War Memorial Gym
2335 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco CA 94118
No. 18 Cougars down Dons in four sets
SAN FRANCISCO — After dropping the opening set, No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball pulled away to beat San Francisco, 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-16) at War Memorial Gym on Thursday night.
Three Cougar hitters finished with double-digit kills, including outside hitter Erin Livingston, who recorded a game-high 21 on the night, one shy of tying her career-high. Middle blocker Heather Gneiting added 11 kills, and fellow middle blocker, freshman Kate Prior contributed a career-high 10 kills on a .368 clip.
As a team, BYU hit .273 while holding the Dons to a .133 hitting percentage. Setter Abby Taylor notched a double-double, dishing out 41 assists and 13 of the Cougars’ 43 digs. Opposite hitter Kate Grimmer carded 10 digs of her own. Gneiting finished with six total blocks, while Prior had three.
Whitney Llarenas began the match with a slide kill before kills by Erin Livingston, Kate Prior and Elyse Stowell gave the Cougars a 4-3 lead, but USF runs of five-, four- and five-straight points helped the Dons open up a six-point lead on multiple occasions.
Four Kate Prior kills and a pair of aces each by Alyssa Montoya and Aria McComber kept BYU in it, but San Francisco pulled away for a 25-20 first set win.
Livingston paced the Cougars early with five kills and a solo block, giving BYU an 8-4 lead and forcing a USF timeout. BYU scored three-straight coming out of the timeout, capping off a 7-0 run.
The Dons went on a 7-1 run to draw within one, at 13-12, but the Cougars answered with a 5-0 run, aided by another pair of McComber aces, to lead 19-13.
San Francisco reeled off three-straight, but two kills by Livingston and a quick hitter in the middle by Llarenas paced BYU down the stretch to a 25-20 set win, evening the match at 1-1.
Again fueled by Livingston offensively, the Cougars opened up a 4-0 lead. Two Elyse Stowell kills, a quick hitter in the middle by Heather Gneiting and another Montoya ace put BYU in front, 11-7. Leading 14-8, a 4-0 USF run made it 14-12, and the Cougars took a timeout.
Two Gneiting kills and one each from Livingston and Llarenas put BYU up 20-16. Gneiting and Prior teamed up twice for a double block as the Cougars closed the set on a 5-1 run, winning 25-19, to take a 2-1 match lead.
Gneiting began the fourth with a kill up the middle. A kill and solo block by Livingston, along with a pair of San Francisco errors, had BYU ahead 6-2. The Dons scored four-straight to take an 8-7 lead, forcing a Cougar timeout.
Answering with a 5-0 run that included back-to-back Stowell kills, BYU had a 12-8 advantage, and USF took a timeout. The two teams traded points until 15-11, when the Dons took four of the next five to draw within one at 16-15.
Livingston and Stowell both recorded kills as the Cougars began to pull away, finishing the set on a 9-1 run. Gneiting downed a kill in the middle before teaming up with Prior to send a double block back. Closing out her career night, Prior sent a kill cross-court to seal the 25-16 third set and match win.
The Cougars will travel the hour south along the Bay to take on Santa Clara on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. PDT. The match will be streamed on the WCC Network.
No. 18 BYU travels to San Francisco to face Dons
PROVO, Utah — After two-straight sweeps at home, No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball heads to the Bay Area for a Thursday night matchup with San Francisco.
Despite the pair of wins, the Cougars (16-5, 9-2 WCC) dropped a spot to No. 18 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, marking the first time in the Heather Olmstead era that BYU has been ranked outside the top-17.
Dating back to week seven of the 2013 season, the Cougars have been ranked in the top-25 for 146-consecutive polls.
Outside hitter Erin Livingston led BYU to sweeps over Gonzaga and Portland at the Smith Fieldhouse last week, recording a career-high 22 kills against the Zags on Thursday night, and a game-high 14 kills in Saturday afternoon's matchup with the Pilots.
Filling in for Whitney Bower, setter Abby Taylor dished out 33 assists in her first start against Gonzaga, and tallied seven service aces in the Portland match, a mark tied for second in a single game in the rally scoring era at BYU.
No. 18 BYU @ San Francisco
Going 4-3 on the road this season, Olmstead is 78-14 (.848) away from Provo all-time, with a 120-10 (.923) record in West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Olmstead-led teams have a perfect 15-0 record against San Francisco, including 8-0 at War Memorial Gym.
Sweeping both matchups last season and the first between the two teams earlier this year, BYU has won 10 of the last 11 matchups via 3-0 sweeps. Since 2015, BYU has dropped just three sets to the Dons.
With a .302 season hitting percentage, the Cougars remained at fourth nationally in team hitting percentage. They also rank No. 32 in assists per set, at 12.8, and No. 34 in kills per set, at 13.79. BYU's hitting percentage and kills per set average lead the WCC.
Middle blocker Whitney Llarenas' .421 season clip ranks 10th nationally and first in conference. Livingston sits at No. 30 in kills per set (4.14) and No. 34 in points per set (4.64), marks good for second in the WCC. Fellow middle blocker Heather Gneiting, who leads the team in total blocks, with 87, ranks No. 56 in the country with a 1.23 block per set average.
San Francisco (13-10, 6-6 WCC)
- Since the Cougars and Dons last met, San Francisco is on a six-game win streak in conference, most recently picking up wins at LMU and Pepperdine last week
- Claira Crijns (266 kills), Maria Petkova (228) and Shyia Richardson (227) lead the Dons in kills, with Aylen Ayub dishing out a team-high 522 assists
- Abby Wadas pace San Francisco with 332 digs, while Crijins has recorded 33 service aces on the year
- Orsula Staka (91 total blocks) and Crijins (61 total blocks) highlight the Dons' efforts at the net
- In his second season with San Francisco, Diogo Silva is 13-35
- BYU leads the all-time series with San Francisco, 25-0. The Cougars are 12-0 against the Dons in the Bay Area.
After taking on San Francisco, the Cougars will head to Santa Clara for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Broncos. The match will be streamed on the WCC Network.