Portsmouth Ave Portland OR 97203
PORTLAND, Ore.—Senior middle blocker Nicole Warner led the No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball team to its second sweep in a row Saturday, defeating Portland 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19).
BYU moves to 21-2 overall and 9-2 in West Coast Conference play. Portland is 6-19 and 0-10 in league play.
"It's exciting to win both these matches on this road trip," head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "It was a road trip we were looking forward to and we knew the importance of winning both these matches, so I'm happy for the girls."
Warner recorded eight kills and eight blocks to lead the Cougars. Two other Cougars also had eight kills—freshmen Kimberly Dahl and Alexa Gray. Heather Hannemann had 28 assists and libero Tia Withers had 12 digs.
The Cougars struggled to break free of nine ties in the first set. BYU finally got ahead 10-8 on Portland errors. The Pilots didn’t let the Cougars get far, tying it back up at 16-16. Tied at 18-18, BYU went on a 7-1 run with the help of a block and two kills by Warner to close out the set 25-19.
A 5-2 run gave BYU an 11-7 lead in the second set. Warner and Jennifer Hamson fought off the Pilots’ attempt to cut down the lead with a block that put the score at 13-10 for the Cougars. Portland couldn’t get closer than three points the rest of the set and a Pilot service error finished off the set 25-17 for BYU.
The third set went much the same as the first two, with Portland keeping the score close and pushing BYU into several ties. Warner and Dahl kept the Pilots back with two kills. Hamson increased that lead to 17-13 with an ace and a kill. Another 5-1 run, capped by a final block by Hamson and Warner, gave the match to BYU.
The Cougars return to Provo next week to host San Diego Wednesday in a matchup of the top two teams in the conference. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Cougar volleyball visits the Northwest for two matches
PROVO, Utah—Now 19-2 on the season, the No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball team heads to the Northwest for matchups against Gonzaga Thursday and Portland Saturday.
BYU (7-2 West Coast Conference) faces the Bulldogs (9-13, 1-8 WCC) at 6 p.m. PDT on Thursday before traveling south to face the Pilots (6-17, 0-9 WCC) at 3 p.m. PDT, Saturday.
Three Cougars rank in the top 25 for NCAA stats with Nicole Warner coming in at No. 3 for blocks per set (1.68). Heather Hannemann is No. 20 in assists per set with 11.36 and Jennifer Hamson jumped to No. 21 for points per set with 4.91.
BYU stayed at the top of the pack for hitting percentage at .319 and came in at No. 13 for blocks per set (2.95). Last week’s loss to Santa Clara dropped BYU from first place in win-loss record to No. 4, behind only Penn State (20-1), Oregon (18-1) and Central Arkansas (22-2).
Four WCC teams were ranked in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll with San Diego coming in at No. 14, Pepperdine at No. 23 and Saint Mary's at No. 25. The last time the conference had four teams ranked was in 2008 when San Diego was ranked No. 14, Santa Clara No. 22, Pepperdine No. 23 and San Francisco No. 25.
The Cougars are No. 15 in the RPI rankings, the highest in the conference.
The Cougars took down the Bulldogs in three sets in the teams’ first meeting this season. BYU leads the series 6-1-0.
Gonzaga comes off a loss to No. 24 Pepperdine last week.
Savannah Blinn leads Gonzaga on offense with 3.39 kills per set. Lauren Joseph dishes out 4.80 assists per set, while Kristina Lavrisha averages 3.86 digs. Meredith Crenshaw leads in blocking with 0.93 per set.
BYU has already met success against the Pilots this season, defeating them 3-0 at the beginning of October. BYU now leads the all-time series 3-0-0.
The Pilots will face San Francisco on the Dons’ home court Thursday before taking on BYU.
Ariel Usher leads the Pilots with 2.91 kills per set, helped out by Monica Jordan’s 5.48 assists average. On defense are Jacky Rodriguez with 3.10 digs per set and Rachel Femling with 0.87 blocks per set.
How to watch
Find live video streaming and live stats for the Portland match on Portland’s Game Central page.