BYU women’s volleyball clinches share of WCC title
PROVO — Behind an all-time hitting performance, No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball defeated San Francisco (25-12, 25-12, 25-9) in the Smith Fieldhouse on Senior Day in front of 4,213 fans.
With the win, the Cougars (25-0, 15-0 WCC) clinched at least a share of their fifth-straight West Coast Conference championship. A win in any of their last three games will give the Cougars the outright title.
Playing their first match without All-American McKenna Miller after Miller suffered a torn ACL on Thursday, the Cougars rallied to hit at a .537 clip, the second-best percentage in the rally scoring era and fourth-best overall in program history.
Roni Jones-Perry led with 12 kills and two aces with Heather Gneiting adding 10 kills and six blocks. Three players had eight kills apiece: Kennedy Eschenberg, who also hit at a .800 clip, Madelyn Robinson and Lacy Haddock, setting a season high.
Haddock, Jones-Perry, Lyndie Haddock-Eppich, Sydnie Martindale and Danelle Stetler were honored before the match for Senior Day.
“I’m grateful for Lyndie, Lacy, Danelle, Syd and Roni,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “They each bring something special to our team. They all played great today.”
BYU set the tone early with the first five points of the set. A big play came with the Cougars up 19-10, when Stetler and Jones-Perry had digs en route to BYU winning the point and extending its lead to 10. A kill by Gneiting finished the set at 25-12. Seven different Cougars had a kill in the first frame led by Jones-Perry with five.
Gneiting and Jones-Perry dominated the middle of the second set with kills on six-straight plays between them for a 12-1 Cougar lead. Jones-Perry put BYU up 18-4 when she became the third Cougar in the rally-scoring era to record 100 career aces. A final ace by Stetler ended the set, 25-12.
BYU scored five straight in the middle of the third set, including a spike from Jones-Perry to put the Cougars up, 13-4. BYU scored five-straight to end the match, including a pair of Haddock kills and a final ace by Jones-Perry.
The Cougars will travel to Saint Mary’s to play the Gaels at 8 p.m. Thursday before visiting Pacific at 1 p.m. Saturday.