Natalie Orr | Posted: 23 Sep 2021 | Updated: 14 Oct 2021

No. 11 BYU takes first conference win in sweep against Pacific

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BYU women's volleyball team celebration after a point against Pacific
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PROVO, Utah — No. 11 BYU women’s volleyball defeated Pacific in straight sets on Thursday night in the Smith Fieldhouse, notching its tenth sweep of the season (25-13, 25-12, 25-17).

Holding an 11-1 record on the season, this sweep marks BYU's first West Coast Conference victory in its first conference match. 

BYU's defense held the Tigers to .028 hitting percentage, recording 43 digs and five blocks. In addition, 36 kills and seven aces secured a .280 hitting percentage for the Cougars. 

“We are super scrappy and fight to get every ball up,” said BYU setter Whitney Bower. “On defense, we go for every single ball and that allows us to set every hitter. When we can set every hitter, it lets us spread the ball out, which makes our offense better as well.”

Opposite hitter Kenzie Koerber led the Cougars offensively with nine kills. Freshman outside hitter Elyse Stowell had a career night, achieving eight kills on 13 swings, hitting a .538 clip, the team's highest for the night. Bower tallied 23 assists and six digs.

The Cougars extended their all-time record to 19-7 against Pacific, now holding a 17-match winning streak.

Set 1
The Cougars grabbed a lead early in the first set. Six errors committed by Pacific in the first ten points, followed by kills from Koerber and junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting, brought the score to 8-2. 

BYU used three 3-0 runs to extend their lead to 23-11. Doubling Pacific's kills, BYU notched 14. Paired with another three errors by the Tigers, freshman outside hitter Sophia Callahan secured the 25-13 win with a final kill.

Set 2
BYU took another early lead after kills from Koerber and senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon. Pacific stayed within three points of BYU, bringing the score to 10-7. However, the Cougars managed to win 10 of the next 13 points, extending their lead to 20-10. That run consisted of three kills and six Pacific errors. The Cougars dominated, 25-12, with a quick kill from middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg to win the set.

Set 3
The Cougars started hot with a 5-1 lead. Pacific countered with a 4-0 run of their own, tying it 5-5. Multiple 4-0 runs were the trend in the third set as BYU took a 9-5 lead. Every time the Cougars widened the gap, the Tigers put together a run to stay close behind. Leading 15-14, BYU rattled off 11 of the next 13 points, sealing the sweep, 25-17.

The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse to face another WCC opponent, Saint Mary's, on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. MDT.