Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
No. 13 BYU Beats Sam Houston State in Four
PROVO, Utah – No. 13 BYU women's volleyball earned its second win of the BYU Doterra Classic, defeating Sam Houston State (24-26, 25-13, 25-16, 25-18) Friday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
Sophomore Madelyn Robinson had a game-high 16 kills with 11 digs while senior McKenna Miller was right behind with 15 kills, three digs and three blocks. Freshman Whitney Bower added 43 assists, eight digs, three aces, three blocks and two kills.
"I really liked our fight the entire match," BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. "We kept our focus after that first set and cleaned up our offense. Everyone contributed tonight and we'll need that going forward."
The set went back and forth as the two teams traded points deep into the frame. Despite Miller’s fourth kill putting the Cougars up 24-23, Sam Houston State won the next three points to take the 26-24 win.
BYU blocks and kills by Heather Gneiting, Miller and Robinson put the Cougars up 12-6 quickly in the second set. BYU’s advantage grew to as many as 10 points at 20-10 with Taylen Ballard-Nixon putting down back-to-back kills to give BYU the 25-13 advantage.
The Bearkats again gave BYU a battle for most of the third set until a 10-1 Cougar run gave BYU the 19-10 lead behind two Bower service aces and a pair of kills by Kennedy Eschenberg. The Bearkats were unable to chip away at the Cougars, as BYU maintained its lead to a finishing score of 25-16.
Down 6-4, BYU went on a run to build a 10-6 lead thanks in part to three aces by Tayler Tausinga and a rare kill by libero Mary Lake. Kills by Bower, Miller, and Robinson pushed the Cougars further ahead at 23-15, and a final Riley Lyman kill sealed a 25-18 win.
Weber State vs. LIU
Weber State claimed its second victory of the Doterra Classic with a 27-25, 25-15, 25-21 win over LIU. Weber State's Sam Schiess had 10 kills on 16 swings with no errors for a .625 hitting percentage.
The Cougars will face Weber State on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. MT in the final match of the BYU Doterra Classic.
No. 13 BYU to Host Doterra Classic
PROVO - The No. 13 BYU women's volleyball team continues its season opening home stand with three more matches this week in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars (2-1) will be joined by Long Island (0-3), Sam Houston State (1-2) and Weber State (2-1) for the inaugural BYU Doterra Classic. Starting Thursday, two matches will be played each day through Saturday. All matches will be shown live on the WCC Network. See the complete schedule here.
BYU went 2-1 last week in the BYU Nike Invitational, sweeping Boise State and Utah Valley before losing to Marquette, now ranked 11th in this week's coaches poll.
Junior Kennedy Eschenberg leads the Cougars with a .333 hitting percentage while senior McKenna Miller has a team-high 35 kills. Freshman Whitney Bower earned the start at setter all three matches last week and totaled 92 assists and seven aces, including a BYU freshman record five in the season opener against Boise State. Other stat leaders include senior Mary Lake with 38 digs, including 10 or more each match, and sophomore Heather Gneiting with 14 blocks.
Other Cougars also stepped in well last week - junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon (12 kills against Boise State) and sophomore Madelyn Robinson (18 kills against Marquette) hit new career highs while freshmen Abbey Dayton and Kate Grimmer also saw significant playing time.