Cougars Sweep WCC Awards
PROVO, Utah - Behind a fifth-straight West Coast Conference title, including a 17-1 record in conference, the BYU women's volleyball team swept the WCC yearly awards and had five players named All-WCC.
Senior outside hitter Roni Jones-Perry was named Player of the Year, junior libero Mary Lake was named Defender of the Year, freshman middle blocker Heather Gneiting was named Freshman of the Year and Heather Olmstead was named Coach of the Year.
Jones-Perry, Lake and Gneiting were also named All-WCC and were joined by senior setter Lyndie Haddock-Eppich and junior outside hitter McKenna Miller. Gneiting was also named to the conference's Freshman Team. BYU's five all-conference first team honors are the most in a single season in program history and the most in the conference since Pepperdine had five in 2001.
A national player of the year candidate, Jones-Perry is ranked No. 5 in the nation in points per set, No. 11 in kills per set and No. 38 in aces per set. In 18 WCC games, Jones-Perry led the conference in kills per set, was second in aces per set and was sixth in hitting percentage. A 2017 All-American and 2018 Academic All-District honoree, the senior is the 12th player in BYU history to earn conference player of the year honors.
Lake was awarded her second-straight WCC Defender of the Year award after leading a backline that has helped BYU rank No. 2 in the country in opponent hitting percentage. The junior finished fifth in the conference in digs per set. Lake was also named All-WCC last season and All-WCC honorable mention as a freshman in 2016.
Gneiting is No. 6 in the nation in blocks per set and No. 16 in hitting percentage and led the league in those same categories in conference play. The freshman has helped the Cougars are No. 1 in hitting percentage and No. 5 in blocks per set nationally.
Haddock-Eppich was named All-WCC after finishing No. 2 in assists per set and No. 10 in blocks per set in WCC play. Ranked No. 27 in the nation overall in assists per set, Haddock-Eppich's All-WCC honor is her second after receiving honorable mention last season.
Miller received her third All-WCC honor after earning a first-team citation in 2016 and honorable mention in 2017. The junior was seventh in the league in kills per set and had multiple matches of four or more aces this year.
Olmstead led the Cougars to a national No. 1 ranking for 11-straight weeks this season during a 27-match win streak. BYU won its fifth-straight WCC championship thanks to a 17-1 conference record and earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament beginning this weekend. Her win percentage of .905 (114-12) in four seasons is the best in NCAA history, including a 66-6 (.917) record in WCC games. The award is Olmstead's second after earning WCC Coach of the Year her first season in 2015.
BYU opens NCAA Tournament play against Stony Brook on Friday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. MT in the Smith Fieldhouse.
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