Pin hitters help No. 3 BYU sweep past Syracuse


MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The pin-hitting duo of Roni Jones-Perry and McKenna Miller helped No. 3 BYU women’s volleyball sweep past Syracuse (25-23, 25-20, 25-20) Friday night at the Al McGuire Center as part of the Marquette Invitational.

“Lyndie (Haddock-Eppich) set a smart match and got a lot of players involved offensively,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We had good block touches and stayed steady the whole match.”

Jones-Perry led the Cougars with 16 kills to go with four blocks and five digs while McKenna Miller put up 15 kills on a .429 clip. Lyndie Haddock-Eppich contributed 36 assists and Kennedy Eschenberg had seven blocks. Mary Lake and Sydnie Martindale added seven digs apiece in the win.

Syracuse (2-1) got off to a 4-2 lead to start the first set against BYU (7-0) after three-consecutive kills. The Cougars countered with a 5-1 run, which included two kills from Miller, to go ahead 7-5. BYU stayed ahead at 14-9 following a block by Eschenberg and Jones-Perry. The Cougars were up by six before Syracuse went on an 8-1 run to take a 19-18 lead. The Orange remained ahead 23-21 after a kill, but a pair of kills from Jones-Perry helped BYU on a 4-0 rally to secure the set, 25-23.

Syracuse took a 7-3 advantage to begin the second set after a strong offensive attack. From there, the Cougars went on a 7-2 run, capped off by consecutive Jones-Perry kills, to take a 10-9 edge. The two squads continued to stay within a point of each other until a Haddock-Eppich and Heather Gneiting block, followed by three Jones-Perry kills, pushed BYU in front 19-15. An ace from Lake made it 23-18 before Martindale ended the set 25-20 on an ace.

The Cougars jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third set, capitalizing on several Orange errors. Syracuse inched its way back in the set, down by two at 9-7, but BYU scored the next three points to extend the advantage back to five, 12-7. The Orange then put up back-to-back blocks en route to a 5-1 run to get back within a point at 13-12. A Madi Robinson kill and two more kills from Roni Jones-Perry pushed the Cougars ahead 18-14. BYU maintained its lead from there, taking the set and match 25-20 on a Miller kill.

The Cougars will compete against No. 25 Marquette next, facing off against the Golden Eagles Saturday, Sept. 8, at 6 p.m. CDT. The match will be streamed live and live stats will be available. Links can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.