No. 8 Cougars beat Tigers in four sets

No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball opened the Cougar Challenge with a four-set win against Towson (25-20, 25-23, 14-25, 25-22) at Bohler Gym on Thursday afternoon.


PULLMAN, Wash. — No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball opened the Washington State Cougar Challenge with a four-set win against Towson (25-20, 25-23, 14-25, 25-22) at Bohler Gym on Thursday afternoon.


The Cougars (7-0, 0-0 Big 12) hit .a combined .305 between the first two sets before cooling off with a .176 hitting percentage on the match. Outside hitter Erin Livingston led BYU with 15 kills. Fellow outside hitter Elyse Stowell poured in 12 kills off the bench on a .526 clip.

Setter Whitney Bower finished with a double-double, recording 31 assists and 10 digs. Libero Kamaile Hiapo led the team with 13 digs. Middle blocker Mia Lee added a game-high six total blocks, including one solo block.

Set 1
A pair of kills each by Livingston and Lee paced BYU to an early 5-2 lead. Kate Prior, Whitney McEwan-Llarenas and Stowell kills than had the Cougars in front 8-4. Towson drew within one after a 3-0 run, at 10-9, BYU, but the Cougars responded with five-straight points to go in front 16-10, forcing both of the Tigers timeouts during the run.

Two more kills by Stowell, a pair of Towson errors and a McEwan-Llarenas kill had BYU leading by a game-high eight points, at 21-13. The Tigers then went on a 4-0 run to come within four, at 23-19, spanning a BYU timeout. A Livingston kill ended Towson’s run and gave the Cougars set point. Two plays later, Claire Little scored out of the back row to earn the 25-20 BYU set win.

Set 2
The second frame featured seven ties and three lead changes as Towson opened up a 5-1 lead in the early going, forcing a Cougar timeout. BYU took five of the next six points out of the timeout to tie the set at 6-6.

Then trailing 9-7, the Cougars went on their second 5-0 run of the match, fueled by kills from Prior, Stowell and McEwan-Llarenas, to go in front, 12-9, and force a Tiger timeout. Weathering a 3-0 Towson run that again tied the set, the two teams traded points before BYU went on its on 3-0 run, earning a 17-15 lead, and the Tigers called their second timeout.

Kills by Livingston and Stowell, the latter on an overpass, had the Cougars up 20-17. A pair of Tiger errors made it 22-18, BYU, but Towson made it a one-point game after a 3-0 run, and the Cougars called their second timeout. Trading points out of the timeout, two Livingston kills, including the set winner, helped BYU to a tight 25-23 set win, going up 2-0 in the match.

Set 3
Back-and-forth-early, another 3-0 Cougar run gave BYU a 5-2 advantage before the two teams began trading points. Towson went on a 7-0 run to go up 14-10, spanning a BYU timeout.

Little put an end to the run with a kill, making it 15-11, Tigers, but Towson scored the next six, spanning a BYU timeout to lead 21-11. The Cougars got a double block from Lee and Prior and another overpass kill by Stowell before eventually dropping the third set, 25-14.

Set 4
The fourth set began in similar fashion as the third before a 4-0 Cougar run made it 7-3, BYU, and forced a Tiger timeout. Weathering a 3-0 Towson run, BYU got kills by Prior and Stowell before a Hannah Billeter ace to lead 11-8.

Another 4-0 Cougar run, fueled by a Livingston-Lee double block and kill by Lee put BYU ahead 15-10 and forced Towson’s second timeout. Leading 17-12 after two Tiger errors, Stowell scored off the block and then through the block, before an Aria McComber ace as the Cougars went in front, 20-14.

Towson took five of the next six points spanning a BYU timeout, including a 4-0 run to draw within one, at 21-20. McEwan-Llarenas and Livingston both landed kills off the block before another Livingston kill gave the Cougars match point. BYU called its second timeout after two Tiger points, and Livingston ended a rally to seal the four-set win with a kill through the block.

Up Next
Scheduled to face UC Irvine later on Thursday evening, the Cougars will play their second of three matches at the Cougar Challenge at 5:30 p.m. PDT on Sept. 7.