Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
No. 11 BYU Sweeps Past Saint Mary's
PROVO, Utah — No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball defeated Saint Mary’s in straight sets (25-15, 25-11, 25-13) Thursday night at the Smith Fieldhouse.
"We came out really focused tonight, especially from the service line," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "Whitney (Bower) did a great job spreading the offense and getting lots of different people involved."
Senior McKenna Miller posted a team-high 13 kills, hitting .619 with no errors and adding two blocks for BYU (19-3, 10-1 WCC). Sophomore Heather Gneiting totaled nine kills on a season-high .727 hitting percentage along with five blocks and two digs.
Junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon had five kills and tied a career high with three aces and three blocks, while freshman Whitney Bower recorded 24 assists, five digs and three kills on the night.
As a team, BYU posted a .377 hitting percentage while holding the Gaels to -.068.
BYU opened the set on a 4-1 run following kills by Ballard-Nixon and Madelyn Robinson, a Lake service ace and another kill by Robinson. After Saint Mary’s brought the score within two at 13-11, the Cougars went on a 10-1 run highlighted by four Gneiting kills to build their lead to 23-12. A dump-kill from Bower and a Miller kill closed out the set, 25-15.
The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a block assist from Riley Lyman, Kennedy Eschenberg and Ballard-Nixon and kills by Miller and Eschenberg. BYU maintained a firm hold on the set, building a 14-6 lead following an Eschenberg kill, a Miller service ace and back-to-back kills from Bower and Ballard-Nixon. BYU had 15 kills in the set while posting a .464 hitting percentage. The Cougars finished the set on a 11-5 run, winning it 25-11 after a kill by Eschenberg, two by Miller and a service ace from Bower.
BYU once again came out quick, building a 4-0 lead after two Lake service aces and kills from Robinson and Gneiting. A Miller kill followed by consecutive solo blocks from Miller and Eschenberg gave the Cougars a 12-point advantage and brought the score to 16-4. BYU recorded three blocks during the set while holding Saint Mary’s to a -0.150 hitting percentage. BYU took the set 25-13 after an Abbey Dayton service ace, Whitney Llarenas kill and a Gael attack error to complete the sweep.
The Cougars remain at home this week as they take on the Pacific Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. MDT on BYUtv.
No. 11 Cougars Host Saint Mary's and Pacific
PROVO, Utah – Returning to the Smith Fieldhouse this week, the No. 11 BYU women's volleyball team will host Saint Mary's on Thursday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m. MT and Pacific on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m. MT.
The game against the Gaels will air live on the BYUtv app while the Saturday contest against the Tigers will be shown live on BYUtv and the BYUtv app.
The Cougars (18-3, 9-1 WCC) swept both teams on the road earlier this year. BYU has an 11-match win streak against Saint Mary's (8-12, 4-6), including 9-0 under head coach Heather Olmstead. Against Pacific (12-10, 4-6), BYU has a 15-match wins streak dating back to 1996 and is also 9-0 under Olmstead. The Cougars have not lost a set to the Tigers since 2015, a streak of 27-straight sets won.
Winners of 12 of their last 13 matches, the Cougars continue to be led by senior outside McKenna Miller who claimed her third WCC Player of the Week award of the year on Monday after averaging 4.71 kills per set in BYU's wins over LMU and Pepperdine.
As a team, the Cougars are ranked 26th in the nation with a .265 hitting percentage while ranking 38th on the defensive side, holding opponents to a .167 percentage.
Fans coming early to the Fieldhouse on Thursday can also attend the BYU Athletics Trunk or Treat where Cougar student-athletes will be handing out candy in the parking lot just north of the Fieldhouse. The match will also be Stranger Things Night, including a costume contest from the hit Netflix series.
Saturday will be family day with a variety of pregame activities along with a $1 hot dog special.