Top-20 matchup with No. 4 San Diego up next for No. 17 BYU
PROVO, Utah — Playing its third road game in a row, No. 17 BYU women’s volleyball will travel to San Diego to take on the fourth-ranked Toreros in its lone match this week.
The Cougars suffered their first loss in in West Coast Conference (WCC) play last week, dropping a five-setter at Pacific and snapping a nine-game win streak. Outside hitter Erin Livingston finished with a team-high 18 kills in the match against the Tigers, and has led the team in kills in 15 of 18 matches.
BYU dropped five spots in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll to No. 17. Dating back to the final poll of the 2013 season, the Cougars have been ranked in the top-17 for 135-consecutive polls.
No. 17 BYU @ No. 4 San Diego
Four of the last five matchups between the two teams have come when both teams were ranked in the AVCA poll. The Cougars have won the last four matchups, sweeping the Toreros in Provo and winning 3-1 in San Diego both times.
BYU head coach Heather Olmstead is 10-4 against San Diego during her tenure, posting a 5-2 record in the Smith Fieldhouse and at Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Hitting .304 on the season, the Cougars rank sixth nationally in team hitting percentage. They're also No. 21 in in kills per set (13.89) and No. 24 in assists per set (12.89). All three statistical marks remain atop the WCC.
Middle blocker Whitney Llarenas continues to improve her season hitting percentage, upping it to .426, the fifth-best percentage in the country and best in conference. Livingston is averaging 3.98 kills per set, good for No. 44 nationally, while setter Whitney Bower is dishing out 10.24 assists per set, which ranks No. 49.
San Diego (17-1, 8-0 WCC)
- The Toreros boast a 14-game win streak, going 8-0 in conference play thus far, including wins at Pacific and Saint Mary's last week
- San Diego opened the season with a five-set win against then-No. 6 Pitt, and have also swept then-No. 8 Ohio State
- Playing in a Louisville tournament the second week of the season, the Toreros' lone loss this season was at the then-No. 3 Cardinals, 3-1
- Katie Lukes leads San Diego in kills with 232. Grace Frohling and Breanna Edwards follow up Lukes with 187 and 185 kills, respectively.
- Transfer setter Gabby Blossom has totaled 683 assists on the year, and also shares the team lead for service aces (20) with Frohling
- Annie Benbow paces the Toreros with 224 digs, and Leyla Blackwell leads San Diego at the net, totaling 89 blocks
- Jennifer Petrie has been head coach of the Toreros for 24 years, going 464-164 during that time
- BYU leads the all-time series with San Diego, 14-10. The Cougars have won both matchups in the last two seasons.
The Cougars will return home after their quick trip to San Diego, hosting Gonzaga and Portland in WCC matches at the Smith Fieldhouse next week. Both matches will be televised on BYUtv and streamed on the BYUtv app.
Former BYU women’s volleyball All-American Amy Boswell Usevitch will be inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor on Saturday…