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BYU Notebook: Heather Olmstead earns AVCA region coaching award

By Daily Herald - | Apr 13, 2021

BYU’s Heather Olmstead has been named the Pacific South Region Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Olmstead led the Cougars to a 16-1 record in 2021 and the West Coast Conference regular season title. BYU opens the NCAA Tournament on Thursday as the No. 16 overrall seed.

Olmstead also won the Pacific South Region Coach of the Year in 2018, the same season she was named AVCA Coach of the Year for leading the Cougars to the Final Four.

In five seasons at BYU, Olmstead has compiled a 160-19 record, which is the highest winning percentage of any women’s volleyball coach in Division I history (.893).

Seniors Taylen Ballard-Nixon and Kennedy Eschenberg were named to the All-Region team along with sophomores Whitney Bower and Kate Grimmer.

All-Region awardees are now eligible for All-America consideration; All-Americans will be announced Wednesday, April 21.

Tickets for BYU-Arizona football available Friday

Tickets to the Las Vegas Kickoff Classic, featuring BYU and Arizona at Allegiant Stadium on Sept. 4, will go on sale publicly via byutickets.com at 10 a.m. MDT on Friday, April 16.

All Cougar Club members will receive an email today with their codes for early access. Athletic director circle and legacy members will have access April 13, and all other tiers of the Cougar Club will have access April 14. Times vary based on membership level.

Tickets range in price from $55 to $175.

Four home runs in the final three innings, boosted BYU to beat Idaho State 10-1 at Gail Miller Field on Tuesday afternoon.

Long ball leads softball to victory

Autumn Moffat-Korth pitched a complete game, striking out five Bengals and allowing just one run. She also hit a three-run homer as part of a 2-3 day from the plate.

Violet Zavodnik knocked a pair of two-run homers. The first was a two-run shot bringing in Jensen in the third and the second, a two-run homer that brought in Emilee Erickson and ended the game.

A no-doubter to left-center was the highlight of a 3-3 hitting day for Melissa Chavez.

The starting pitchers for both squads came out ready to play. Both hits and runs were hard to come by through the first couple of innings of the game. Moffat-Korth gave up four hits through the first three innings but allowed just one run.

Idaho State starter Emma McMurray came into the game with a record of 0-4 but no-hit the Cougars through the first two innings. Marissa Chavez led off the top of the third and sent the ball over the fence in left-center to lock the score at 1-1.

Rylee Jensen logged the second BYU hit of the day with a single through the gap between first and second to follow Chavez’s leadoff homer. After an infield pop-out, Zavodnik brought home Jensen with her seventh home run of the year to put BYU up 3-1.

In the bottom of the fourth, HannahJo Peterson knocked the ball into left field and scored pinch-runner Ally Oyanguren from second to stretch the BYU lead to three at 4-1.

Hunter Ava and Martha Epenesa both walked to start off the fifth. Taylei Williams stepped in to run for Epenesa and Erin Miklus laid down a bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Moffat-Korth brought them both home with a no-doubter over the left-center wall to give the Cougars a 7-1 advantage.

Chavez hit a hard grounder that bounced over the head of the third baseman to keep things rolling for the Cougar offense. Emilee Erickson connected on her first at bat of the night that brought home Chavez from second. Zavodnik ended the game in the next at bat with her second homer of the night, giving BYU a 10-1 mercy-rule win in the fifth inning.

The Cougars will host Utah Valley in the UCCU Crosstown Clash on Wednesday, April 14. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and the BYUtv App.

Men’s tennis honored after big week

BYU men’s tennis swept the West Coast Conference University Credit Union Men’s Tennis weekly honors, the conference announced Tuesday. Graduate senior Sean Hill was named Singles Player of the Week while sophomore Jack Barnett and senior Ben Gajardo earned Doubles Team of the Week honors.

Hill defeated ITA No. 30 August Holmgren of San Diego in a three-set thriller on Saturday. After dropping the first set 2-6, he rallied back to take the second and third sets 6-3, 7-5, clinching the 4-0 match sweep for the Cougars. With the win, Hill improved to 13-2 on the year, tied with fellow senior Gajardo for most singles wins this season.

This is Hill’s first Singles Players of the Week honor. Hill had previously earned Doubles Team of the Week honors twice his sophomore and junior year and once his senior year.

Barnett and Gajardo improved to 6-1 as a doubles pair last week, clinching the doubles point for the Cougars in a 4-0 sweep of San Diego. The duo, ranked ITA No. 71, took down the Torero’s 61st ranked August Holmgren and David Norfeldt, 6-3 in the win.

This is Barnett’s second WCC award. He was named Singles Player of the Week once as a freshman last season. Gajardo has also received WCC honors once previously. He earned Doubles Team of the Week honors as a sophomore.

This is the Cougars’ second and third weekly award of the season. Doubles pair Mateo Vereau Melendez and Brigham Andrus received WCC Doubles Team of the Week honors last week.

BYU is 11-5 on the year and looks to continue its five-match win streak as they welcome San Francisco and Utah to the Outdoor Tennis Courts on Friday, April 16, at 10 a.m. MDT, and Saturday, April 17, at 2 p.m. MDT, respectively.

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