Natalie Orr | Posted: 18 Sep 2021 | Updated: 11 Oct 2021

Koerber’s 18 kills leads No. 15 BYU past UVU

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BYU wins

OREM, Utah — No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball swept Utah Valley University on Saturday in the Lockhart Area (25-16, 25-18, 25-20), moving to an 18-0 record over the Wolverines all-time.

The win brings BYU’s record to 10-1 on the season. The Cougars managed 48 kills and a .367 hitting percentage compared to UVU’s 32 kills and .163 clip. Defensively, BYU had 43 digs and four blocks.

Opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber led the Cougars with 18 kills and eight digs. Junior setter Whitney Bower tied her season-high of four kills and boasted an .800 clip. 

UVU’s Abbie Miller quickly registered back-to-back aces, putting UVU on the board. However, Koerber followed with three kills, tying the score at 4-4.

A tight score continued until junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting tallied two kills, followed with kills by both Koerber and senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon. Tack on two consecutive aces by Ballard-Nixon and the gap widened to 12-6. The teams continued to trade points, while BYU held a comfortable seven-point lead at 18-11. Five kills later and a block by junior setter Whitney Bower and middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg, BYU sealed the set-one win, 25-16.

Trailing UVU 2-0, Koerber’s seventh kill of the night and an ace by sophomore libero Madi Allen tied the teams. Staying within two points of each other, Ballard-Nixon contributed BYU’s sixth ace. Two kills by Bower propelled the Cougars ahead 10-7. The lead was short lived, facing a tie again at 11-11.

Koerber pounded three more kills, racking up a .750 clip. This would keep BYU in the lead, but UVU never trailed far behind. Ultimately, BYU’s .242 clip paired with 15 kills overpowered UVU, 25-18.

The Wolverines applied high pressure to the Cougars. The teams remained within a point of each other, tying seven times when reaching 7-7. BYU broke away at 16-12, thanks to two kills by Ballard-Nixon and a kill by Koerber.

BYU held a five-point lead, until UVU put together a 5-0 run, bringing the score to 18-17. Five kills by four Cougars finished the night in BYU’s favor, 25-20.

Next week, BYU will host Pacific in the Smith Fieldhouse in a West Coast Conference matchup on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. MDT.