Saint Mary's College of California
Nov 20 | 01:00 PM
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Brigham Young University
University Credit Union Pavilion

1928 Saint Marys Road Moraga CA 94575

Natalie Orr | Posted: 20 Nov 2021 | Updated: 10 Jan 2022
Natalie Orr

No. 4 BYU clinches WCC title in 3-1 win over Saint Mary's


PROVO, Utah — No. 4 BYU women’s volleyball secured the West Coast Conference Championship after a 3-1 win (25-17, 25-15, 19-25, 25-14) over Saint Mary's in the University Credit Union Pavilion on Saturday.

This is BYU’s second year in a row winning the WCC title. During head coach Heather Olmstead’s seven-season run, this is the team’s sixth title. 

After today’s win, BYU is on a 20-match winning streak. The team holds a 27-1 overall record and a 17-0 WCC record. 

BYU dominated Saint Mary’s offensively. The Cougars tallied 69 kills and a .347 clip. Meanwhile, the Gaels laid down 43 kills and a .178. 

Three Cougars notched double-digit kills. Graduate opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber notched a new career-high kill count of 20. Prior to this, she racked up 19 kills in 2019 when she donned a University of Utah uniform. This tally, paired with 15 digs, earned Koerber her sixth double-double of the season. 

Sophomore outside hitter Erin Livingston followed with 15 kills and a .368 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting laid down 11 kills and held the team’s highest clip of .643.

Defensively, junior setter Whitney Bower had her 12th double-double of the season, putting up 48 assists and 15 digs

Saint Mary’s started the match in the lead at 2-0. However, five quick kills by Koerber put BYU ahead at 6-4. The Gaels stayed close behind until a 4-0 run by BYU, including two kills by Livingston. 

The teams traded kills evenly until a 3-0 run by BYU, extending its lead to 16-10. Saint Mary’s battled back with its own 3-0 run. This run ended with kills by Bower and Gneiting. 

In the final minutes of the set, four final kills by the Cougars propelled the team ahead to a set win at 25-17. BYU boasted a .432 clip on 19 kills, overpowering Saint Mary’s .156 clip on 11 kills. 

The teams tied eight times, failing to break away from each other. At 8-8, Koerber laid down two back-to-back kills, putting BYU ahead by its largest margin of the set, three points. 

The Cougars extended this lead to 21-13 after a 7-0 run, thanks to an ace by Gneiting and kills from Bower, Livingston and graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg. Saint Mary’s failed to catch up and two final kills by Livingston sealed the set win for BYU at 25-15.

Livingston picked up where she left off, laying a quick kill to start the match. Saint Mary’s put BYU’s momentum on hold and managed a 4-0 run, including two kills and two service aces. This propelled the Gaels ahead 6-2. Gneiting attempted to close the gap by tacking on two kills.

A 4-0 run by the Gaels, which included two consecutive BYU attack errors, widened the gap to 11-5. BYU squeezed in one point before Saint Mary’s laid down a 3-0 run.

The Cougars attempted to make a comeback after eight combined kills from outside hitter Sophia Callahan and Gneiting. However, eight BYU attack errors, compared to a solo error by Saint Mary's, allowed the Gaels to take its first set-win of the night at 25-19.

This is Saint Mary’s first set-win against the Cougars since Nov. 2018.

With the WCC title on the line, BYU quickly picked up a 9-3 lead, thanks to three kills by both Koerber and Eschenberg. The Gaels put up four kills, but kills by Gneiting and Livingston allowed BYU to climb to 12-7.

At 17-9, Koerber hit a new career-high tally of 20 kills. This started the Cougars on a 4-0 run, including two attack errors by Saint Mary’s. Two final kills by Livingston and senior opposite hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon contributed to a .400 clip in the set and allowed BYU to clinch the win at 25-14.

Up next, BYU will play its final match of the regular season and face No. 23 San Diego in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The match will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. PST. 


Natalie Orr | Posted: 16 Nov 2021 | Updated: 30 Nov 2021
Natalie Orr

No. 4 BYU prepares to face Pacific, Saint Mary's in final stretch of regular season

No. 4

PROVO, Utah — No. 4 BYU women’s volleyball heads to California to face West Coach Conference opponents Pacific and Saint Mary’s on Nov. 18 and Nov. 20, respectively, as the Cougars are in the final stretch of regular season play with just three matches remaining.

The No. 4 ranking is BYU’s highest since 2018. The team is boasting a 25-1 overall record and is undefeated in the WCC, 15-0. If BYU wins its last three WCC matches, this will be its first undefeated conference record since 1993.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. PST, the Cougars will face the Tigers for the second time this season. The teams last faced in the Smith Fieldhouse where BYU walked away with a sweep. The current all-time record between the opponents is 19-7, favoring BYU.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. PST, BYU will face Saint Mary’s. Back in September, the Cougars posted a sweep over the Gaels in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU holds a 20-6 all-time record against the WCC foe.

No. 4 Brigham Young University Cougars (25-1, 15-0 West Coast Conference)

  • The Cougars are on an 18-match winning streak
  • This is head coach Heather Olmstead’s sixth season with 20+ wins
  • BYU has achieved a .300 hitting percentage or higher in each of the last 11 matches
  • On Monday, the WCC announced graduate opposite hitter Kenzie Koeber as Defensive Player of the Week 
  • Graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg is a Senior CLASS Award finalist 
  • Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting ranks No. 2 in the NCAA for hitting percentage, holding a .469 clip
  • As a team, BYU ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in hitting percentage (.347), No. 1 in opponent hitting percentage (.113), No. 2 in match winning percentage (.962), No. 6 in kills per set (14.38), No. 11 in assists per set (13.07) and No. 20 in aces per set (1.83). BYU leads the WCC in all these categories.

University of the Pacific Tigers (12-14, 9-6 West Coast Conference)

  • Last week, the Tigers hosted Saint Mary’s and posted a 3-1 victory
  • Jadyen Tubbs ranks No. 1 in the WCC for digs per set (4.35) and total digs (418)
  • Alexa Edwards ranks No. 2 in the WCC for attacks per set (10.75) and total attacks (1,032)
  • In the WCC, Pacific ranks No. 1 in digs per set (14.61), team attacks per set (35.48), team digs (1,403) and team total attacks (3,406)

Saint Mary’s College Gaels (14-10, 8-7 West Coast Conference)

  • Last week, the Gaels faced the Tigers in Stockton, California and suffered a 3-1 loss
  • In the WCC, Jennifer Laird ranks No. 3 in blocks per set (1.10) and total blocks (98)
  • Saint Mary’s holds an average clip of .219 for the season. The team averages 11.8 kills per set, 12.3 digs per set and 2.2 blocks per set.




Purchase tickets online for Pacific here and for Saint Mary’s here. Both venues require masks at all times. The University Credit Union Pavilion also requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for guests over the age of 11.