No. 10 BYU swept by No. 8 Buckeyes, suffer third-straight loss
ATLANTA — No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball dropped its third straight match of the season to No. 8 Ohio State (19-25, 16-25, 25-27) at O’Keefe Gymnasium as its Georgia Tech Classic competition concluded on Friday.
The Cougars (5-3, 0-0 WCC) notched 35 kills on a .216 clip but had five service errors and surrendered eight service aces. Erin Livingston led BYU with 12 kills with Heather Gneiting and Whitney Llarenas chipping in seven kills apiece. Whitney Bower posted a double-double with 25 assists and 11 digs. The senior setter was also named to the all-tournament team.
Facing three Top 10 opponents in a one-week span, the Cougars have dropped three-straight for the first time since the 2010 season when BYU lost eight-consecutive matches.
Ohio State (2-3, 0-0 Big Ten) opened the match on a 6-1 run, forcing an early BYU timeout. A Buckeye ace and block coming out of the timeout stretched the lead to 8-1 before an Erin Livingston kill ended the OSU run.
A double block by Heather Gneiting and freshman Kate Prior, who made her first-career start, and another Livingston kill made it 9-5, Ohio State, but the Buckeyes went on a 4-0 run to take an eight-point lead and cause the Cougars to call their second timeout of the set.
Two Gneiting kills in between an OSU kill were followed up by service errors from both teams, and it was 15-8, Buckeyes. Kills by Whitney Llarenas and Livingston had the Ohio State lead at 17-10, but another 3-0 OSU run stretched the lead to 10.
The two teams traded kills before a 4-0 BYU run, highlighted by a solo Llarenas block, made it 23-16. Kills by Llarenas and Stowell and a double block by Whitney Bower and Llarenas staved off the Buckeyes’ set point three times before an OSU block finished off the set, 25-19.
The Buckeyes started the second set in similar fashion, opening up a 3-1 lead. BYU won a challenge, making it 3-2, and then the teams traded points with the Cougars drawing within one, at 8-7, on two Livingston kills.
A 3-0 OSU run had the Buckeyes ahead 12-8, and BYU took a timeout. Two Ohio State kills and a Cougar error had the Buckeyes up 15-9 before an Elyse Stowell kill ended the 6-0 run. Llarenas landed a kill and two OSU errors then made it 17-12.
It was 19-12 after two-straight Ohio State kills, leading to BYU’s second timeout of the set. The Buckeyes scored three-straight out of the timeout before two Livingston kills ended the 5-0 run at 22-14, but OSU took three of the next five points to take a 2-0 match lead, winning the set 25-16.
Down 4-0 early, the Cougars made it 4-3 on kills by Livingston, Whitney Bower and a Llarenas ace. It was 9-6 after an Ohio State service error, but two Buckeye points made it 11-6 and led to a BYU timeout.
Kills by Gneiting and Stowell, and a Gneiting ace had the Cougars within two, at 11-9. Kills by Livingston and Lllarenas made it a one-point game twice, at 12-11 and 13-12, but a 3-0 run had OSU up 16-12, forcing a second BYU timeout.
A successful challenge and kills by Livingston, Gneiting and Stowell aided a 4-0 Cougar run that tied things up at 17-all. The two teams traded points three times before BYU tied the set at 21.
Llarenas and Prior each recorded kills to match Ohio State points, and it was 23-23. The Cougars fought off match point twice, once on a Buckeye error and again on a Gneiting and Prior block, but an OSU kill and solo block closed it out, 27-25.
The Cougars will return to the state of Utah next week to play in-state rival Utah at the Huntsman Center on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network and live stats will also be available.
No. 10 BYU hits the road for two top-10 matchups
PROVO, Utah — After hosting back-to-back early season tournaments during the first two weeks of the season, No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball hits the road for the first time, traveling to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Classic.
The Cougars went 2-1 in the BYU Nike Invitational last week, sweeping Utah State and beating Cincinnati in four sets before falling to then-No. 10 Pitt in four.
BYU dropped just three spots in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll following the loss, ensuring that its two games this week will both be Top 10 matchups.
Host and Thursday’s opponent, Georgia Tech, as well as Friday’s opponent, Ohio State, both remained in the No. 5 and No. 8 spots in the AVCA poll, respectively.
No. 10 BYU @ No. 5 Georgia Tech
- Thursday, September 8 (7 p.m. EDT)
- O'Keefe Gymnasium (Atlanta, GA)
- ACC Network Extra
- Georgia Tech Radio
- Live Stats
No. 10 BYU vs. No. 8 Ohio State
- Friday, September 9 (7 p.m. EDT)
- O'Keefe Gymnasium (Atlanta, GA)
- No television/live stream
- Georgia Tech Radio
- Live Stats
Under head coach Heather Olmstead, BYU is 25-15 against ranked opponents, and 7-10 against top-10 teams. Since Olmstead’s hiring in 2015, the Cougars are 8-6 against ranked opponents on the road and 4-5 at neutral sites.
Winners of 10-straight road matches, the Cougars are led by junior outside hitter Erin Livingston, whose 86 kills on the year ranked 49th nationally, and senior middle blocker Whitney Llarenas, who stands at 42nd in the country with 28 total blocks.
No. 5 Georgia Tech (5-0, 0-0 ACC)
- The Yellow Jackets went 3-0 in the GT Invitational last weekend, beating Dayton, Arizona State and FIU, dropping just one set to the Sun Devils
- Senior All-American outside hitter Julie Bergmann leads Georgia Tech with 92 kills in five matches
- Four other Yellow Jacket hitters have also recorded double-digit kills this season: Erin Moss (38), Bianca Bertolino (30), Breland Morrissette (27) and Tamara Otene (24)
- Head coach Michelle Collier is in her ninth season with Georgia Tech, posting a 157-92 record since 2014
- This will be the first matchup between the Cougars and Yellow Jackets on the volleyball court
No. 8 Ohio State (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
- The Buckeyes were swept by then-No. 15 San Diego before upending then-No. 3 Louisville in four sets at the Cardinal Classic in Kentucky last weekend
- Six of 10 Ohio State hitters have tallied double-digit kills on the year, including this week’s Big Ten Co-Player of the Week, Emily Londot, whose 62 kills lead the team
- Senior defensive specialist Kylie Murr leads the Buckeyes with 47 digs. Six of the 10 Ohio State players who have seen action this season have recorded 12 or more digs.
- Entering her third season as Ohio State head coach, Jen Flynn Oldenburg has a 44-13 record since 2020-21
- The Cougars and Buckeyes have met nine times previously, with BYU leading the series 9-0
- BYU head coach Heather Olmstead has faced a ranked Ohio State twice during her tenure, picking up a 2016 five-set win in Columbus, and a four-set win in Provo a year later