Dixie State University
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Brigham Young University
chasia webb | Posted: 3 Sep 2021 | Updated: 2 Oct 2021
chasia webb

BYU sweeps Dixie State in game No. 2 of the BYU Invitational

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PROVO, Utah – No. 13 BYU women's volleyball continued its winning streak to start the 2021 season with a victory over Dixie State in the Cougars' second game of the BYU Invitational Friday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.

The victory puts BYU at 5-0 this season.

Four of the Cougars' five appearances this season have concluded with sweeps, including Friday's 3-0 win (25-8, 25-16, 25-20). 

The Cougars held the Trailblazers to a .043 hitting percentage. BYU hit .319 and had 44 kills, 44 digs, seven aces and six blocks. Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting contributed nine kills, hitting .692., nearly matching her season average of .698. 

“I’m happy our team could go and execute the game plan of hitting high and hard," Gneiting said. “We just want to play our positions and do our jobs the best we can for each other. I think that’s our biggest motivation.”

BYU junior setter Whitney Bower had a double-double, with 26 assists and 14 digs in the three sets. BYU senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon added 10 kills, followed by opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber with eight. Senior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg notching five of BYU's six blocks for the night.

The Cougars started the match out strong, going on an 8-2 run with no sign of letting up. Dixie State scrambled to catch up, however, a -.038 hitting percentage by the Trailblazers could not compete with .433 by the Cougars. BYU swiftly took the first set (25-8) with an ace from Bower.

BYU opened the second set with a pancake save from Bower, contributing to the first point. Unlike the previous set, the Trailblazers racked up points early on, making it a challenge for the Cougars to widen the gap. However, Gneiting put up back-to-back aces, followed by a block from Eschenberg and senior setter Tayler Hifo. The Cougars would with the set 25-16. 

The Trailblazers put up a fight in the final set, consistently staying within four points of the Cougars. The two teams rallied back-and-forth, eventually sitting at 16-16. Thanks to three kills by junior opposite hitter Kate Grimmer, BYU won the hard-fought set (25-20) to close out the match. 

The Cougars will finish their play in the BYU Invitational against Michigan State on Saturday, Sep. 4 at 7 p.m. MDT in the Smith Fieldhouse. The match will be available on BYUtv.org and the BYUtv app.



Brenna Seeman | Posted: 1 Sep 2021 | Updated: 12 Sep 2021
Brenna Seeman

Cougars head into another weekend of tournament play at home for the BYU Invitational

BYU women's volleyball team pre-game celebration in a circle

PROVO, Utah – No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball will host the BYU Invitational presented by Zion’s Bank Sept. 2, 3 and 4 at home in the Smith Fieldhouse. 

The Cougars will host Weber State, Dixie State and Michigan State. Below is a breakdown of this weekend’s schedule. 

Sept. 2

7 p.m. - WSU vs. BYU

Sept. 3

10 a.m. - MSU vs. DSU
4 p.m. - MSU vs. WSU
7 p.m. - DSU vs. BYU

Sept. 4

4 p.m. - DSU vs. WSU
7 p.m. - MSU vs. BYU

No. 13 Brigham Young University Cougars (3-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference)

  • BYU took home the 2021 dōTERRA Classic Championship with 3-0 sweeps over UNLV, Long Island and Southern Utah
  • BYU was ranked No. 15 in the AVCA preseason poll and moved up to No. 13 this week
  • BYU finished the 2020-21 season ranked No. 15
  • The Cougars went 15-1 in conference play to finish on top of the WCC 
  • The 2021 team features four 2020-21 All-Americans: Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower, Kennedy Eschenberg and transfer Kenzie Koerber

Michigan State University Spartans (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten Conference)

  • Michigan State enters 2021 with a 16-man roster, which includes four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and six freshmen
  • Michigan State opened its 2021 season with the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational last weekend, going 2-1 with wins over Western Michigan and Canisius, and falling to Wright State in a five-set  thriller in the finale
  • Last year, 10 Spartans earned Academic All-Big Ten honors (a 3.0 GPA or above)
  • MSU has ranked among the top 10 in the nation in average attendance in each of the last five seasons, landing at ninth in 2019 with an average of 3,101
  • Michigan State is the fist Big Ten program to come to Provo for a women’s volleyball match since BYU faced Ohio State back in 2017 for the BYU Invitational

Dixie State University Trailblazers (0-3, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) 

  • For the first time since 2012, the Trailblazers have opened the season with a new head coach
  • Dixie State dropped a five-set thriller to Long Beach State in the Boise State Invitational last weekend, and also fell to Montana State and Boise State, finishing 0-3 
  • DSU recorded an 8-8 mark in WAC play last spring to finish in a fourth-place tie with Tarleton State
  • Senior outside hitter Megan Treanor (First Team All-WAC, 171 kills, 168 assists, 127 digs, 34 blocks, 25 service aces) headlines the returners and was named to the Preseason All-WAC team

Weber State University Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Big Sky Conference) 

  • Coming off of the best season in school history and Weber State's first ever win in the NCAA tournament, Big Sky Conference volleyball coaches unanimously selected the Wildcats as the No. 1 team in the conference in the 2021 fall preseason coaches poll
  • The defending Big Sky champions went 3-0 in the Northern Utah Classic last week, sweeping their first two opponents — Seton Hall and North Dakota — and closed their opening weekend with a five-set victory over the Utah State, to win the tournament
  • Senior outside hitter Rylin Adams picked up right where she left off last season and was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week coming into this weekend


The following game will be available on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App:

Sept. 2 - BYU vs. WSU

The following games will be available only on BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App:

Sept. 3 - MSU vs .DSU
Sept. 3 - MSU vs. WSU
Sept. 3 - DSU vs. BYU
Sept. 4 - DSU vs. WSU
Sept. 4 - MSU vs. BYU


Only 7 p.m. games will require tickets. Purchase your tickets online via byutickets.com.


Consistent with current Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and BYU requirements, BYU Athletics will require masks in indoor venues when physical distancing isn’t maintained. This includes a requirement for those attending indoor athletic events, such as volleyball in the Smith Fieldhouse and inside the loges at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Wearing a mask will be required for entry to indoor BYU venues. Masks will not be required for outdoor BYU venues.

BYU strongly urges students, employees and campus guests to follow recent counsel from the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get vaccinated and wear masks.

The university will continue to monitor the situation and will reevaluate mask requirements at the end of September based on several factors including the immunization rate of the campus community, COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates, and guidance from health and government officials.