PROVO, Utah — Santa Clara volleyball battled top-ranked BYU close for a set on the road, but the Cougars held on to win the first stanza and went on to sweep Thursday's West Coast Conference match. BYU defeated the Broncos 28-26, 25-17, 25-11 at Smith Fieldhouse to remain perfect on the season.
Kamrin Caoili kept her hot streak going for the Broncos (6-21, 1-14 WCC) by leading all players with 15 kills on .423 hitting. Caoili is hitting .366 with 45 kills over 12 sets (3.75 kills/set) in Santa Clara's last three matches. Chloe Loreen tied for a match-high 18 kills (BYU's Mary Lake) and Liliana Light led the Broncos with 26 assists.
Heather Gneiting paced the BYU offense by hitting .500 with 11 kills while adding a match-best six blocks. She helped the Cougars (24-0, 14-0) outhit the Broncos .248 to .080 and outblock the visiting side 9.5 to 6.0. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich topped all players by racking up 33 assists.
The Broncos held one of the country's top attackers, Roni Jones-Perry, to nine kills on .138 hitting. Jones-Perry had 10-plus kills in 20 of her last 21 matches entering Thursday's tilt and her attack percentage on Thursday marked the lowest since the team's second match of the season, a 3-1 win at Duke on Aug. 25.
Trailing 16-9 in the first set, Santa Clara scored four straight points and extended that rally into an 11-4 run that tied the match at 20. Caoili posted three of her seven first-set kills during that spree. The Broncos fought off four BYU set points before Gneiting came through with a kill to put the Cougars on set point at 27-26; Santa Clara's Michelle Shaffer misfired long on the next point to give BYU the first set.
BYU rolled its first-set momentum into the second frame, taking seven of the first nine points and leading by at least four en route to a two-set lead. The Cougars again grabbed an early lead in the third set and capped the match with a 17-6 run.
Santa Clara continues the toughest road trip in the WCC on Saturday at San Diego with a noon first serve. The Toreros (14-10, 11-3) defeated San Francisco in four sets on Thursday night.
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