PORTLAND, Ore. – Sophomore Alexa Gray led the No. 25 BYU women’s volleyball team (3-2) to its third win of the season in a sweep (25-22, 25-17, 25-17) against tournament host Portland State on Friday night.
“This was a great match for us to start the weekend,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said. “I felt we played a complete match and were fairly consistent the entire three sets. We have two great opponents tomorrow and look to continue with our success and drive.”
Gray had 13 kills and just one error on 33 attempts to hit .364 in the victory. Sophomore Camry Godfrey contributed 32 assists, and senior Kathryn LeCheminant and freshmanWhitney Young helped with a combined nine total blocks. Liberos Tia Withers Welling and Ciara Parker combined for 22 digs in the Cougar victory. Young got her first career start in the win, contributing five kills, three digs and five total blocks.
A Gray kill put the first points on the board for either team, and she continued to impress by scoring five of BYU’s first six points from kills. The two squads continued to trade scores until a pair of Viking attack errors gave the Cougars a 14-12 edge. Another duo of Portland State errors gave BYU its largest lead of the set at 18-14. After a Cougar timeout, the Vikings were able to tie the set, 18-18. Portland State had trouble overcoming BYU’s offense in the end as the Cougars took the first set, 25-22.
Several errors opened up the second set for the Vikings, giving BYU an early 6-3 lead. Portland State remained close with the Cougars until a 4-0 run gave BYU a 12-6 lead. It was all Cougars from that point as they took a double-digit lead at 18-8 after a 5-0 run. Despite a last-minute 5-1 run from the Vikings, Godfrey took the set for BYU, 25-17, with a service ace.
The Cougars came out strong in the beginning of the third and final set, taking a 5-2 lead. Portland State stormed back, coming within two points of BYU at 9-7. A pair of LeCheminant kills extended the Cougar lead to 18-12, forcing a Viking timeout. Portland State couldn’t stop BYU in the end, as the Cougars took the match with a 25-17 set victory.
Portland State falls to 2-3 on the season and will face Oklahoma and new WCC opponent Pacific on Saturday.
The Cougars continue play in Oregon on Saturday by heading to the University of Portland to play Fresno State in the Portland Nike Invitational. The match begins at 10 a.m. PDT. Later that evening, BYU will head back to the Portland State Tournament to compete against Oklahoma at 5. Links to live stats for both matches and streaming video for the Fresno State match can be found on the BYU women's volleyball schedule page.
Royce Hinton is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.