No. 14 BYU welcomes San Francisco to Provo
PROVO, Utah — Riding a season-high seven game win-streak and coming off a 3-0 sweep of Santa Clara on Thursday night, No. 14 BYU women's volleyball is set to play San Francisco in the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
Erin Livingston led BYU (12-3, 5-0 WCC) with a game-high 16 kills against the Broncos as six Cougar hitters recorded hitting percentages of .300 or better: Kate Grimmer (.364), Whitney Llarenas (.444), Livingston (.520), Heather Gneiting (.615), Whitney Bower (.833) and Sophia Callahan, whose two kills closed out both the second and third sets gave her a perfect (1.000) hitting percentage on the night.
The Cougars have won 32-consecutive WCC matches, the third-longest streak in NCAA DI women's volleyball. Dating back to 2019, the Cougars have won 24-straight conference games at home. Under head coach Heather Olmstead, BYU is 115-9 in WCC play, with a perfect 14-0 record against San Francisco, including 6-0 in the Smith Fieldhouse.
No. 14 BYU vs. San Francisco
The Cougars have swept three of the last four matchups with San Francisco, including both games last season and the first of two during the spring 2020-21 season. With Olmstead at the helm, BYU had dropped just three sets to the Dons in eight seasons.
Hitting a season-high .429 against Santa Clara on Thursday night, BYU's season hitting percentage improved to .292, moving the Cougars up to No. 12 nationally. BYU also ranks No. 11 in kills per set (14.04) and No. 13 in assists per set (13.02). All three statistical marks remain atop the WCC.
Outside hitter Erin Livingston surpassed the 200-kill mark against the Broncos. The Corona, Calif. native has downed 208 on the year and averages 4.08 kills per set, good for No. 35 nationally and second in conference.
Middle blockers Heather Gneiting and Whitney Llarenas each have 100+ kills to their name this season, with Gneiting at 133 and Llarenas at 116. The duo lead the team in total blocks with 61 and 45, respectively, Gneiting's 20 service aces are a team-high, and Llarenas' .387 clip stands at No. 31 in the country, while continue to rank first in the WCC
Setter Whitney Bower has dished out 531 assists this season and is averaging 10.41 assists per set, good for No. 37 nationwide and second in the conference. Four Cougars have recorded 100+ digs thus far. Bower continued to lead the team with 134, followed by Kate Grimmer and Kelsey Knudsen (123) and Aria McComber (116).
San Francisco (7-9, 0-5 WCC)
- The Dons have dropped four of their first five WCC matches via the sweep, taking Loyola Marymount to five sets before falling in the final frame, 15-11
- San Francisco won its first six games of the season, but is currently on an eight-game losing streak
- Three Dons' have 100+ kills on the year: Claire Crijins (169), Shyia Richardson (159) and Maria Petkova (152). Crijins also leads the team with 24 aces.
- Aylen Ayub (265 assists) and Isadora Nicolai (256 assists) pace San Franciso at setter, while Abby Wadas (218 digs), Richardson (106 digs) and Crijins (101 digs) lead the team in digs.
- Orsula Staka and Crijins highlight the Dons' defense at the net, with 52 and 37 total blocks, respectively
- Head coach Diogo Silva has a 7-34 record in two seasons with San Francisco
- BYU leads the all-time series with San Francisco, 24-0. The Cougars are 11-0 against the Dons at home. Sweeping both matchups last season, BYU has won nine of the last 10 games between the two teams via 3-0 sweeps.
Hitting the road again after Saturday afternoon's match, BYU will head to Saint Mary's and Pacific for games against the Gaels and Tigers next week. Both matches will be streamed on the WCC Network.
Former BYU women’s volleyball All-American Amy Boswell Usevitch will be inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor on Saturday…