Cameron Muh | Posted: 31 Aug 2022 | Updated: 8 Sep 2022

Cougars prepare for BYU Nike Invitational

main image
Image
BYU women's volleyball team and staff after 3-0 opening weekend in the dōTERRA Classic

PROVO, Utah — Coming off a 3-0 opening weekend, No. 7 BYU women's volleyball readies to host Utah State, Cincinnati and No. 10 Pittsburgh in the BYU Nike Invitational at the Smith Fieldhouse this week.

The Cougars moved up from No. 10 to No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, the association announced on Monday. Pitt, one of the three teams that BYU will host this week was ranked No. 10 in this week's poll.

15 of BYU's 19 players got to play in the last week's season opening-sweep of Rider, including freshman middle blocker Kate Prior, who recorded her first career block, and freshman outside hitter Eden Bower, who tallied five kills in the match.

Senior middle blockers Heather Gneiting (15) and Whitney Llarenas (9) both set carer-highs in kills as the Cougars beat Duke in four sets. Eden Bower then set a new carer-high in kills with 10 against Washington State on Saturday night.

Utah State (2-0, 0-0 MWC)

  • The Aggies went 2-0 in the Utah State Invitational last weekend, including a 3-1 win over No. 12 UCLA
  • Through two matches, Utah State has four players with double-digit kills on the season: Kylee Stokes (29), Tatum Stall (21), Emilee Turner (21) and Kennedi Boyd (15)
  • Coached by Rob Neilson, the Aggies are 29-19 during his three-year tenure
  • BYU leads the all-time series with Utah State, 51-15. The Cougars last played the Aggies on September 13, 2011, sweeping Utah State, 3-0.
  • This will be the first time the Cougars play the Aggies, BYU head coach Heather Olmstead's alma mater, during her time at the helm

Cincinnati (1-2, 0-0 AAC)

  • The Bearcats travel to Provo after going 1-2 during their opening weekend, beating Florida State after falling to Illinois State and Dayton
  • Sophomore middle blocker Abbey Walker leads Cincinnati with 41 kills through three matches. Walker is one of five Bearcat hitters with double-digit kills and one of four with 20+ kills.
  • Senior libero Payton Frederick and Walker were both named to the American Athletic Conference (AAC) weekly honor roll on Monday, Aug. 29
  • Head coach Molly Alvey is in her 11th season with Cincinnati, posting a 165-138 record since 2012
  • Friday's match between the Cougars and Bearcats will mark the first time the two teams meet in volleyball

No. 10 Pitt (2-1, 0-0 ACC)

  • The Panthers went 2-1 in the Texas A&M Invitational last weekend, dropping their season opener to then No. 25 San Diego in five sets before sweeping both Hawai'i and Texas A&M
  • Valeria Vasquez Gomez (34) and Juliana Dalton (33) lead Pittsburgh in kills and are two of six Panther hitters with double-digit kills through week one
  • In his tenth season as Pitt head coach, Dan Fisher boasts a 229-59 record
  • The Cougars and Panthers have met just twice on the volleyball court, splitting the all-time series. Pitt won last season's matchup in Pittsburgh, 3-1.
Match Information
Utah State @ BYU Thursday, September 1 7pm MDT BYUtv/BYUtv App Live Stats
Cincinnati vs. Pitt Friday, September 2 10am MDT BYUtv App Live Stats
Pitt vs. Utah State Friday, September 2 5pm MDT BYUtv App Live Stats
Cincinnati @ BYU Friday, September 2 7pm MDT BYUtv/BYUtv App Live Stats
Utah State vs. Cincinnati Saturday, September 3 4pm MDT BYUtv App Live Stats
Pitt @ BYU Saturday, September 3 7pm MDT BYUtv/BYUtv App Live Stats

Fans will need tickets to attend the three BYU matches against Utah State, Cincinnati and Pitt. The non-BYU games on both Friday and Saturday will be non-ticketed and open seating. 

Recent Stories

Image
Boswell WCC Hall of Honor 2023
Boswell Usevitch named to 2023 WCC Hall of Honor Class

Former BYU women’s volleyball All-American Amy Boswell Usevitch will be inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor on Saturday…

Image
Kalia Thunstrom, Utah State setter, to transfer to BYU
Olmstead announces addition of transfer Thunstrom

BYU women’s volleyball head coach Heather Olmstead has announced the signing of transfer setter Kalia Thunstrom. A 5-…