No. 18 Cougars fall to No. 2 Toreros in regular season finale
PROVO, Utah — No. 18 BYU women's volleyball dropped a four-setter to No. 2 San Diego (25-21, 19-25, 22-25, 22-25) at the Smith Fieldhouse on Tuesday evening.
The Cougars (21-6, 15-3 WCC) hit .205 to the Toreros' .243. San Diego recorded three more kills than BYU, at 58 to 55, and outblocked the Cougars, 11-7.
Outside hitter Erin Livingston and middle blocker Heather Gneiting led BYU with 13 kills each. Fellow middle blocker Whitney Llarenas tallied 12 kills of her own. Gneiting, Llarenas and outside hitter Elyse Stowell each added three blocks.
Liberos Aria McComber and Kelsey Knudsen recorded 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Setter Whitney Bower finished with 44 assists, nine digs and three kills.
BYU got off to a fast start leading 5-0, forcing San Diego to call a timeout. The Toreros responded, scoring the next three points and cutting their deficit to just 5-3. A service ace from Bower brought the Smith Fieldhouse to its feet as the Cougars continued to have control and maintain their lead through the first set, ahead 18-13.
The set was closed out and won by BYU 25-21, as Llarenas got the final kill the Cougars needed. BYU outhit San Diego .220 to .136 in the first set.
Set two began back-and-forth as the score was tied at 7-7 early on. The Toreros eventually began to build a lead of their own, with an 11-7 advantage at a timeout break.
San Diego continued to control the set, leading 16-9 as the Cougars were forced to call a timeout. The Toreros continued to maintain and extend their lead to 19-11. BYU began to make a run, cutting its deficit to 24-19 late in the set, but the Toreros were able to hang on and win 25-19.
The third set began back-and-forth just like the second, as the score was tied at 5-5. San Diego began to take a lead, going up 8-5 when a timeout was called. A Livingston kill out of the timeout sparked a 3-0 run for the Cougars, tying the set at 8.
A service ace from Livingston gave BYU a 10-9 lead in the set, but the Toreros regained the lead at 13-12. Another Livingston kill tied the score at 16-16, with a service ace from Livingston giving the Cougars a 19-18 lead before a timeout was called.
San Diego regained the lead at 21-20 before another timeout was called. The Toreros were able to hang on and win the set 25-22.
The Toreros led 5-3 early in the fourth set, but BYU was able to take the lead at 6-5. San Diego eventually tied things up at 10-10 and led by two before a timeout was called by the Cougars.
A lead of five was eventually constructed by the Toreros as they led 19-14 late in the set. San Diego continued to apply pressure and led 21-15.
Livingston's 13th kill kept BYU alive as the Cougars went on a 3-0 run, cutting their deficit to 22-19 before a timeout was called. BYU kept fighting, but the Toreros were able to hang on and win the set 25-22.
The Cougars will now await the NCAA Selection Show, scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m. MST on ESPNU, for their NCAA Tournament seeding.
Former BYU women’s volleyball All-American Amy Boswell Usevitch will be inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor on Saturday…