No. 16 BYU defeats No. 17 Pepperdine in Olmstead's historic 200th-career win
PROVO, Utah — Middle blocker Whitney Llarenas’s career-high 13 kills helped No. 16 BYU outlast No. 17 Pepperdine (25-12, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22) to win its fourth-straight match and earn head coach Heather Olmstead's 200th-career win.
"It feels great to have Cougar nation here supporting us," said Olmstead. "It was a hard-fought win and match for us. I was really proud of the group."
Achieving the 200-career win milestone in just 225 games, Olmstead is the fastest in NCAA Division I women’s volleyball history to hit the 200-win mark, surpassing the University of Hawaii's Dave Shoji, who reached 200 wins in 236 games back in 1987.
|Fastest NCAA DI Women's Volleyball Coaches to Reach 200-Career Wins|
|1||Heather Olmstead, BYU||225 games||2022|
|2||Dave Shoji, Hawai'i||236 games||1987|
|3||Terry Pettit, Nebraska||238 games||1988|
|T-4||Don Shaw, Stanford||244 games||1991|
|T-4||Russ Rose, Penn State||244 games||1987|
BYU hit .219 in the match, downing 54 kills while holding Pepperdine to a .126 clip. Three Cougars finished with double-digit kills: Llarenas' career-high 13, Erin Livingston (13) and Heather Gneiting (12). Gneiting also sent back six blocks. Setter Whitney Bower posted a double-double, recording 41 assists and 13 digs.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, paced by Gneiting's two quick kills. BYU continued to extend its lead, going ahead 11-6. A BYU overpass led to a big swing by the Waves that was stuffed by senior setter Whitney Bower, sending a shot of energy throughout the Smith Fieldhouse and giving the Cougars a 14-8 lead.
BYU won five-straight points to take a 20-9 lead after Whitney Bower caused Pepperdine to be out of system on consecutive plays. The Cougars were able to win the set 25-12, with their hitting percentage of .409 to the Waves' -0.067 a big difference.
The second set began back-and-forth as the two teams were tied early at six apiece. Pepperdine was able to break the tie, taking an 8-6 advantage. The Waves continued to apply the pressure as they extended their lead to seven, leading 17-10.
BYU called a timeout to stop the 5-0 scoring run by Pepperdine, but the Waves continued to control the set, leading 20-13. Pepperdine was able to win the set 25-18 and tie the match at one set apiece. Waves outside hitter Rachel Arenas led the way for Pepperdine with five kills in set two.
The Cougars got off to a fast start in set three, leading 3-0. BYU was able to continue holding the lead at 8-5. The Waves were able to hang around and tie the set at 12-12, eventually going ahead 15-14, but the Cougars responded and took the lead back from Pepperdine, at 19-18.
Backed by kills from Erin Livingston, Llarenas, Elyse Stowell and Kate Grimmer, BYU was able to hang onto the lead and win the set, 25-21 to take a 2-1 match lead. Llarenas led BYU with five kills in the set.
A service ace from Livingston gave the Cougars a 4-3 advantage early in set four. BYU continued to apply pressure as its lead was extended to 8-5. The Waves stayed afloat as they were able to tie the set at nine, but a Livingston kill gave the crowd life as the Cougars led by one, 11-10.
Pepperdine's Grace Chillingworth served an ace that tied the set at 13-13, but a Stowell kill gave the Cougars a 15-14 lead at the media timeout. Three-straight points by BYU put the Cougars up 18-15 and forced the Waves to call a timeout.
Another Livingston kill gave BYU a 21-17 lead, forcing Pepperdine to call its final timeout. A service ace by Gneiting gave the Cougars their first match point of the night with a 24-18 lead. Four-straight points by the Waves gave Pepperdine life, as BYU led 24-22, but a Livingston kill gave the Cougars the win, 25-22.
Going 2-0 to start WCC play, the Cougars will head to Portland next week for their first road trip of conference play, visiting the Pilots on Thursday, Sept. 29.
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