University of Portland
Oct 07 | 07:00 PM
0 - 3
Brigham Young University
Smith Fieldhouse

Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606

Hannah Miner | Posted: 7 Oct 2021 | Updated: 26 Oct 2021
Hannah Miner

No. 9 BYU continues winning streak, sweeping Portland

Ballard-Nixon vs Portland
Video file

PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball swept Portland (25-16, 25-15, 25-10) in the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

BYU is now 15-1 overall and 5-0 in West Coast Conference play. The Cougars are on an eight-match winning streak, sweeping the last 24 consecutive sets.

The Cougars recorded a .430 hitting percentage with 47 kills and held Portland to a .027 clip on 18 kills. 

Senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon led BYU with 13 kills, her third match in a row reaching double-digit kills. Opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber recorded nine kills with a .600 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting and middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg both had six kills.

“We all came in focusing on the task and on our own jobs,” Ballard-Nixon said. “We executed our jobs well, and when we do that, we’re able to execute as a team.”

BYU earned the first point of the match with a kill from Koerber. Shortly into the set, the Cougars went on a 6-0 scoring run featuring kills from Koerber, Ballard-Nixon and Eschenberg, followed by a service ace from libero Madi Allen.

Back-to-back aces from Koerber brought the score to 14-3. BYU continued to widen the gap, leading by 13 points at 18-5. All of Portland’s points were the result of BYU errors. The Pilots were finally able to push past BYU’s defense, going on a 7-0 scoring run, which brought the score to 22-15. However, BYU's 18 kills and .455 clip surpassed Portland's seven kills and .273. This would result in a set win for the Cougars, 25-16.

A kill by Portland’s Charity Bradley, daughter of BYU Basketball alumnus Shawn Bradley, earned the Pilots the first point of the second set. The score remained tight during the beginning of the set. However, the Cougars earned their first substantial lead after several Portland errors and a kill from Ballard-Nixon, bringing the score to 13-8.

BYU maintained its lead throughout the rest of the set. A block from Gneiting and another kill from Ballard-Nixon brought the score to 17-9. The Pilots pushed back with a few points of their own, but the team's clip of -.036 with nine errors, gave BYU the set win of 25-15.

Eschenberg opened the third set with a kill, giving BYU the first point of the final set. Portland answered with a three points of its own, gaining a brief lead. A quick 6-0 scoring run gave BYU a 9-5 lead. Portland managed four points before BYU went on a 9-0 scoring run. Tack on three kills by Ballard-Nixon and the Cougars led 23-9. The Pilots would earn one more point before a final kill from Ballard-Nixon and an ace from Eschenberg completed the sweep, with a 25-10 final score in the third set.

BYU’s next match will be against Gonzaga this Saturday, Oct. 9 at 12 p.m. MDT. The match will take place at the Smith Fieldhouse and will be available on BYUtv, at and on the BYU App.


Natalie Orr | Posted: 5 Oct 2021 | Updated: 26 Oct 2021
Natalie Orr

No. 9 BYU hosts WCC opponents Portland and Gonzaga

No. 9 BYU

PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU women's volleyball will host West Coast Conference opponents Portland and Gonzaga this week, on Oct. 7 and Oct. 9, respectively. 

On Thursday, the Cougars will face the Pilots in the Smith Fieldhouse. In the program's history, BYU holds a 19-1 record over Portland. On a nine-match winning streak, the Cougars only posted one loss back in Oct. 2016. 

On Saturday, BYU will continue conference play and host Gonzaga. The Cougars hold another impressive record of 23-1 against the Bulldogs. BYU last lost to Gonzaga back in Nov. 2011.

No. 9 Brigham Young University Cougars (14-1, 4-0 West Coast Conference)

  • The Cougars are on a seven-match winning streak, winning all 21 sets and sweeping each team
  • On Monday, the conference dubbed middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg WCC Defensive Player of the Week
  • Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting ranks No. 3 in the NCAA for hitting percentage, holding a .466 clip
  • As a team, BYU ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in opposite hitting percentage (.114), No. 3 in hitting percentage (.324), No. 6 in kills per set (14.31), No. 9 in aces per set (2.04) and No. 20 in assists per set (12.85). Aside from ranking No. 2 in assists per set, the Cougars lead the WCC in the other four categories.

University of Portland Pilots (4-9, 1-3 West Coast Conference)

  • Most recently, the Pilots posted two losses at home against Pacific (0-3) and Saint Mary’s (2-3)
  • Setter Paloma Bowman ranks No. 6 in the NCAA in triple doubles
  • Offensively, Jayde Harris leads the team with 136 kills and 18 service aces
  • Defensively, Grace Zilbert leads with 133 digs
  • Jiana Lawson has four solo blocks and 24 block assists

Gonzaga University Bulldogs (5-10, 1-3 West Coast Conference)

  • Last week, the Bulldogs hosted both Saint Mary’s and Pacific. The team posted a 3-1 win over Saint Mary’s, but fell 1-3 to Pacific. 
  • Gonzaga ranks No. 13 in the NCAA in aces per set (2) and No. 23 in team service aces (106). The team leads the WCC in the latter category.
  • Mckenna Marshall leads the team offensively, racking up 179 kills thus far. Kennedy Croft follows closely behind with 143 kills.
  • The team averages 11.1 kills per set, 1.6 blocks per set and holds an average hitting percentage of .199

Broadcast Information – Oct. 7

Broadcast Information – Oct. 9


Purchase tickets online via


Consistent with current Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and BYU requirements, BYU Athletics will require masks in indoor venues when physical distancing isn’t maintained. This includes a requirement for those attending indoor athletic events, such as volleyball in the Smith Fieldhouse and inside the loges at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Wearing a mask will be required for entry to indoor BYU venues. Masks will not be required for outdoor BYU venues.

BYU strongly urges students, employees and campus guests to follow recent counsel from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get vaccinated and wear masks.

The university will continue to monitor the situation and will reevaluate mask requirements at the end of September based on several factors including the immunization rate of the campus community, COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates, and guidance from health and government officials.