Cougar fans represent at women’s volleyball Portland, Gonzaga road games

Defensive specialist Sydnie Martindale serves for BYU during a game against Gonzaga on Oct. 27, 2018. (BYU Photo)

No. 1 BYU women’s volleyball remained undefeated with road wins over Portland (25-21, 25-16, 25-20) on Thursday, Oct. 25 and Gonzaga (25-19, 25-20, 25-23) on Saturday, Oct. 27.

“We came out focused right from the start of the match,” BYU coach Heather Olmstead said after the Portland game. “Lyndie (Haddock-Eppich) set a great match and she and Heather (Gneiting) had a great connection tonight. We showed some fight in the third set and I loved it.”

Haddock-Eppich led the Cougars against Portland with 34 assists, seven digs and five block assists. During the match, she also passed the 3,000 career assists mark, becoming only the ninth player to do so in program history.

Gneiting had one of the best matches of her career, recording 13 kills and nine blocks. Roni Jones-Perry also had 13 kills for the Cougars, while McKenna Miller added 11 kills of her own.

The match was the most attended in Portland women’s volleyball history, largely in part to all the BYU fans in the area. Kraymer Eppich, Haddock-Eppich’s husband, tweeted that 90 percent of the 2,259 in attendance were BYU fans.

“We just doubled their stadium attendance #everygameahomegame,” Eppich wrote in a tweet.

In their match against Gonzaga, Jones-Perry once again led the Cougars as she recorded 18 kills on a .484 hitting percentage, eight digs and an ace. Gneiting had another solid performance with 11 kills on a .625 hitting percentage and a team-high five blocks. Haddock-Eppich added 39 assists, 11 digs and three blocks for BYU.

“I’m really pleased with our serve and pass game,” Olmstead said. “Our middles were a huge offensive presence and they came up with some timely kills.”

The third set proved to be the closest one of the match for BYU, as they found themselves down 23-22. However, after a kill by Haddock-Eppich and two by Miller, the Cougars came out on top and improved to 22-0 on the season. The win marked the Cougars’ sixth straight sweep and 19th of the year.

Although the Cougars have been ranked No. 1 for seven straight weeks now and have yet to suffer a loss this season, senior Danelle Stetler said the team feels no pressure going into the remainder of the year.

“We don’t feel like we’re still undefeated,” Stetler said. “We just want to keep playing the best we can and give the teams we play the best competition that we can give them.”

BYU returns home to the Smith Fieldhouse this week with a match against San Diego on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

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