Natalie Orr | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 | Updated: 2 Oct 2021

No. 12 BYU hits the road for the Panther Challenge

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No. 12 BYU

PROVO, Utah — Hitting the road for the first time this season, No. 12 BYU heads to Pittsburgh, Penn. for the Panther Challenge, taking place Sep. 10 and 11.

In addition to the Cougars, the Pittsburgh Panthers will host Bowling Green State University and High Point University. Below is a breakdown of this weekend’s schedule.

Sept. 10

10 a.m. - HPU vs. PITT

12 p.m. - BYU vs. BGSU

7 p.m. - BYU vs. PITT

Sept. 11

11 a.m. - HPU vs. BGSU

4 p.m. - BYU vs. HPU

7 p.m. - BGSU vs. PITT 

No. 12 Brigham Young University Cougars (6-0, 0-0 West Coast Conference)

  • Finished 2020-21 season as WCC champions and ranked No. 15 in the AVCA
  • The 2021 team features four 2020-21 All-Americans: Taylen Ballard-Nixon, Whitney Bower, Kennedy Eschenberg and transfer Kenzie Koerber
  • Currently on a six-match winning streak to start the season, after winning the dōTERRA Classic and the BYU Invitational
  • BYU has swept five of its six competitors this season
  • Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting currently leads the NCAA in hitting percentage, boasting a .603 clip
  • The WCC dubbed sophomore libero Madi Allen as Defensive Player of the Week

No. 4 University of Pittsburgh Panthers (5-0, 0-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)

  • In the Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll, the team earned the top spot. 
  • The Panthers started the season ranked as No. 9 in the AVCA
  • On Monday, outside hitter Kayla Lund made history as the team’s first athlete to earn National Player of the Week honors from the AVCA. Additionally, the ACC named her as Co-Player of the Week.
  • In 2020, Pitt reached the Regional Finals in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s longest run in program history

Bowling Green University Falcons (3-3, 0-0 Mid-American Conference)

  • The Falcons return 13 of their 15 letter winners from the 2020-21 season, including first-team All-MAC selections Petra Indrova, Hanna Laube and Katelyn Meyer
  • On Monday, the Mid-American Conference honored Indrova as MAC East Offensive Player of the Week and Laube as MAC East Setter of the Week
  • In the MAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, BGSU was unanimously selected to win the MAC East 

High Point University Panthers (5-2, 0-0 Big South)

  • Last weekend, HPU swept three of its four opponents at the Black Knights Invitational 
  • Outside hitter Dylan Maberry leads the Big South Conference in total kills, managing 86 in seven matches 
  • On Aug. 30, the Big South Conference awarded outside hitter Sydney Palazzolo Player of the Week after her collegiate debut performance. She averaged 4.71 kills per set. Additionally, libero Jenny Wessling received the Freshman of the Week award, tallying 4.75 digs per set.

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