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No. 9 BYU Rolls at Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball team won its fifth-straight match to improve to 11-2 on the year, defeating Portland in a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-21, 25-18) on Saturday.
"We served well today and it put us in some good spots to block some balls," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We fought hard all match and I loved the team win."
Senior McKenna Miller led the Cougars with nine kills while collecting three aces for the second-consecutive match. Sophomore Madelyn Robinson racked up eight kills.
Freshman setter Whitney Bower added a career high seven blocks with 28 assists, six digs, three aces and two kills. Sophomore Heather Gneiting tacked on eight blocks and five kills.
BYU hit .429 in the set with just one error against 13 kills. The Cougars took an 8-7 lead and turned into a 16-9 margin capped off by a kill from Miller. BYU led by as many as eight at 23-15 after an ace by Mary Lake. A Pilot service error ended the set at 25-20.
The Cougars found themselves down 16-13 in set two until switching the set around behind Miller’s serve. Robinson had back-to-back kills then later used consecutive aces by Miller to take a 19-17 lead. BYU led 22-21 until a kill by Heather Gneiting, a block by Gneiting and Bower, and a final kill from Bower finished things at 25-21.
Portland service errors and consecutive blocks by Gneiting and Bower put BYU ahead, 9-4. Portland got within two at 13-11, but two kills by Kate Grimmer sandwiched a Miller ace to pull the Cougars ahead, 16-11. Portland never got closer than four points again, with BYU winning the match on a final kill by Miller to win 25-18.
BYU has a quick turnaround with the Cougars’ next contest coming Tuesday, Oct. 1, against LMU in Provo at 7 p.m. MT.
No. 9 Cougars Begin WCC Play
PROVO, Utah – Coming off a big week with two wins over top-20 teams, the No. 9 BYU women's volleyball team goes on the road this week to begin West Coast Conference action.
The Cougars (9-2) will first play at Gonzaga (6-6) on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 6 p.m. PT before traveling down to Portland (8-3) on Saturday, Sept. 28, at noon PT. Both matches will be shown live on the WCC Network.
BYU is riding high after defeating No. 18 Utah, three sets to one, followed by a victory at Stanford, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Now with the non-conference slate over and conference play set for the next 18 matches, the Cougars are focused on trying to win their sixth-straight WCC title and seventh in the last eight years.
BYU is 19-1 all-time against Gonzaga and 8-0 under head coach Heather Olmstead, having swept the Bulldogs each of the last four meetings. The Cougars are 15-1 all-time against Portland with a 7-1 record under Olmstead – since that loss in five sets in 2016, BYU has swept the Pilots five-straight times.
Senior outside hitter McKenna Miller was named WCC Player of the Week for the second time this season after hitting .319 last week, including 22 kills against Utah and 18 at Stanford. She currently leads all WCC players in kills and points per set and recently moved up to sixth on the BYU rally scoring era career kills list.