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.