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No. 6 BYU sweeps Portland on the road
PORTLAND, Ore. – No. 6 BYU women’s volleyball boasted its second sweep over Portland this season (25-21, 25-17, 25-12), overpowering the West Coast Conference opponent in the Chiles Center on Saturday.
This is BYU’s 16th consecutive win, upping the team’s overall record to 23-1. Additionally, the Cougars remain undefeated in the WCC, 13-0.
Offensively, BYU nearly doubled Portland’s 23 kills, tallying 40 for the match. The Cougars held the Pilots to a .062 hitting percentage and 17 attack errors.
Graduate opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber led the match with 12 kills and a .550 clip. She notched her sixth double-double of the season, tacking on 10 digs.
Another double-double came from junior setter Whitney Bower after her 24 assists and 10 digs. Not only is this her 10th double-double of the season, but Bower hit a .750 clip on her eight kills.
Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting impressed offensively and defensively. In addition to tallying four blocks, she held the team’s second highest clip of .625 on her six kills.
A kill from senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon and an ace by sophomore libero Madi Allen started BYU off on a 4-0 run. Portland scraped up four points before the Cougars managed another 4-0 run, including kills by Gneiting and Bower, giving BYU a 9-4 advantage.
From here, the teams traded points evenly, until a 5-0 run by the Cougars, thanks to Ballard-Nixon laying down three back-to-back kills. With BYU leading 19-13, Portland’s Charity Bradley added a kill and a service ace.
Ultimately, three more BYU kills paired with three more errors by Portland resulted in a hard-fought win for the Cougars at 25-21.
Immediately, Bower hit a new season-high, serving up three consecutive aces. Koerber and graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg followed with a block, putting BYU ahead, 4-0. The Cougars gave up two points due to service errors, but Eschenberg and Koerber laid down kills to keep the lead.
A few errors by the Pilots and an ace by senior setter Tayler Hifo widended the gap by six points. Portland put up a 3-0 run, but Livingston and Koerber stopped its momentum with a kill each. Eschenberg tacked on a kill and a solo block, giving BYU a 7-0 run and an 18-7 lead.
Portland’s Jayde Harris notched four quick kills in attempts to battle back at 22-14. However, BYU snagged the set-win at 25-17 after a kill from senior middle blocker Whitney Llarenas.
Koerber added two kills to her tally, but Portland fought back, tying BYU three times by 3-3. Kills by Koerber and Ballard-Nixon assisted the Cougars on a 3-0 run. The match remained tight after three BYU errors allowed Portland to catch up at 9-8.
Even with kills from Bower and Eschenberg, the Pilots managed to tie the score again at 11-11 and 12-12.
A 13-0 run by BYU commenced including Koerber’s 11th and 12th kills of the night and three service aces by Hifo. This inhibited Portland from tallying any more points and secured BYU the sweep at 25-12.
Up next, BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse to host Pepperdine on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 pm MDT.
No. 6 BYU prepares to face Gonzaga and Portland on the road
PROVO, Utah — No. 6 BYU hits the road to face West Coast Conference opponents, Gonzaga and Portland, on Nov. 4 and 6, respectively.
On Thursday at 6 p.m. PDT, the Cougars will face the Bulldogs for the second time this season. Most recently, BYU swept Gonzaga on Oct. 9 in the Smith Fieldhouse. Overall, the Cougars hold a 24-1 all-time record against the team.
On Saturday at 12 p.m. PDT, the Cougars will face the Pilots. On Oct. 7, the teams last faced each other in the Smith Fieldhouse. There, BYU swept Portland and increased its all-time record to 20-1.
No. 6 Brigham Young University Cougars (21-1, 11-0 West Coast Conference)
- The Cougars are on a 14-match winning streak
- The last time BYU was ranked No. 6 or higher was back in 2018
- This is head coach Heather Olmstead’s sixth season with 20+ wins
- Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting ranks No. 4 in the NCAA for hitting percentage, holding a .464 clip
- As a team, BYU ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.345), No. 1 in opponent hitting percentage (.112), No. 4 in match winning percentage (.955), No. 5 in kills per set (14.46), No. 7 in assists per set (13.17) and No. 17 in aces per set (1.89). BYU leads the WCC in all these categories.
Gonzaga University Bulldogs (7-16, 3-9 West Coast Conference)
- Last week, the Bulldogs traveled to face WCC opponents, Pacific and Saint Mary’s. Gonzaga suffered 3-0 losses against both teams.
- Gonzaga ranks No. 36 in the NCAA in aces per set (1.73)
- Mckenna Marshall leads the team offensively, racking up 221 kills thus far. Kennedy Croft follows with 188 kills.
- The team averages 10.74 kills per set, 1.63 blocks per set and holds an average hitting percentage of .185
University of Portland Pilots (5-16, 2-10 West Coast Conference)
- Most recently, the Pilots posted two losses on the road against Pacific (3-0) and Saint Mary’s (3-1)
- Setter Paloma Bowman ranks No. 6 in the NCAA in triple doubles
- Offensively, Jayde Harris leads the team with 224 kills and 28 service aces
- Noelani Helm leads with 362 assists and 122 digs
- The team averages 11.1 kills per set, 1.5 blocks per set and holds an average hitting percentage of .160
Broadcast Information – Nov. 4
- Time: 6 p.m. PDT
- Live Stream: WCC Network
- Live Stats: SIDEARM Stats
Broadcast Information – Nov. 6
- Time: 12 p.m. PDT
- Live Stream: WCC Network
- Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Purchase tickets online for Gonzaga here and for Portland here. Both venues require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for guests over the age of 11.