Cougars take dōTERRA Classic Championship with sweep of UNLV
PROVO, Utah — BYU took home the 2021 dōTERRA Classic Championship with a 3-0 sweep over UNLV Saturday night, in front of another huge home crowd.
"One thing that makes our team so special is how balanced we are at every position," said BYU middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg. "We had great passing tonight, and none of us can hit effectively if we don't have good passing, and Whitney [Bower] put up great sets."
Eschenberg tallied eight kills on a .583 clip and added a service ace, four digs and three blocks to her stat line. She was joined by five Cougar teammates with three or more kills; namely Erin Livingston with nine, Heather Gneiting with 8, Kenzie Koerber with seven, Taylen Ballard-Nixon with four and Bower with three. Bower also added 30 assists and seven digs to be named the dōTERRA Classic Player of the Tournament.
"It's super hard for opponents to know how to defend us," Eschenberg said. "If we can score from every position, it's pretty awesome, and our depth really opens up other people. It is really fun to watch some people go off one night and others the next night, especially because we all feel genuinely happy for each other, because we all want to see each other succeed."
The Cougars outhit the Rebels .375 to .074 in the match and recorded 40 kills, five service aces, 42 digs and seven blocks in the three-set sweep of the 2021 MWC Champion Rebels.
The victory came in front of 4,453 in attendance in the Smith Fieldhouse. It was the ninth most for a women's volleyball match in program history. The night before, for BYU's matchup with Long Island University, the Fieldhouse had 4,823 fans in attendance, the sixth-most all time.
BYU got off to a hot start and a 4-1 lead to start the first set before UNLV found its groove. BYU used a three-point run to extend the lead to five at the media timeout, midway through the first set. Following a kill from UNLV, the Cougars went on a 14-5 run, including three kills, a service ace and a block from Gneiting to take the first set by a score of 25-14.
The Cougars started the second set on a 6-3 run to give BYU an early lead, then opened a five-point lead thanks to two kills from Eschenberg to make it 11-6. The Cougars outhit the Rebels .269 to .000 in the second set. They recorded 12 kills on 26 attempts, three service aces and a block to take the set 25-16.
The Rebels and Cougars traded points to start the third before BYU put together a 12-2 run to take a 14-5 lead, forcing UNLV to take a timeout. The Cougar run was fueled by kills from Livingston, Koerber and Gneiting. The Cougars came out of the timeout and scored five of the next seven points to extend the lead to 10. A stuff block from Kate Grimmer and Eschenberg sealed the 3-0 sweep for the Cougars.
2021 dōTERRA Classic All- Tournament Team
Player of the Tournament: Whitney Bower (BYU)
Heather Gneiting (BYU)
Kenzie Koerber (BYU)
Kate Brennan (UNLV)
Shelby Capllonch (UNLV)
Raegan Ashby (SUU)
Jovana Stekovic (LIU)
The Cougars next take on Weber State to start up the BYU Invitational Presented by Zion's Bank, on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. MDT. The match will be televised on BYUtv and will also be available on BYUtv.org and the BYUtv app. BYU also takes on Dixie State on Friday and Michigan State on Saturday.
Women's Volleyball to open 2021 season with dōTERRA Classic
PROVO, Utah — No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball will open the 2021 season with the doTERRA Classic Aug. 27 and 28 at home in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars will host Long Island University, UNLV and Southern Utah. Below is a breakdown of this weekend’s schedule.
10 a.m. - UNLV vs. LIU
12 p.m. - SUU vs. BYU
7 p.m. - LIU vs. BYU
10 a.m. - SUU vs. UNLV
4 p.m. - LIU vs. SUU
7 p.m. - UNLV vs. BYU
No. 15 Brigham Young University Cougars (0-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- BYU is ranked No. 15 in the AVCA preseason poll released 8/17
- Finished 2020-21 season ranked No. 15
- The Cougars went 15-1 in conference play to finish on top of the WCC
- Since NCAA play began in 1981, the Cougars are 33-7 in season openers
- The 2021 team features four 2020-21 All-Americans: Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower, Kennedy Eschenberg and transfer Kenzie Koerber
- 2018 WCC Player of the Year Heather Gneiting returns to the court after serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Long Island University Sharks (0-0, 0-0 North East Conference)
- LIU was voted second in the 2021 NEC preseason poll
- The Sharks finished the 2020-21 season in the first round of the NCAA tournament, closing the season 8-6 overall and 8-4 in conference play
- The 2021 roster features all three All-NEC honorees from last season
Southern Utah University Thunderbirds (0-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
- The Thunderbirds are slated at No. 7 in the Big Sky Conference preseason poll
- SUU finished its 2021 spring season with a 9-8 overall record, the highest winning percentage in program history (.529).
- First-year head coach Kacey Nady was announced as new the head coach Aug. 5
University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebels (0-0, 0-0 Mountain West)
- For the first time in program history the Rebels have been voted No. 1 in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll
- Outside hitter Mariena Hayden is the 2021 preseason Conference Player of the Year
- The Rebels went 12-0 in MWC play last season, taking home the regular-season title
- UNLV finished the 2020-21 spring season ranked No. 27
The following games will be available only on the BYUtv App:
Aug. 27 UNLV vs .LIU
Aug. 28 SUU vs. UNLV
Aug 28. LIU vs. SUU
The following games will be available on BYUtv and the BYUtv App:
Aug. 27 BYU vs. SUU
Aug. 27 BYU vs. LIU
Aug. 28 BYU vs. UNLV
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.