PROVO, Utah — No. 10 BYU women’s volleyball kicked off its 2022 season with a Blue vs. White scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 20 in the Smith Fieldhouse. Team white swept team blue, 3-0 (25-18, 24-10, 25-22) in the intrasquad showdown. The two teams also played a fourth set, which the white team won, 25-23.
All 19 players saw action during the scrimmage, occasionally switching teams between sets. Team white’s 61 total kills proved to be too much for team blue’s 26 kills and was ultimately the difference in the match.
Junior outside hitter Erin Livingston led all hitters with 20 kills on the day. Senior middle blocker Heather Gneiting finished with 14 kills. Senior setter Whitney Bower totaled 40 assists, and senior libero Aria McComber recorded 13 digs.
The white team jumped out to an early 8-3 lead and continued to hold that lead halfway through the first set, up 14-10. Led by Erin Livingston and Whitney Llarenas, team white was in control, and secured an eventual first set win, 25-18. Livingston’s eight kills and three digs helped boost the white team. Alyssa Montoya was a factor for the blue team in set one, leading the way with three kills for her squad.
Whitney Bower started things off with a service ace in set two. It was all team white early in the second set, jumping out to a 7-3 lead, but the blue team was able to rally and cut the deficit to 7-6. Despite the rally, the white team continued to show its dominance, taking a 15-7 lead just over midway through the second set. Team white wouldn't lose that lead and won the second set 25-10. Through two sets, team white hit .467 to team blue's .000.
The blue team found some momentum early in the third set, leading 3-0, but Livingston for team white continued to impress, picking up her 14th kill of the match and giving the white team a 6-5 lead. The blue team kept it close throughout the set, eventually tying the score at 20, but team white would go on to win the set 25-22. Heather Gneiting gave team blue a boost with eight kills in the match through three sets.
The fourth set was back and forth early, with the score tied 5-5. Team blue began to pull away, leading 9-5 and forcing the white team to call a timeout. Team white rallied to cut the deficit to 14-13, eventually taking the lead at 19-18. The teams continued to go back and forth with the score tied at 23-all, but the white team pulled away to win the set, 25-23.
The Cougars will open the regular season next week with the first of two BYU Invitational tournaments this season, hosting Rider and Duke on Friday, Aug. 26 at noon and 7 p.m. MDT.