PROVO, Utah – Whitney Young Howard's career high in kills helped carry No. 12 BYU women's volleyball over Portland in a three-set (25-10, 32-30, 25-15) win Saturday afternoon at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“I thought our team played well as a whole, but I thought our seniors played exceptionally well,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “Whitney (Young Howard), Amy (Boswell), Hannah (Robison) and Makenna (Santiago) all brought it tonight and it was fun to go out and play for them on Senior Day.”
Howard led the team in kills with 14 and Lacy Haddock added a total of 12. Lyndie Haddock recorded 42 assists and 15 digs for a double-double. Amy Boswell led with six total blocks and 10 kills. Mary Lake added to the total number of digs with 23 and tallied five assists.
BYU (24-3, 13-2 West Coast Conference) kicked off the first set with a kill from Boswell. Portland (15-12, 8-7 WCC) took the next point, but the Cougars took the lead at 6-3 with three-consecutive kills from Howard. With two kills from Lacy Haddock and a few errors from Portland, BYU rallied to an 11-point lead over the Pilots, 12-3. With a Boswell block and her second kill of the game, the Cougars went up 21-5. As McKenna Miller took her second kill of the game at 24-7, Portland went on a three-point rally to try and close the gap before set point, down 24-10. Miller’s set-ending kill brought the Cougars their first set win of the match at 25-10.
At the start of the second set Portland came out strong, taking an early lead over the Cougars 4-2. BYU gained momentum after three kills from Veronica Jones-Perry and two kills from Lacy Haddock, bringing the Cougars to a three-point lead over the Pilots at 8-5. After three errors from the Cougars, Portland fought back, tightening the score, down 11-10. A long rally between the two teams ended with a kill from Portland’s Hannah Troutman, taking them 12-11 over BYU. Lake had two aggressive defensive saves for BYU as the teams battled back-and-forth with points until the Pilots took a two-point advantage over BYU, 16-14. With a Howard kill and Boswell block, the Cougars tied the set at 16-16. The Pilots maintained their lead, but BYU continued to battle back with a total of five blocks between Miller, Howard and Jones-Perry, trailing 23-22. As the Pilots climbed their way to set point, the Cougars trailed by one, but Boswell tied the score with her sixth kill of the game at 24-all. The teams continued to trade points until a kill from Howard brought BYU up 31-30 over the Pilots. Boswell ended the long set at 32-30 with a kill.
Portland began the third set of the match up taking a quick two-point lead at 3-1. The Pilots stretched their lead after two attack errors from BYU to go up 5-2. Howard tied up the set, passing her previous career high in kills, at 5-5. Strong offensive attacks from Miller, Haddock and Jones-Perry carried the lead over the Pilots, 9-7. Lacy Haddock, Miller and Boswell then traded kills for the Cougars, increasing their advantage to nine at 18-9. A service ace from Lyndie Haddock inched the Cougars closer to match point with an 11-point lead at 22-11. Portland attacked back to try and close the gap, but Jones-Perry finished off the third and final set of the match with a kill, giving BYU a 25-15 set three win.
The Cougars hit the road next, facing San Francisco on Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. PST. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv. Links to live stats and a video feed can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.