Women’s volleyball came out to battle WCC rival BYU, the top team in the country, Thursday night. Despite high energy and diving defensive plays, the Pilots came up short, 3-0.
The first set was off to a quick start as BYU and Portland traded shots in front of a record-setting crowd of 2,259 fans. The Pilots came out fighting, not letting the status of playing against the #1 ranked team tamper with their mindset.
The Cougars started to pull away as they gained a 18-15 advantage over the Pilots. The Pilots hurt themselves by sending a few spikes out of bounds. BYU was able to fend off a late push by Portland to win the first set by a margin of 21-25.
The second set is where BYU started to pull out to a commanding lead. Strong up front, the Cougars gave fits to Portland’s front line, which made it tough for the Pilots to recover.
After being down two sets to none, the Pilots came out aggressive, looking to force a fourth set. Despite an early lead, BYU rallied to come back and win the set 20-25 to complete the three set sweep.
Despite the loss, the Pilots made adjustments in the third set to challenge BYU, switching formations as well as focusing on making good passes.
“We made some adjustments to our back line and passes,” said head coach Jeff Baxter after the game. “They have six good servers across the board. We need to be on top of it earlier, but we made good upgrades.”
The Pilots, now 16-6 on the year, will look to bounce back against the University of San Diego during a Saturday matinee on The Bluff at noon.
Jamison White is a sports reporter at The Beacon. He can be reached at email@example.com