No. 12 BYU overpowers High Point in straight sets
PITTSBURGH, Penn — No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball notched its seventh sweep of the season, against High Point University in Pittsburgh, Penn on Saturday (25-17, 25-19, 25-19).
The win moves the Cougars to 8-1 this season wraps up the Cougars' week at the Panther Challenge, where they went 2-1, the only loss coming to No. 4 Pitt.
Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting and sophomore outside hitter Erin Livingston led BYU offensively, each notching nine kills. Middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg followed with eight kills and the team’s highest hitting percentage, .500.
Offensively, BYU finished with 44 kills and a .306 team hitting percentage. The Cougars also proved dominant defensively, holding the Panthers to a .178 clip.
This was the first ever matchup between BYU and High Point.
Opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber, Livingston and Gneiting all tallied two quick kills, followed by an ace from Koerber. These moments propelled BYU just barely ahead, 10-9. Not backing down, the Panthers racked up a 4-0 run to tie it up at 13-13. High Point would squeeze out four more points. However, five quick kills by BYU solidified the win, 25-17.
Right away, Eschenberg laid down two kills. Matching her energy, Livingston tallied another three, giving the Cougars a more comfortable lead, 11-5. BYU never let go of its lead. While High Point hit an improved clip of .243, the team’s four service errors contrasted BYU’s four aces. In the end, BYU took the second set, 25-19.
A kill by opposite hitter Kate Grimmer and an ace by junior setter Whitney Bower gave BYU a 2-0 lead. This lead died quickly as High Point hit four kills, bringing the score to 6-3 for High Point. At 14-10, BYU went on a 7-0 run, thanks to two aces by libero Aria McComber. Tack on another four kills by Eschenberg to complete BYU's comeback, and the Cougars wrapped up the sweep at 25-19.
Up next, BYU will face No. 20 University of Utah in the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday, Sep. 16 at 7 p.m. MDT.
No. 12 BYU hits the road for the Panther Challenge
PROVO, Utah — Hitting the road for the first time this season, No. 12 BYU heads to Pittsburgh, Penn. for the Panther Challenge, taking place Sep. 10 and 11.
In addition to the Cougars, the Pittsburgh Panthers will host Bowling Green State University and High Point University. Below is a breakdown of this weekend’s schedule.
10 a.m. - HPU vs. PITT
12 p.m. - BYU vs. BGSU
7 p.m. - BYU vs. PITT
11 a.m. - HPU vs. BGSU
4 p.m. - BYU vs. HPU
7 p.m. - BGSU vs. PITT
No. 12 Brigham Young University Cougars (6-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference)
- Finished 2020-21 season as WCC champions and ranked No. 15 in the AVCA
- The 2021 team features four 2020-21 All-Americans: Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower, Kennedy Eschenberg and transfer Kenzie Koerber
- Currently on a six-match winning streak to start the season, after winning the dōTERRA Classic and the BYU Invitational
- BYU has swept five of its six competitors this season
- Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting currently leads the NCAA in hitting percentage, boasting a .603 clip
- The WCC dubbed sophomore libero Madi Allen as Defensive Player of the Week
No. 4 University of Pittsburgh Panthers (5-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)
- In the Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll, the team earned the top spot.
- The Panthers started the season ranked as No. 9 in the AVCA
- On Monday, outside hitter Kayla Lund made history as the team’s first athlete to earn National Player of the Week honors from the AVCA. Additionally, the ACC named her as Co-Player of the Week.
- In 2020, Pitt reached the Regional Finals in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s longest run in program history
Bowling Green University Falcons (3-3, 0-0 Mid-American Conference)
- The Falcons return 13 of their 15 letter winners from the 2020-21 season, including first-team All-MAC selections Petra Indrova, Hanna Laube and Katelyn Meyer
- On Monday, the Mid-American Conference honored Indrova as MAC East Offensive Player of the Week and Laube as MAC East Setter of the Week
- In the MAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, BGSU was unanimously selected to win the MAC East
High Point University Panthers (5-2, 0-0 Big South)
- Last weekend, HPU swept three of its four opponents at the Black Knights Invitational
- Outside hitter Dylan Maberry leads the Big South Conference in total kills, managing 86 in seven matches
- On Aug. 30, the Big South Conference awarded outside hitter Sydney Palazzolo Player of the Week after her collegiate debut performance. She averaged 4.71 kills per set. Additionally, libero Jenny Wessling received the Freshman of the Week award, tallying 4.75 digs per set.
- BYU vs. Pitt can be seen via ACC Network Extra on Watch ESPN
- Live Stats - Sept. 10: SIDEARM
- Live Stats - Sept. 11: SIDEARM
Purchase your tickets online via pittsburghpanthers.com.