BYU Volleyball Ready To Face Florida In Sweet-Sixteen

Dec 6, 2018, 5:32 PM | Updated: Dec 7, 2018, 12:49 am
BYU's Heather Gneiting (2) and BYU's Lyndie Haddock-Eppich celebrate a point against Utah in Provo ...
BYU's Heather Gneiting (2) and BYU's Lyndie Haddock-Eppich celebrate a point against Utah in Provo on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – After two-straight sweeps in the openings rounds of the NCAA tournament, BYU Women’s Volleyball is set to host its first regional in 32 years.

The No. 4-seed Cougars enter the regional round as favorites over Florida. They are making their seventh straight appearance in the round of 16. When the Cougars last hosted a regional in 1986, the tournament included 32 teams.

BYU will look to capitalize on their home-court advantage as they haven’t lost a tournament match at home since 1994.

Florida will play the role of spoiler with a 26-6 record this season. They advanced to the championship match last season but BYU’s 29-1 record in 2018 will present challenges to the Gators.

“We understand the challenge that’s ahead of us Friday night,” said Florida coach Mary Wise. “…It will be a huge challenge for us playing a team that talented, that well-coached on their home court, but this group has embraced the underdog mentality.”

BYU presents very few weaknesses that will make it very difficult for Florida to take advantage of. Roni-Jones Perry leads the charge for BYU on the offensive attack but has been dangerous on the defensive end as well.

Mary Lake and Lyndie Haddock-Eppich assist Jones Perry to create a dynamic trio for the Cougars that have been ranked in the top five for most of the season.

“We have a roster full of great team players that are ready to step up at any time,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “Danelle (Stelter) is one of those players who has been asked to play many different roles this year and has done a great job…really it’s a team effort. Everyone is involved and it takes all 18 of us.”

BYU will face Florida on Friday at 4 p.m. at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo. The game will be streamed on ESPN3 with the winner facing the winner of Texas and Michigan in the round of eight.

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