BYU volleyball: Cougars defeat Arizona State in five-set thriller at NCAAs

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Honolulu • A year after a surprise run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women's volleyball tournament, the BYU Cougars made it out of the first round on Friday night.

But just barely.

Alexa Gray had 27 kills and Tambre Haddock added 18 as BYU outlasted Arizona State 3-2 in a five-set thriller at the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii. BYU will meet the winner of the late Hawaii-Idaho State match on Saturday in the second round.

The Cougars (23-6) were seemingly on their way to winning in four sets, but the Sun Devils (19-14) rallied from a late six-point deficit to force the fifth and deciding set.

The scores were 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 24-26 and 15-10.

Two weeks ago, No. 21 BYU fell to No. 9 San Diego in five sets in what amounted to be the West Coast Conference championship match. This time, the Cougars closed out the Sun Devils, breaking from a 5-4 deficit in the fifth set with a 5-2 run

Arizona State, making its second straight NCAA appearance, was coached by former BYU coach Jason Watson.