BYU sweeps Michigan State in final game of BYU Invitational
PROVO, Utah — No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball swept the Michigan State Spartans (25-14, 25-21, 25-19) in the final game of the BYU Invitational at the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday.
BYU (6-0, 0-0 WCC) finished the match with a hitting percentage of .229 and 39 kills compared to Michigan State’s .048 clip with 30 kills.
“I’m really proud of our energy,” said outside hitter Erin Livingston. “We get excited for every point, and when we’re excited and having that good energy, we always play well.”
Livingston led the Cougars with 10 kills on 27 swing and on a .222 clip. Kenzie Koerber contributed nine kills, hitting .231 and seven digs while Taylen Ballard-Nixon added eight kills and two service aces.
BYU came out strong, gaining a lead early in the set. The Cougars remained in the lead throughout the set, which featured several scoring runs to keep BYU ahead. The Cougars hit .333 percentage while holding the Spartans to a .057 clip. BYU took the first set 25-14.
The Cougars started the second set with a 4-0 scoring run and an ace from Whitney Bower. Three-straight kills from Ballard-Nixon followed by an ace from Koerber earned BYU another 4-0 scoring run and brought their lead to 10-3. Michigan State kept the score close toward the end of the set, but BYU held onto their lead. The Cougars finished the set at 25-21 with a kill from Livingston.
The teams traded points in the beginning of the set, with Michigan State earning their first lead of the match at 7-5. After a few lead changes, BYU took back the advantage with a 10-0 scoring run that featured a solo block from Kennedy Eschenberg and a two kills from Livingston. The Cougars remained in the lead through the rest of the set, finishing the game with the score of 25-19.
2021 BYU Invitational All-Tournament Team
Player of the Tournament: Kenzie Koerber (BYU)
Heather Gneiting (BYU)
Whitney Bower (BYU)
Talia Edmonds (Michigan State)
Rebecka Poljan (Michigan State)
Rylin Adams (Weber State)
Mykenna Nelson (Dixie State)
BYU’s next matchup will be against Bowling Green in Pittsburgh, Penn. at the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. The match will take place at on Friday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. EDT.
Cougars head into another weekend of tournament play at home for the BYU Invitational
PROVO, Utah – No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball will host the BYU Invitational presented by Zion’s Bank Sept. 2, 3 and 4 at home in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars will host Weber State, Dixie State and Michigan State. Below is a breakdown of this weekend’s schedule.
7 p.m. - WSU vs. BYU
10 a.m. - MSU vs. DSU
4 p.m. - MSU vs. WSU
7 p.m. - DSU vs. BYU
4 p.m. - DSU vs. WSU
7 p.m. - MSU vs. BYU
No. 13 Brigham Young University Cougars (3-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- BYU took home the 2021 dōTERRA Classic Championship with 3-0 sweeps over UNLV, Long Island and Southern Utah
- BYU was ranked No. 15 in the AVCA preseason poll and moved up to No. 13 this week
- BYU finished the 2020-21 season ranked No. 15
- The Cougars went 15-1 in conference play to finish on top of the WCC
- The 2021 team features four 2020-21 All-Americans: Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower, Kennedy Eschenberg and transfer Kenzie Koerber
Michigan State University Spartans (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten Conference)
- Michigan State enters 2021 with a 16-man roster, which includes four seniors, four juniors, two sophomores, and six freshmen
- Michigan State opened its 2021 season with the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational last weekend, going 2-1 with wins over Western Michigan and Canisius, and falling to Wright State in a five-set thriller in the finale
- Last year, 10 Spartans earned Academic All-Big Ten honors (a 3.0 GPA or above)
- MSU has ranked among the top 10 in the nation in average attendance in each of the last five seasons, landing at ninth in 2019 with an average of 3,101
- Michigan State is the fist Big Ten program to come to Provo for a women’s volleyball match since BYU faced Ohio State back in 2017 for the BYU Invitational
Dixie State University Trailblazers (0-3, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference)
- For the first time since 2012, the Trailblazers have opened the season with a new head coach
- Dixie State dropped a five-set thriller to Long Beach State in the Boise State Invitational last weekend, and also fell to Montana State and Boise State, finishing 0-3
- DSU recorded an 8-8 mark in WAC play last spring to finish in a fourth-place tie with Tarleton State
- Senior outside hitter Megan Treanor (First Team All-WAC, 171 kills, 168 assists, 127 digs, 34 blocks, 25 service aces) headlines the returners and was named to the Preseason All-WAC team
Weber State University Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Big Sky Conference)
- Coming off of the best season in school history and Weber State's first ever win in the NCAA tournament, Big Sky Conference volleyball coaches unanimously selected the Wildcats as the No. 1 team in the conference in the 2021 fall preseason coaches poll
- The defending Big Sky champions went 3-0 in the Northern Utah Classic last week, sweeping their first two opponents — Seton Hall and North Dakota — and closed their opening weekend with a five-set victory over the Utah State, to win the tournament
- Senior outside hitter Rylin Adams picked up right where she left off last season and was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week coming into this weekend
The following game will be available on BYUtv, BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App:
Sept. 2 - BYU vs. WSU
The following games will be available only on BYUtv.org and the BYUtv App:
Sept. 3 - MSU vs .DSU
Sept. 3 - MSU vs. WSU
Sept. 3 - DSU vs. BYU
Sept. 4 - DSU vs. WSU
Sept. 4 - MSU vs. BYU
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.