Cameron Muh | Posted: 14 Oct 2022 | Updated: 29 Oct 2022

12th-ranked BYU heads to Stockton to play Pacific

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Kate Grimmer celebrates with Whitney Llarenas after a point

PROVO, Utah — Coming off its third-straight sweep, No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball heads to Stockton to play Pacific on Saturday afternoon. 

The Cougars improved to 7-3 in West Coast Conference (WCC) play with a sweep of Saint Mary’s on Thursday night. Outside hitter Erin Livingston recorded a team-high 11 kills, her 16th match with double-digit kills this season.

Tying a season-high with eight aces, four different BYU players recorded two each from behind the service line: setter Whitney Bower, outside hitter Alyssa Montoya and liberos Aria McComber and Kelsey Knudsen. 

Knudsen, who spent the first four years of her collegiate career with the Gaels, added two assists and four digs to go along with the pair of aces in her return to Moraga. 

BYU has won 34 WCC matches in a row, the third-longest streak in NCAA DI women's volleyball. The Cougars are also riding an 18-game road win streak in conference play. 

No. 12 BYU @ Pacific

Sweeping both matchups with Pacific last season, the Cougars have swept nine of the last 12 games since BYU head coach Heather Olmstead took over in 2015, with six wins in both Provo and Stockton. The Cougars have dropped just four sets to the Tigers during that span. 

Olmstead is 12-0 against Pacific during her time at BYU, with six wins a piece in Provo and Stockton. She has a 76-12 (.864) record on the road during her tenure, and a 117-9 (.929) record in WCC play. 

Hitting .378 as a team against Saint Mary’s on Thursday, the Cougars upped their season hitting percentage to. 305, which is the sixth-best clip in the nation. BYU also ranks No. 7 in kills per set, with 14.21, and No. 11 in assists per set, with 13.12. All three statistical marks continue to be WCC-leaders.

Middle blocker Whitney Llarenas recorded 10 kills on a .562 clip against the Gaels, bringing her season hitting percentage to .409, a mark that stands at 16th in the country and first in conference. Bower (10.46 assists per set) and Livingston (4.02 kills per set) both rank second in the WCC. Nationally, those marks are good for No. 36 and No. 40, respectively. 

Pacific (10-9, 2-5 WCC)

  • Opening WCC play with a win against Gonzaga, the Tigers have dropped four of their last five in conference, picking up a win against Saint Mary’s
  • Pacific played two non-conference tournaments in Illinois, and another pair in California, most notably earning wins over UC San Diego and Fresno State
  • Alexa Edwards leads the Tigers with 277 kills. Three other Pacific hitters have 100+ kills on the season: Biamba Kabengele (166), Darina Kumanova (132) and Ramonni Cook (113).
  • Jenna Heller has a team-high 611 assists, also recording 180 digs. Kumanova is right behind with 171 digs, and leads the team in aces, with 32. Edwards has 30 aces of her own.
  • At the net, Emily Van Groningen (33 blocks), Sedona Sherman (29 blocks) and Kabengele (23 blocks) pace the Tigers in total blocks.
  • 12 seasons in as head coach of the Tigers, Greg Gibbons has an overall record of 196-164
  • BYU leads the all-time series with Pacific, 20-7. The Cougars swept both matchups last season. The two teams did not face each other during the spring 2020-21 season. 

Following the game at Pacific, the Cougars have a long week to prepare for their top-15 matchup at No. 4 San Diego on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. PDT. The game will be streamed on the WCC Network. 

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