Cameron Muh | Posted: 11 Nov 2022 | Updated: 21 Nov 2022

No. 18 BYU hosts Saint Mary's in penultimate home match

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An excited Aria McComber points to a teammate after a play

PROVO, Utah — Riding a four-match win streak, including three wins via 3-0 sweeps, No. 18 BYU women’s volleyball welcomes Saint Mary’s to the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars (18-5, 12-2 WCC) remained at No. 18 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll. Dating back to 2013, BYU has been ranked in the Top 25 for 147-consecutive polls.  

Originally scheduled to host Pacific in a West Coast Conference (WCC) matchup on Thursday night, the Tigers chose to forfeit the match. As a result, the WCC has recognized the forfeit as a win for standings purposes. The NCAA views the match as a cancellation, so that win will not be credited towards the Cougars’ overall or home records.

No. 18 BYU vs. Saint Mary’s

Going 12-1 at home this season, BYU head coach Heather Olmstead is 112-6 (.949) at the Smith Fieldhouse all-time, with a 123-10 (.925) record in WCC play. The Cougars have won 27-straight WCC matches at the Fieldhouse. 

Olmstead’s teams are a perfect 15-0 against Saint Mary's, picking up six wins in Provo and nine in Moraga since 2015, dropping just five sets to the Gaels in that span. BYU has swept six of the last seven matchups.

The Cougars remain at No. 4 in the nation with a .300 team hitting percentage, also ranking 28th in kills per set (13.87) and 29th in assists per set (12.83). BYU’s hitting percentage and kills per set average continue to lead the WCC. 

Middle blocker Whitney Llarenas sits atop the conference and at No. 11 nationally with a .410 hitting clip on the season. Fellow middle blocker Heather Gneiting is a block away from hitting 100 on the season, at 99 total blocks. Averaging 1.27 blocks per set, Gneiting is 41st in the nation in the statistical category. 

Outside hitter Erin Livingston ranks No. 23 in the country in kills per set, at 4.24, and No. 30 in points per set, at 4.75. Both marks are good for second in conference. Livingston leads the team with 331 kills this season.

Saint Mary’s (7-15, 4-10 WCC)

  • The Gaels are on a four-match losing streak, most recently being swept by San Diego on Thursday night
  • Since BYU and Saint Mary’s last met, the Gaels swept Santa Clara, 3-0
  • Hawley Harrer leads the team with 246 kills, while Ella Sandt has dished out 567 assists
  • Makenna Joyce paces the Gaels with 267 digs. Kjersti Strong and Kristen Erland have sent back 74 and 58 total blocks, respectively. 
  • Genevieve Bane (29) and Sandt (27) lead Saint Mary’s in service aces
  • Rob Browning has been head coach of the Gaels for 18 seasons, posting a 255-232 record in that time
  • BYU leads the all-time series with Saint Mary’s, 22-6. The Cougars are 10-2 against the Gaels at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Following BYU’s Saturday afternoon matchup with Saint Mary’s, the Cougars will head to Los Angeles for their final WCC road trip of the season for games at Pepperdine and LMU. Both matches will be streamed on the WCC Network.

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