones-Perry’s average of 4.53 kills per set on the year. She proved a bit better than her average against the Waves, swinging away at every part of the court until scoring the match-winning point.
“Roni (Jones-Perry) does such a great job. We counted on her a lot to get some kills, including that match point,” Olmstead said. “She’s just being so consistent right now, and she’s focusing on herself. She’s being self-aware and I’m just happy that she’s playing well.”
Jones-Perry set the tone early, scoring seven kills on a .538 clip in the first set, as the Cougars cruised. The tide was turned in the second set, however, as Pepperdine made adjustments and took advantage of some inconsistent play from the Cougars.
“We kind of threw them on their heels, but in the second set our serving got tentative and you could see that in our numbers,” Olmstead said. “We couldn’t stop them, and we had a tough time keeping their hitting percentage down. And that was the difference in that second set.”
The third and fourth sets saw both teams prove more consistent, which led to some long points and some generally well-played volleyball.
The third set saw the Cougar squander an early lead, only to fight back to end the set on an 8-3 run, with Cosy Burnett closing the set out with a well-placed kill. Burnett led a middle block that accounted for 17 team blocks to…