No. 9 Cougars sweep Cowgirls, improve to 5-0

No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball swept McNeese (25-14, 25-18, 25-18) at the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday night in the first of two contests for the Cougars in the dōTERRA Classic.


PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU women’s volleyball swept McNeese (25-14, 25-18, 25-18) at the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday night in the first of two contests for the Cougars in the dōTERRA Classic.


The Cougars (5-0, 0-0 Big 12) recorded an efficient team hitting percentage of .270 on the match while holding the Cowgirls to a .000 clip. Middle blocker Whitney McEwan-Llarenas led the team with a game-high nine kills, hitting .643 on the night.

Senior outside hitter Erin Livingston carded six kills to go along with four kills apiece from setter Whitney Bower, opposite hitter Kate Prior and outside hitter Eden Bower.

BYU posted 37 total kills to McNeese’s 22 and out-blocked the Cowgirls, eight to four. McEwan-Llarenas led the Cougars with a game-high five total blocks. Setter Whitney Bower fueled BYU with 19 assists while libero Aria McComber finished with a game-high 12 digs.


Set 1
Whitney Bower started off the contest with a dump kill immediately following the Cowgirls’ first serve. The teams would trade points early with BYU maintaining a two-point lead at 8-6.

A McNeese overpass kill cut the Cougar lead to 8-7 before the Cowgirls notched two more points to take a 9-8 lead. Beginning with a kill by Prior, the Cougars responded with a 7-0 run to go up 15-9, highlighted by a powerful double block from Whitney Bower and McEwan-Llarenas, and a service ace by McComber.

With the score at 15-10, the Cougars took advantage of four-straight errors to go up 19-10. Kamaile Hiapo notched a service ace to take a double-digit lead before a kill by Elyse Stowell, along with two service errors gave the Cougars the first set victory at 25-14.


Set 2
With BYU up 2-0, a hustle pancake save by Whitney Bower kept the long point alive for a double roof block by Whitney Bower and McEwan-Llarenas to take a 3-0 early advantage. Put-aways by Livingston and McEwan-Llarenas made it 5-0.

The Cougars continued their momentum, extending the advantage to 10-3 after Prior won a joust at the net. BYU later hammered home three-consecutive kills, including two by McEwan Llarenas, extending its lead to 14-5.

Trading a couple of service errors, the teams went back and forth in the ensuing rallies. Prior carded a cross-court kill to go up 21-12 to maintain the nine-point advantage. A quick 3-0 run by the Cowgirls brought a BYU timeout before a putaway by Eden Bower.

Both teams traded service errors before a slam by McEwan-Llarenas made it set-point with her ninth kill of the night. An error by the Cowgirls concluded the set at 25-18 as BYU carded 13 kills in the set, more than doubling the Cowgirls’ six.


Set 3
Claire Little’s first kill of the night extended BYU’s early lead to 5-2 in the concluding set before Whitney Bower recorded another dump kill. Whitney Bower hammered home her fourth kill after McNeese staved off two-straight powerful Livingston spikes.

Livingston later tallied a kill to make it 11-6. Kills by Livingston and Prior, along with a service ace by Livingston highlighted the next several points as the Cougars went up 17-10, starting what would become a 5-0 run.

Matching its largest lead of the night at 22-11, McNeese staved off defeat with four-consecutive points of their own to force a BYU timeout at 22-15. With the Cowgirls cutting the lead to 23-18, Mia Lee rocketed a cross-court kill from the weak side. A McNeese attack error then gave BYU the victory at 25-18.


Up Next
The Cougars will conclude the dōTERRA Classic with a matchup against UC Davis on Saturday evening at 5:00 pm MDT. The contest will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.