Stowell's career night helps No. 15 Cougars sweep Pilots
PORTLAND, Ore. — Led by Elyse Stowell's career-high 10 kills, No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball came from six points down in the third set en route to a sweep of Portland (25-12, 25-20, 26-24) at the Chiles Center on Thursday night.
The Cougars (10-3, 3-0 WCC) hit .326 on the night to the Pilots’ .126 and also benefited from 22 Portland attack errors. Outside hitters Erin Livingston and Stowell pitched in 10 kills each, making up 20 of BYU’s 42 kills.
Middle blocker Heather Gneiting led the Cougars with seven total blocks. Setter Whitney Bower finished with four blocks of her own, and dished out 29 assists as well. Bower and Kate Grimmer each recorded seven digs.
Making her first start of the season, Stowell opened the match with a pair of kills. Two kills by Livingston, followed by a Gneiting solo block, and double block by Gneiting and Bower highlighted a 5-0 BYU run that had the Cougars ahead 7-1, forcing a Portland timeout.
Two Whitney Llarenas kills and a kill by Grimmer spanned a 3-0 BYU run that made it 12-3. A Stowell kill, dump kill by Bower and Pilot attack error had the Cougars on another run of three-straight, putting them up 17-6 and forcing Portland’s second timeout.
Gneiting and Bower teamed up for another double block, and two more Bower dump kills made it 22-9. Kills by Kate Prior and Gneiting, assisted on by Abby Taylor, closed out the first set for the Cougars, 25-12. BYU recorded 18 kills and hit .607 in the set.
After the Pilots took the opening point of the set, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run, but Portland rallied to tie the set a 6-6. Both teams traded points as the set saw ties at 8, 9 and 11-all before BYU took a 15-12 lead into the media timeout.
Kills from Stowell and Livingston helped BYU maintain its three-point advantage before a 3-0 Cougar run, ignited by two more Livingston kills, put BYU in front by five, at 20-15, and causing a Portland timeout.
Three-consecutive Pilot points drew Portland within three, at 22-19. Gneiting and Kate Grimmer teamed up for a double block, bringing up set point for the Cougars and forcing Portland’s second timeout. A Pilot attack error out of the timeout gave the set to BYU, 25-22.
The third set began in similar fashion to the second, with two ties in the early going. A 4-0 Portland run then gave the Pilots an 8-5 lead, forcing a Cougar timeout. Three Stowell kills kept it close for BYU, cutting the Portland lead to 11-8.
Making it 14-11 after Bower won a joust at the net, Whitney Llarenas landed a slide kill and a Pilot attack error, Portland took two-straight points to go ahead by five, 16-11, forcing the Cougars’ second timeout.
Kills by Grimmer and Stowell, and an Aria McComber ace had BYU on a 3-0 run, drawing within three at 18-15, and causing a Pilot timeout. Coming out of the timeout, a Portland error, Gneiting and Grimmer double block made it 18-17.
Battling in the latter half of the set, the two teams traded points, with the Cougars clawing back to tie the set at 23-23 after back-to-back Pilot attack errors. Grimmer landed a kill off the block to bring up match point for BYU, forcing Portland’s second timeout.
The Pilots staved off one match point before a Livingston kill gave the Cougars a second one, finishing off the third set and the match on a Portland attack error, 26-24.
Continuing their Pacific Northwest road trip, the Cougars will visit Gonzaga in Spokane on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed on the WCC Network.
Former BYU women’s volleyball All-American Amy Boswell Usevitch will be inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor on Saturday…