BYU women’s volleyball: Sweet 16 for lucky No. 13

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The BYU women’s volleyball team swept American on Dec. 1 and Oregon on Dec. 2 at the Smith Fieldhouse to advance to the Cougars’ sixth-straight Sweet 16 appearance.

Veronica Jones-Perry led the team with 40 kills over the two games while McKenna Miller added 22.

Dani
The BYU women’s volleyball team celebrates a point against American. The Cougars swept the Eagles in the first round of the NCAA tournament last week. (Dani Jardine)

Mary Lake finished the weekend with 40 digs and Lyndie Haddock had 81 assists.

“I’m so proud of the way our team played,” said BYU head coach Heather Olmstead after sweeping Oregon. “They never wavered from what they wanted and stayed focused … Dave (Hyte) and Jonny (Neeley) put them in great spots and the team executed what we worked on. Roni (Jones-Perry) was unbelievable on the front and back row. Mary had some fantastic digs that kept the rallies alive and Lyndie set a great match. We’re excited we get to practice¬†on Monday¬†and want to keep getting better.”

BYU will now travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on No. 4 Kentucky on Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. MST in the NCAA regional semifinal.

Not-so-Sweet 16

BYU hasn’t missed the Sweet 16 since 2011, but four of the last five NCAA Tournaments have ended at this point for the Cougars.

  • 2012: 3-1 loss to No. 5 Oregon in Sweet 16
  • 2013: 3-1 loss to No. 6 USC in Sweet 16
  • 2014: 3-0 loss to No. 5 Penn State in National Championship
  • 2015: 3-0 loss to No. 4 Nebraska in Sweet 16
  • 2016: 3-2 loss to No. 4 Texas in Sweet 16

The winner of the BYU vs. Kentucky game will face the winner of the No. 5 Nebraska vs. Colorado matchup in the Elite 8 on Dec. 9 at 2 pm MST.

The Cougars are 1-0 all-time against the Kentucky Wildcats; the teams met in 1990 in the BYU Mizuno Classic in Provo, where BYU swept Kentucky 3-0.

If BYU advances, it would prefer to play Colorado based on history. The Cougars are 6-1 all-time against the Buffaloes, although the teams haven’t met since a 3-2 BYU win in 2001.

Nebraska owns a 3-9 edge in the all-time series and swept BYU in the Sweet 16 two years ago.

Both games this weekend will be broadcast on ESPNU.