PORTLAND, Ore. — Senior middle blocker Nicole Warner led the No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball team to its second sweep in a row Saturday, defeating Portland 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19).
BYU moves to 21-2 overall and 9-2 in West Coast Conference play. Portland is 6-19 and 0-10 in league play.
"It's exciting to win both these matches on this road trip," head coach Shawn Olmstead said. "It was a road trip we were looking forward to and we knew the importance of winning both these matches, so I'm happy for the girls."
Warner recorded eight kills and eight blocks to lead the Cougars. Two other Cougars also had eight kills — freshmen Kimberly Dahl and Alexa Gray. Heather Hannemann had 28 assists and libero Tia Withers had 12 digs.
The Cougars struggled to break free of nine ties in the first set. BYU finally got ahead 10-8 on Portland errors. The Pilots didn’t let the Cougars get far, tying it back up at 16-16. Tied at 18-18, BYU went on a 7-1 run with the help of a block and two kills by Warner to close out the set 25-19.
A 5-2 run gave BYU an 11-7 lead in the second set. Warner and Jennifer Hamson fought off the Pilots’ attempt to cut down the lead with a block that put the score at 13-10 for the Cougars. Portland couldn’t get closer than three points the rest of the set and a Pilot service error finished off the set 25-17 for BYU.
The third set went much the same as the first two, with Portland keeping the score close and pushing BYU into several ties. Warner and Dahl kept the Pilots back with two kills. Hamson increased that lead to 17-13 with an ace and a kill. Another 5-1 run, capped by a final block by Hamson and Warner, gave the match to BYU.
The Cougars return to Provo next week to host San Diego on Wednesday in a matchup of the top two teams in the conference. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Rachel Hawks is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.