Boise State University
Dec 03 | 07:00 PM
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Brigham Young University
Cameron Muh | Posted: 3 Dec 2021 | Updated: 2 May 2022
Cameron Muh

Livingston leads Cougars to First Round sweep of Broncos

No. 11 seed BYU vs. Boise State, NCAA Tournament First Round
Video file

PROVO, Utah — No. 11 seed BYU women’s volleyball swept Boise State (25-6, 25-19, 25-10) in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday night. 

The win extends BYU’s winning streak to 22 matches and ups the season’s overall record to 29-1.

“Congratulations to Boise State on a great season,” said BYU head coach Heather Olmstead. “They were hot coming into this match after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament. We knew we'd have our hands full. It was fun to get a chance to play a different team that we hadn't seen this year. I thought our team played composed and executed the game plan that our coaching staff put together. I couldn't be more pleased with the way that we came out, played together and fed off the crowd. Thanks to Cougar Nation for coming out. It was really cool to see everybody, and I'm really proud of the performance.”

The Broncos had 18 kills and a -.012 hitting percentage. BYU dominated by nearly doubling Boise State’s kill count, 35, all while holding a .388 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Erin Livingston topped the leaderboard with her 15 kills and .667 clip. Defensively, she added two assisted blocks. 

The Cougars overpowered the Broncos in nearly all categories, tallying 10 aces, 12 blocks and 34 digs. 


BYU went on a 7-0 run early in the set, thanks to kills by senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon and graduate opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber. This gave the Cougars a comfortable lead at 10-3. Boise State managed one point before BYU laid down another 7-0 run, including two service aces by Koerber.

A BYU service error allowed the Broncos another point. However, BYU’s momentum continued with its third 7-0 run. This run included four consecutive Boise errors and Livingston’s fourth kill of the set. A final service error by Boise secured BYU its first set-win of the night at 25-6.

The Cougars boasted a .571 clip compared to -.192 by the Broncos.

The six points allowed in the set were a season-best for the Cougars.


Boise State took the reins at the start of the set, leading 4-2 after back-to-back-to-back kills. However, the Cougars battled back with a 6-0 run to take the lead at 7-5. Graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg and Livingston both tallied two kills during the comeback. 

Livingston’s momentum continued as she laid down five more kills to widen the gap to 18-13. Six BYU errors toward the end of the set allowed Boise to sneak up to 24-19. Eschenberg put an end to set with a final kill at 25-19.


Two aces by senior setter Tayler Hifo aided BYU to a 3-0 lead. The Cougars continued to lead at 9-3 after a kill by Koerber and an ace by graduate libero Aria McComber.

Kills by six different Cougars would make it difficult for the Broncos to catch up. One final Boise error and another McComber ace sealed BYU’s win at 25-10.

Up next, BYU will face Utah in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The match takes place on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse and will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+. 

Postgame Quotes

Head coach Heather Olmstead
On the ability to advance to the Second Round for a 10th-straight year
“Credit to the players for focusing on the task at hand and focusing on the match that's in front of us. They did that with Boise State tonight and were really concerned about just doing their jobs, helping each other and executing the scout as best they could. I think when you focus on your job and how you can help the team, good things happen, so credit to the players and the staff for just being prepared for a good Boise State team.”

On Erin Livingston’s performance
"Erin was a beast. I thought Whitney set a great game, I thought she was putting up such nice, hittable balls and keeping it simple. Erin was swinging fearlessly. She was going off hands, in between hands, around hands, over hands. I think she was just playing with a confidence within herself that she can get a kill every time she swings, and she almost did tonight. I’m really proud of her for the work that she's put in. I'm really proud of Erin and the way she played composed."

Opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber
On BYU’s fast start tonight
"Every time we step onto the court before the game starts, we talk about starting strong and playing with our energy and playing together. We came out there, and we're in that huddle, and we just said 'let's play as a team with high energy and play composed and together.'"

On playing Utah tomorrow
"Right now, I just feel like it's the next team in what we're trying to accomplish. I'm not even thinking about that being my former team. We have things we want to accomplish, we have games that we want to win, and we have a run in the tournament that we want to go on. So it's the next team up, and we always focus on that. That just happens to be Utah, so it doesn't change anything that we do. It doesn't change anything that I do individually, and if we keep playing like we did tonight, we can beat anyone. We're just excited for the next team."

Setter Whitney Bower
On the offensive success 
“I think we did a good job firing on all cylinders on offense, so everyone was able to put up great swings even on out-of-system balls. Everyone was staying assertive and aggressive. Even on out-of-system balls, we were just able to hammer the balls down the line and cross-court, so it was awesome.”

On the service pressure put on Boise State
“We put in a lot of work every single practice, serving under pressure, working on our contacts and our flow. That definitely helps when you play a good passing team so that you can get them out of system.”

Middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg
On the Smith Fieldhouse atmosphere
“It's pretty incredible to come here and being my sixth year, it's just such a magical feeling to walk in and see all those fans, all of Cougar Nation supporting us. There's no better place to play. I'm just grateful for everyone that came out and their support. It was fun."


Natalie Orr | Posted: 29 Nov 2021 | Updated: 2 May 2022
Natalie Orr

Cougars set to begin NCAA Tournament Friday

Game this week

PROVO, Utah – No. 11 seed BYU women's volleyball will play Boise State in the first round of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Dec. 3 in the Smith Fieldhouse.

The match between the Cougars and Broncos will begin at 7 p.m. MST. In the first match of the day, Utah and Utah Valley University will face off at 4 p.m. MST. The winners of each match will then play each other on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. MST in the second round of the tournament.

This weekend’s matches will be available to view live via ESPN+. ESPN has exclusivity rights for the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. Those rights prohibit a simulcast from BYUtv.

Brigham Young University Cougars (28-1, 18-0 West Coast Conference)

  • The Cougars are on a 21-match winning streak
  • This is head coach Heather Olmstead’s sixth season with 20+ wins
  • On Monday, the WCC honored Olmstead as Coach of the Year, graduate opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber as Player of the Year and junior setter Whitney Bower as Setter of the Year. 
  • Senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon, graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg,  junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting, sophomore outside hitter Erin Livingston and sophomore libero Madi Allen all received All-WCC honors.
  • Graduate middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg is a Senior CLASS Award finalist 
  • Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting ranks No. 3 in the NCAA for hitting percentage, holding a .464 clip
  • BYU finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in opponent hitting percentage (.118), No. 2 in hitting percentage (.339), No. 2 in match winning percentage (.966), No. 5 in kills per set (14.38) and No. 16 in assists per set (13.03). BYU leads the WCC in all these categories.

Boise State University Broncos (24-10, 10-8 Mountain West Conference)

  • On Friday, the team secured a 3-1 win over UNLV and took home the Mountain West Conference championship.
  • On Wednesday, Paige Bartsch received MWC Freshman of the Year. Also, Lauren Ohlinger, Danielle Boss and Alyssa Wissinger all received All-MW accolades. 
  • In the NCAA, Boise State ranks No. 1 in team total blocks (355.5), No. 2 in team service aces (228), No. 7 in blocks per set (2.82) and No. 14 in team kills (1,605). The team leads the MW in all four categories.
  • Wissinger ranks No. 1 in MW in blocks per set (1.28), No. 1 in total blocks (139) and No. 3 in hitting percentage (.367)



Purchase tickets online via Tickets will be available starting on Tuesday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. MDT.

10 a.m.

General Admission tickets go on sale 

10 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Season Ticket Holders

  • Must Call into the Ticket office by noon to secure seats for the 1st and 2nd Rounds
  • Only All Session tickets are available
  • Due to NCAA Seating Requirements for visiting teams, seats are not guaranteed and many season tickets holders will need to be relocated to different seats

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Cougar Club Members

  • Must call into the Ticket Office to purchase seats
  • Only All Session tickets are available

3 p.m. – All remaining reserved tickets go on sale to the general public online


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, basketball inside the Marriott Center 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 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.