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Hannah Miner | Posted: 16 Sep 2021 | Updated: 6 Oct 2021
Hannah Miner

No. 15 BYU dominates No. 10 Utah with a rivalry sweep

Sweep over No. 10 Utah
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PROVO, Utah — No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball swept No. 10 Utah, handing the Utes their first loss of the season and racking up another victory (25-23, 25-23, 25-16) for the Cougars over the Utes after Saturday's football win.

5,140 fans packed the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday night for the fourth-highest attendance in program history. The Cougars recorded 53 kills and a .299 hitting percentage, towering over Utah’s 30 kills and .163 clip. This is BYU's highest kill count of the season in matches that lasted less than four sets. 

“It was truly so awesome to see the kind of heart we can play with,” said BYU opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber. “I’m so proud of this team for the adversity that we faced and how we were able to stay composed and sweep a good Utah team.”

Koerber, who transferred from Utah just prior to this season, led the Cougars with 14 kills and six digs. Middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg followed with 12 kills and two blocks. Her .478 hitting percentage stood as the team's highest for the night.

Recording a double-double, junior setter Whitney Bower recorded 33 assists and 16 digs.

With this sweep, BYU women's volleyball now holds a 74-29 all-time record over Utah.

Utah earned the first three points of the match, but BYU quickly caught up. A kill from junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting earned the Cougars their first point of the match. Koerber slammed three back-to-back-to-back kills, giving BYU the lead. In the first set alone, she contributed seven kills. BYU never lost its lead. Trumping Utah's .139 clip with a .237, the Cougars secured the set, 25-23.

Immediately, Eschenberg brought the score to 2-0 with a kill and a block. The Cougars would run with this lead, leading by 10 points at 20-10. However, Utah fought back with a 6-0 run, diminishing BYU's lead to just 22-19. A final kill by Eschenberg brought the score to 25-23, favoring BYU. Ultimately, 41 attacks by the Cougars trumped Utah's 29.

Utah gained a lead at the beginning of the third set, but it was short-lived. BYU pushed back with a 10-0 scoring run, bringing the score to 12-5. The Cougars would maintain a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the set. Senior setter Tayler Hifo recorded three aces in the set. On a roll, Gneiting tacked on five kills, followed by Eschenberg's finale kill. This finalized the sweep with a 25-16 win. 

Coming up, the Cougars will face Utah Valley University on Saturday, Sept. 18. The match will take place at 6 p.m. MDT in the Lockhart Arena.


Natalie Orr | Posted: 13 Sep 2021 | Updated: 2 Oct 2021
Natalie Orr

No. 15 BYU faces in-state rivals No. 10 Utah and UVU this week

upcoming matches

PROVO, Utah — Back from winning two out of three matches in Pittsburgh, No. 15 BYU prepares to face two in-state rivals this week, No. 10 University of Utah and Utah Valley University, Sept. 16 and 18. 

On Thursday, the Cougars will host the Utes in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU holds a 73-29 all-time record over Utah. However, when the teams most recently met in Dec. 2019, Utah took the victory at home.

On Saturday in the Lockhart Arena, the Wolverines will host the Cougars. BYU has never lost to UVU, holding a 17-0 record.

No. 15 Brigham Young University Cougars (8-1, 0-0 West Coast Conference)

  • Most recently competed in the Panther Challenge in Pittsburgh, Penn. The Cougars swept two of their three competitors, bet fell to No. 4 Pitt. 
  • Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting boasts a .522 hitting percentage, ranking No. 2 in the NCAA.
  • BYU ranks No. 6 in the NCAA as a team in hitting percentage (.316), No. 11 in aces per set (2.17), No. 16 in opposite hitting percentage (.126) and No. 24 in kills per set (13.93). The Cougars lead the WCC in all four categories. 
  • The Cougars have swept seven of their nine opponents this season.

No. 10 University of Utah Utes (7-0, 0-0 Pac-12 Conference)

  • Last week, the undefeated Utes swept Weber State and pulled off a 3-2 win over No. 3 Nebraska.
  • The Pac-12 awarded Dani Drews Offensive Player of the Week. Drews had 18 kills and zero errors against Weber State last Thursday. Additionally, she posted 20 digs in those three sets of play.
  • Utah ranks No. 8 in the NCAA in blocks per set (3.04) and No. 18 in assists per set (12.92).

Utah Valley University Wolverines (3-5, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference)

  • Last week the Wolverines participated in the Lumberjack Classic, snagging two wins against UC Davis and Northern Arizona. The team fell to ASU.
  • Makayla Pollard and Kanza Tanuvasa were named to the All-Tournament team, both notching 10+ kills.
  • Kanza leads the team with 120 kills this season, followed by Kristen Bell with 63.
  • Defensively, Bryton Bishop leads the team with 135 digs.




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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.