BYU has earned its best chance yet to win an NCAA women’s volleyball title, but star player’s season-ending injury, recent loss casts doubt on No. 4-seeded Cougars

BYU has earned its best chance yet to win an NCAA women’s volleyball title, but star player’s season-ending injury, recent loss casts doubt on No. 4-seeded Cougars

Provo • Although its shiny doc reveals just one blemish, BYU sustained two losses not too way back that reverberated throughout the school volleyball world and casts doubt on whether or not or not the Cougars might make a protracted run inside the NCAA match.

The first loss wasn’t recorded inside the scorebook. It received right here when junior exterior hitter McKenna Miller, arguably BYU’s second-best participant, sustained an ACL injury on Nov. 9 and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.

The second loss, BYU’s first and solely loss that dents it doc, was at Loyola Marymount closing week, a shocking Three-Zero sweep by the Lions — who moreover made the NCAA match — that referred to as into question whether or not or not BYU (27-1) deserved a coveted top-four seed.

The NCAA alternative committee gave the Cougars one anyway, they usually’ll host Stony Brook (21-Eight) on Friday evening time at Smith Fieldhouse in a first-round match at 7 p.m. Utah (18-13) will meet Denver (27-2) at 4 p.m., and Friday’s winners will meet Saturday at 7 for the most effective to advance to the Sweet 16.

Certain, a BYU-Utah rematch of BYU’s easy Three-Zero win in September is a particular likelihood. Nevertheless that’s not as favorable data as some BYU followers might suspect. Utah is doubtless one of many hottest teams inside the nation correct now, having gained 5 of its closing six matches to finish 10-10 inside the Pac-12 and in a three-way tie for sixth-place in that strong conference.

“That might be a pleasurable matchup, nevertheless everyone knows we that we have got to get earlier the first one first,” talked about BYU setter Lyndie Haddock-Eppich. “We had an excellent suggestion that Utah would come proper right here. The NCAA likes to keep up teams as close to dwelling as doable.”

Stony Brook, from New York’s Prolonged Island, gained’t be a pushover, coach Heather Olmstead talked about.

The Seawolves are coming off their second-straight America East championship, downing Albany in 5 items inside the title recreation, and have gained 17 straight video video games.

“Anytime a crew has gained a bunch, they will be assured coming in proper right here,” talked about Olmstead, the West Coast Conference Coach of the 12 months. “They seem good. I don’t assume they will be afraid.”

“Our crew is a resilient group,” Olmstead talked about. “We acquired once more inside the well being membership closing weekend and had been able to debate it and see what we want to do greater from that match. … Our crew is mature enough to know that we’re not going to be outlined by one win or one loss.”

BYU girls’s volleyball coach Heather Olmstead says the NCAA match brings a singular vibe, nevertheless the Cougars (27-1) are ready for it, even with out star hitter McKenna Miller.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) November 29, 2018

Olmstead reminded reporters that the Cougars carried out correctly in defeating San Francisco, Saint Mary’s and Pacific after Miller’s season-ending injury and talked about Danelle Stetler, Taylen Ballard, Madelyn Robinson and Lacy Haddock — Lyndie’s sister — have crammed in admirably.

“Clearly, shedding McKenna, it is one factor we’re merely engaged on [to overcome],” Olmstead talked about. “We like serving in our well being membership. That’s one factor we want to get additional cosy with once more proper right here. We had been on the freeway for these three matches, so it was pretty a protracted freeway journey. We left, received right here once more, and left as soon as extra. It is good to be dwelling for this match, and hopefully one different one on Saturday.”

The Cougars are led by WCC Participant of the 12 months Roni Jones-Perry, who’s No. 4 inside the nation in components per set (5.47) and No. 10 in kills per set (4.71). Olmstead talked about Jones-Perry “goes to be certainly one of many greatest outsides to ever play proper right here, when it is all talked about and achieved.”

Junior libero Mary Lake is the WCC Defender of the 12 months for the second-straight season and middle blocker Heather Gneiting is the WCC Freshman of the 12 months.

“Yeah, McKenna was an unlimited part of our crew, and she or he nonetheless is a gigantic part of our crew,” Haddock-Eppich talked about. “Nevertheless we nonetheless have people that will step up as correctly. People love to talk, nevertheless we’re nonetheless centered on us and by no means what the floor is saying to us. You are always going to have detrimental forces coming at you. However once we maintain sturdy to our crew and what everyone knows we’ll do, we will be OK.”

NCAA WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENTFriday’s First Spherical Matches at BYU’s Smith Fieldhouse• Utah (18-13) vs. Denver (27-2), 4 p.m.• No. 4 BYU (27-1) vs. Stony Brook (21-Eight), 7 p.m. (BYUtv)
Saturday’s Second-Spherical Match at Smith Fieldhouse
• First spherical winners, 7 p.m.

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