Jones-Perry and No. 1 BYU sweep Portland
PROVO, Utah – No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball swept Portland (25-14, 25-15, 25-18) in the Cougars’ fifth West Coast Conference match of the season at the Smith Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
"I really liked our serve and pass game today," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We got in a good rhythm offensively and defensively we touched a lot of balls."
Senior Roni Jones-Perry led BYU with a match-high 13 kills. Freshman Madelyn Robinson followed with eight kills. Heather Gneiting contributed seven kills and three blocks, and McKenna Miller added six kills and three blocks. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich collected 29 assists and Mary Lake had 12 digs.
BYU (15-0, 5-0 WCC) began the first set tied 3-3 with Portland (12-4, 0-4 WCC) but advanced to 6-4 after kills by Jones-Perry and Kennedy Eschenberg. A kill by Robinson kept the Cougars ahead at 12-5 following a five-point run. A team effort with kills from Jones-Perry and Gneiting gave the Cougars a 6-1 run and forced a Portland timeout, putting BYU up 21-9. An ace from Haddock-Eppich continued the Cougars’ lead at 23-11. BYU took set point after a kill by Robinson and finished the set 25-14 off a service error from Portland.
The Pilots took a 2-0 advantage at the beginning of the second set, but back-to-back kills from Jones-Perry pushed the Cougars ahead 4-2. Robinson had a kill after a lengthy rally to continue BYU’s lead, 7-4. An ace by Sydnie Martindale kept the Cougars up 13-7. Blocks from Gneiting and Haddock-Eppich added to BYU’s 6-0 run, putting the score at 16-7. The Cougars pushed ahead to 20-9 after kills from Lacy Haddock and Haddock-Eppich. After another long rally, the Cougars took the point, 22-12, from a block by Stapleton and Haddock-Eppich. The Cougars reached set point after a kill from Haddock and took the second set 25-15 off of a Gneiting kill.
The third set began with a 3-3 tie, but the Cougars quickly pulled ahead after a 4-0 run with kills from Robinson and Miller, bringing the score to 7-3. Kills from Eschenberg and Gneiting continued BYU’s advantage at 11-6. Portland came back within four after capitalizing on a pair of BYU errors, bringing the score to 14-10. The Cougars increased their lead, 18-12, fueled by kills from Jones-Perry, Haddock and Eschenberg. An ace from Lake and kills from Miller disrupted pressure from the Pilots to bring the Cougars to 23-17 and force a Pilot timeout. Back-to-back kills from Jones-Perry brought the Cougars to a 25-18 win and sweep over Portland.
The Cougars are back on the road for their next WCC matchup against San Diego on Friday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. PDT. The match will be broadcast on TheW.tv.
No. 1 BYU to play three WCC foes
PROVO, Utah – No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball will play three West Coast Conference foes this week, traveling to Pepperdine before taking on Gonzaga and Portland at home.
The Cougars (12-0, 2-0 WCC) swept Pacific and Saint Mary’s at home to open up league play, hitting a combined .518 clip as a team on the week.
- BYU faces Pepperdine (8-4, 2-0 WCC) Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. PDT, at the Firestone Fieldhouse.
- The Cougars are 24-8 all-time against the Waves and hold a 7-2 record when playing them on the road.
- Pepperdine has won four of its last five matches, most recently beating Portland and Gonzaga on the road to open league play.
- The Waves were picked to finish fourth in 2018 following a 16-15, 8-10 season a year ago.
- BYU will then face Gonzaga (4-9, 1-1 WCC) Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. MDT, at the Smith Fieldhouse.
- The Cougars hold a 17-1 advantage in the overall series history with the Zags and are 8-1 when playing at home.
- The Bulldogs have won just one of their last four matches, but beat a surging Loyola Marymount team to begin conference play.
- Gonzaga was picked to finish fifth in the 2018 season after going 14-16, 9-9 in 2017.
- BYU finishes out the week at home facing Portland (12-2, 0-2 WCC) Saturday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. MDT.
- The Cougars are 13-1 against the Pilots all-time, including 7-0 when facing them at home.
- Portland began the season with a perfect 12-0 record – its best-ever start to a season. The Pilots then struggled at home last week with losses to Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount.
- Portland was picked eighth in the WCC Preseason Coaches’ Poll following a 15-15, 6-12 record in 2017.
Tuesday’s match at Pepperdine will be televised live on ESPNU. Thursday’s match at home with Gonzaga will be streamed live on TheW.tv, and Saturday’s match with Portland will be televised live on BYUtv. Links to live stats and video feeds for each match can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.