Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
No. 13 BYU Beats Weber State, Wins Doterra Classic
PROVO - The No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball team was named BYU Doterra Classic champions after its sweep over Weber State (25-22, 25-16, 25-22) Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Senior McKenna Miller was named MVP of the Doterra Classic after a game-high 11 kills with one ace and nine digs. Sophomore Heather Gneiting and junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon also tied for eight kills each. Freshman Whitney Bower added 30 assists, nine digs, three blocks, two aces and two kills.
Gneiting and sophomore Madelyn Robinson joined Miller on the all-tournament team along with Weber State's Megan Gneiting and Sam Schiess, Sam Houston State's Ashley Lewis and LIU's Natalia Rivera.
“We had strong energy tonight and asserted ourselves from the start,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “I think Whitney spread out the offense really well and got lots of hitters involved. Overall I’m pleased with the way our team played this weekend and we’ll work to keep getting better.”
The Cougars took an early advantage after four-straight kills and an ace from Miller. Back-to-back aces by Tayler Tausinga advanced BYU to a 10-5 lead, forcing Weber State to call timeout. The Cougars sealed a rally with a Gneiting kill to push the score ahead 18-12. Pressure from Weber State brought the score within one at the end of the set, but a kill from Ballard-Nixon secured the win, 25-22.
BYU jumped ahead 14-10 after a Bower ace and kills from Robinson and Miller. A 4-0 run powered by kills from Ballard-Nixon and Kennedy Eschenberg gave the Cougars a 21-12 lead, which they maintained to a final score of 25-16.
BYU came out strong at the start of the third set following another ace from Bower. A 7-2 run gave the Cougars the 14-7 lead behind kills from Miller, Gneiting and Eschenberg. BYU maintained its seven-point advantage towards the end of the set until Weber State battled to bring the score up 22-21 before BYU won the match 25-22 following a Weber State error.
The Cougars will go on their first road trip of the season next week to Wichita, Kansas, where they will face Wichita State on Thursday, Sept. 12, before facing No. 3 Texas and VCU later in the week.
Sam Houston State vs. LIU
Sam Houston State swept LIU 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 in Saturday's early match. Ashley Lewis had 14 kills to lead all players.
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.