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Josh Carter | Posted: 1 Oct 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Josh Carter

No. 9 BYU defeats LMU in WCC home opener

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PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball beat LMU in five sets (25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 22-25, 15-7) Tuesday night in its first home West Coast Conference match of the season.

"I thought we were really resilient tonight," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We showed a lot of fight and our focus in the fifth set was the difference."

Sophomore Heather Gneiting recorded 12 kills, one shy of her career high, hitting .632 with no errors while adding four blocks for BYU (12-2, 3-0 WCC). Junior Kennedy Eschenberg totaled seven kills and a season-high nine blocks while senior McKenna Miller led all Cougars with 14 kills. 

BYU vs. LMU Box Score

Sophomore Madelyn Robinson had 11 kills and freshman Kate Grimmer added 10 while freshman Whitney Bower recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 44 assists and 10 digs to go with a career-high five kills and four aces. 

Set 1

Both teams traded points back and forth until, with the score tied at three, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run and forced LMU to call timeout. The Lions fought back, bringing the score within one at 10-9 behind back-to-back kills. BYU went up again by as many as four before earning the 25-22 win on a Miller kill, adding to the Cougars’ .533 hitting percentage in the set.  

Set 2

The second set was tight until a kill by Grimmer, a set error by LMU and a dump kill from Bower gave BYU a little bit of breathing room at 16-12. The Cougars had seven blocks in the second set alone, including five involving Eschenberg, holding the Lions to an .062 hitting mark. Back-to-back kills from Grimmer close out the set, 25-20.

Set 3

LMU built an early 8-3 lead in set three. BYU cut the Lions’ lead to 12-9 before LMU went on a 3-0 run, giving them their largest advantage of the night at 15-9. The Cougars brought the score to within one at 18-17 after a Tayler Tausinga ace and tied the set at 20-20, but LMU went on a 5-1 run and took the set, 25-21.

Set 4

LMU took a 2-0 lead and held it until the Cougars came back to take an 8-7 lead on back-to-back Lion attack errors. After the Cougars built a 20-17 advantage on two-straight aces from Bower, LMU chipped away to eventually tie things late at 21-21. A Grimmer kill brought BYU within one at 23-22, but two final kills forced a fifth set as LMU won, 25-22.

Set 5

The fifth set remained close through a 6-6 tie until Bower took over from the service line, leading BYU to an 8-0 run. An ace was followed by four-straight attack errors by LMU, including two BYU blocks, followed by a kill by Eschenberg and another ace from Bower. The freshman setter then finished things off on a kill helped by an LMU block error to give BYU the set, 15-7, and the match.

BYU now travels to California for back-to-back road games this week, first at Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 3. at 7 p.m. PDT then at Saint Mary’s on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. PDT.

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Jordan Christiansen | Posted: 30 Sep 2019 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Jordan Christiansen

Home Match Tuesday for No. 9 Cougars


PROVO, Utah – No. 9 BYU women's volleyball returns to the Smith Fieldhouse for the first time in almost a month as the Cougars face LMU on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. MT. The match will be streamed live on the WCC Network.

Last week, the Cougars beat Gonzaga and Portland in a pair of road matches to kick off WCC play, sweeping both opponents. LMU defeated Santa Clara and San Francisco last week, leaving the Cougars, Lions and Pepperdine as the WCC’s early 2-0 teams in the conference.

The Cougars are 16-2 all-time against LMU, including 9-0 at home. BYU has won its last 14 home conference matches, having not lost since October 27, 2017. The Cougars have won 62 of 63 conference home matches dating back to November 2011. 

BYU vs. LMU Notes

BYU hit .343 as a team last week while allowing just a .112 hitting percentage. Sophomore Madelyn Robinson (17/1/31, .516), junior Kennedy Eschenberg (11/0/22, .500) and freshman Kate Grimmer (17/5/29, .414) all hit above .400 while senior McKenna Miller led all players with 22 kills combined.

BYU's success has started at the service line where the Cougars are currently averaging 1.76 aces per set and 6.23 per match. The 1.76 mark is the highest since 2003; before that season it’s the highest since 1990. Freshman Whitney Bower has 27 aces this year, almost halfway to BYU’s rally era record of 56. Miller has had back-to-back matches with three aces and now is second on the team with 18 on the season.

The Cougars will go back on the road later this week, first facing Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. PT before traveling to Saint Mary's to play the Gaels on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1 p.m. PT.

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