Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
No. 13 BYU sweeps LIU at Doterra Classic
PROVO — The No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball team swept LIU (25-14, 25-17, 25-10) Thursday night in its first match of the BYU Doterra Classic.
Senior McKenna Miller and sophomore Madelyn Robinson each had a game-high 10 kills for the Cougars, hitting at .409 and .400, respectively. Sophomore Heather Gneiting added seven with four blocks while junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon and junior Kennedy Eschenberg each had six kills for BYU.
"I liked our focus tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We came in with a plan and we stuck with it. We served tough and we took smart swings."
BYU totaled 11 aces from a combined six players, including Gneiting and Whitney Bower with three apiece. The Cougars out-hit the Sharks .371 to .030 on the night.
BYU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead following a Mary Lake ace and Ballard-Nixon kill, forcing LIU to call timeout. The Cougars maintained a convincing lead throughout the set, never letting their lead get below six. Five different players each recorded an ace for BYU on their way to a 25-14 win.
The Cougars once again came out strong, causing the Sharks to call another early timeout after a 5-2 BYU lead. LIU hung around, however, and forced a BYU timeout after cutting the Cougars’ lead to 17-15. BYU proceeded to score six unanswered points behind Gneiting's serve to go up 23-17 before winning the set by a score of 25-17.
BYU built a 10-5 lead after a kill by Miller and an ace by Gneiting, her third of the match. The Cougars continued their momentum, recording a hitting percentage of .484 on the set and finishing off the match with back-to-back aces by Robinson to seal a 25-10 win.
The Cougars will face Sam Houston State on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. MT for its second match of the BYU Doterra Classic.
Weber State 3, Sam Houston State 0
In the first match of the day, Weber State downed Sam Houston State (25-21, 25-19, 25-18) behind nine kills from four different players and 13 team blocks led by 10 from Hannah Hill.
No. 13 BYU to Host Doterra Classic
PROVO - The No. 13 BYU women's volleyball team continues its season opening home stand with three more matches this week in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars (2-1) will be joined by Long Island (0-3), Sam Houston State (1-2) and Weber State (2-1) for the inaugural BYU Doterra Classic. Starting Thursday, two matches will be played each day through Saturday. All matches will be shown live on the WCC Network. See the complete schedule here.
BYU went 2-1 last week in the BYU Nike Invitational, sweeping Boise State and Utah Valley before losing to Marquette, now ranked 11th in this week's coaches poll.
Junior Kennedy Eschenberg leads the Cougars with a .333 hitting percentage while senior McKenna Miller has a team-high 35 kills. Freshman Whitney Bower earned the start at setter all three matches last week and totaled 92 assists and seven aces, including a BYU freshman record five in the season opener against Boise State. Other stat leaders include senior Mary Lake with 38 digs, including 10 or more each match, and sophomore Heather Gneiting with 14 blocks.
Other Cougars also stepped in well last week - junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon (12 kills against Boise State) and sophomore Madelyn Robinson (18 kills against Marquette) hit new career highs while freshmen Abbey Dayton and Kate Grimmer also saw significant playing time.