No. 12 Cougars hit .439 in sweep of Bearcats

No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball hit a season-high .439 as it swept Cincinnati to improve to 20-5 on the season.

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PROVO, Utah — No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball hit a season-high .439 as it swept the Cincinnati Bearcats (25-14, 25-17, 25-18) for the second night in a row at the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday night.


The win marks the 20th of the season for the Cougars, who moved to 20-5 overall and 9-4 in Big 12 Conference play. Outside hitter Erin Livingston recorded 19 kills for the match, her third-most this season, on a .630 clip. 

Middle blocker Whitney McEwan-Llarenas had nine kills, hitting .533. Opposite hitter Kate Prior and middle blocker Mia Lee tallied seven kills each, on hitting percentages of .455 and .667, respectively.

Livingston, setter Whitney Bower and libero Kamaile Hiapo each recorded two service aces on the night. Bower posted 36 assists, and her six digs were tied for the team-lead in digs with libero Hannah Billeter. McEwan-Llarenas and Prior recorded three blocks apiece.

Set 1
The Cougars earned the first point of the match on a kill from Livingston. Both teams traded points early in the set with the Bearcats pulling ahead 5-3. Kills from Prior and Whitney Bower allowed BYU to take back command of the lead. McEwan-Llarenas found the Bearcat court for a kill that preceded the media timeout, with the Cougars up 15-12.

A double block by McEwan-Llarenas and Prior further advanced the BYU lead, pressuring a Cincinnati timeout. Two kills by McEwan-Llarenas followed by an error from the Bearcats put the Cougars up by nine. A double block by Livingston and McEwan-Llarenas won the set for BYU, 25-14. 

Set 2
The Bearcats opened the second set with the lead with two errors by the Cougars. Service aces by Bower and Livingston highlighted a rally by BYU that tied the set 5-5. Cincinnati drove back the lead with a kill and two attack errors by the Cougars. Three kills from Livingston brought the set to a tie again 11-11. Points from McEwan-Llarenas and Lee gave the Cougars a 15-13 lead into the media timeout. 

A triple block assist by Eden Bower, Lee, and Prior extended the BYU lead. Livingston found the Bearcat backcourt for a service ace, and with another kill, brought about a Cincinnati timeout at 20-14. A pair of deep kills from McEwan-Llarenas and Livingston gave tge Cougars set point. BYU finished the set with Livingston’s 15th kill on the night, 25-17. 

Set 3
The Cougars broke the Bearcat defense with a kill by McEwan-Llarenas for the first point of the third set. Cincinnati took control of the lead moments later, but Hiapo tied the set with two back-to-back service aces. An attacking error by the Bearcats led Cincinnati to call a timeout with Cougars up 8-7. 

Both teams traded points through the middle of the set before a Cougar run was highlighted by kills from McEwan-Llarenas and Livingston. Cincinnati tied the set a total of four times, but a pair of kills by Lee forced the Bearcats to take a timeout with BYU leading 19-15.

Whitney Bower recorded a service ace of her own to push the Cougars' lead ahead. A kill by Prior put the Cougars in set-point position. BYU won the set on Prior’s seventh kill of the contest, 25-18. 

Up Next
The Cougars will head to Orlando, Florida next week for a pair of matches against UCF. The first match will be played on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. EST and will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.