PORTLAND, Ore. - Lyndie Haddock-Eppich surpassed 3,000 career assists as the No. 1 BYU women's volleyball team defeated Portland (25-21, 25-16, 25-20) in front of a record-breaking crowd of 2,259 at the Chiles Center on Thursday.
Needing 14 assists to hit the 3K mark going into the night, Haddock-Eppich totaled 34 assists along with seven digs, five blocks, four kills and an ace to become the fifth BYU player in program rally era history and ninth in overall program history to reach the milestone.
Freshman Heather Gneiting had the best match of her young career, notching a career high 13 kills to go with nine blocks, one short of tying a career high. Senior Roni Jones-Perry added 13 kills while junior McKenna Miller totaled 11 kills, three digs, three blocks and an ace.
"We came out focused right from the start of the match," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Lyndie set a great match and she and Heather had a great connection tonight. We showed some fight in the third set and I loved it."
Jones-Perry had three-straight kills to give BYU (21-0, 11-0 WCC) an early 4-1 lead, but Portland (16-6, 4-6) came back to tie the set at 8-8. The Cougars, however, would not relinquish the lead, going ahead by as many as six points at 21-15 after back-to-back kills by Gneiting. A final kill by freshman Madi Robinson gave BYU the 25-21 victory.
Haddock-Eppich earned her 3,000th career assist after a kill by Miller to tie the set at 8-8. The play marked the start of a 6-0 Cougar run that included an ace by Miller and kills from Jones-Perry and Gneiting to give BYU a 13-8 advantage. The Cougars extended the lead by as many as eight at 18-10, eventually taking the set 25-16 on another Miller kill.
BYU took an 11-8 lead in the third set before Portland came on the attack, tying the set at 11-11 and then going up by as many as four points at 17-13. But three-straight kills by Miller brought the Cougars to within one, 18-17. The Pilots led as late as 20-19, but BYU raced to the finish line behind a 6-1 run, including consecutive blocks by Haddock-Eppich and Gneiting. Jones-Perry finished off the night with a kill for the final 25-20 margin.
BYU travels next to Spokane, Washington, to take on Gonzaga (6-15, 3-7) on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. MT. The match will be streamed live on TheW.tv and live stats can be found on the BYU women’s volleyball schedule page.
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