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College Roundup: BYU’s Mantz wins individual title at Cross Country Pre-Nationals

By Daily Herald - | Oct 15, 2021

BYU cross country runner Conner Mantz wins the Pre-Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)

TALLAHASSE, Fla. – No. 5 BYU men’s cross country runner Conner Mantz clocked a course record 22:47.0 in the men’s 8K to seize first place and help the team finish fourth at the FSU XC Invite/Pre-Nationals at Apalachee Regional Park on Friday.

Mantz began the race with a brief stay in eighth place but charged past runners from No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 Notre Dame and host Florida State over the last 3,000m. The reigning individual national champion recorded a 2:43.7 split and finished 2.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State.

Following Friday’s victory, Mantz has now recorded six consecutive first-place finishes and 10 for his career. In 19 collegiate cross country meets, the senior from Smithfield, Utah has never finished outside the top-10.

Teammate Casey Clinger joined Mantz in the top-10 at eighth with a time of 23:06.0, just a fraction of a second off a new 8K personal record. After lingering between 12th and 15th through the first 3,000m, Clinger pulled into the top-10 and never relinquished his spot down the stretch.

The sophomore from American Fork, Utah has now posted nine top-10 finishes in 12 career meets.

Brandon Garnica was the third BYU runner to cross the finish at 19th with a time of 23:34.0. Lucas Bons, Aidan Troutner, Adam Wood, Creed Thompson and Zac Jacklin rounded-out the Cougars’ results on Friday.

BYU’s 131 points were good for a fourth-place finish, ahead of six ranked teams, including a 72-point advantage over No. 2 Notre Dame. The Cougars joined No. 8 Arkansas and No. 7 Colorado in a logjam between second and fourth place. No. 1 Northern Arizona took the team title with a score of 63.

In-state foes No. 25 Weber State and UVU came in 16th and 19th, respectively, while West Coast Conference-foe Santa Clara finished 22nd.

No. 5 BYU will look to extend its reign atop the WCC as the team returns to action at the league’s cross country championships on Friday, Oct. 29 at Newhall Community Park in Concord, California.

Set streak ends at 27 but No. 8 BYU earns 3-1 victory at LMU

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – No. 8 BYU women’s volleyball secured a victory on Thursday night in a four-set match (22-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-18) against Loyola Marymount in the Gersten Pavilion.

The win gives BYU its tenth consecutive victory, now holding a 17-1 record and an undefeated 7-0 record in the West Coast Conference. The Cougars had won 27 straight sets since losing to then-No. 4 Pitt 3-1 on Sept. 10 but LMU ended that streak with a first-set win on Thursday.

BYU hit a .348 hitting percentage, overpowering LMU’s .176. Additionally, the Cougars racked up nine points blocking, surpassing LMU by 7.5 points.

Junior middle blocker Heather Gneiting led the team with 12 kills on the night, hitting a .474 clip. Two other Cougars slammed double-digit kills, including senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon (11) and sophomore outside hitter Erin Livingston (10).

Ultimately, the Lions put up 13 kills, compared to BYU’s 10, allowing LMU to take the first set win at 25-22.  BYU broke a 4-4 tie in Set 2 with a 6-0 run, its longest of the match, thanks to two aces and three kills coming from Gneiting, Kenzie Koerber and junior setter Whitney Bower.

The teams traded kills until BYU led by eight points at 21-13. Tack on three kills by Livingston and the Cougars took the set win at 25-16.

Four errors by LMU and kills by Koerber and Ballard-Nixon allowed BYU to take a 6-3 lead in Set 3. Bower and Livingston added two kills, but LMU remained close behind at 9-6. Four Cougars added kills, extending the lead to 16-11.

At 20-15, Gneiting achieved her tenth kill of the night, matching her season-high tally. At game point, BYU made four consecutive attack errors, reducing its lead to 24-22. A bad set by LMU gave BYU its final point, securing a second set win of 25-22.

Kills by Bower, Ballard-Nixon and Livingston extended the lead in Set 4 to 13-7. LMU’s Megan Rice tallied her 11th kill of night at 13-8, leading in kills overall. Gneiting achieved a new season-high kill count of 12 at 19-13, followed with another kill by Livingston. After LMU’s 24th attack error of the night, BYU secured a hard-fought win at 25-18.

Next up, No. 24 Pepperdine will host BYU on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. PDT in the Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves pushed San Diego to five sets on Thursday before falling 3-2.

Utah Valley volleyball rallies past Dixie State in five sets

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Kalea Kennedy’s career night led a furious comeback as Utah Valley rallied to defeat in-state rival Dixie State, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-16, 15-13) on the road at the America First Event Center. With the win in the Old Hammer Rivalry, the Wolverines improve to 9-8 on the season, including 4-2 in the WAC, extending its win streak to four matches. The Trailblazers fall to 4-10 on the year and 3-3 in conference play.

“It was a great win tonight especially with a hostile crowd,” said Utah Valley head volleyball coach, Sam Atoa. “I was proud of they kept their poise and fought through certain challenges tonight. We didn’t hit very well early in the match but I was proud of how they took control when it mattered most. I was very happy with Sadie and Kalea’s hitting, as well Bryton’s defense. It was a great team effort.”

Dixie State led 2-1 in sets when Kazna Tanuvasa took over early in the fourth set, leading UVU to an early 7-1 advantage. After Dixie State trim the lead to three points, Tanuvasa and Kennedy led a dominating 13-5 run to extend the Utah Valley lead to 24-13. DSU scored three-straight points but the Wolverines finished the set off, 25-16, tying the match up at 2-2.

Dixie State quickly took a 6-2 lead in the deciding set, but Tanuvasa and Kristen Bell sparked a 10-3 run to help UVU retake the lead, 12-9. The Wolverines were able to hold from there as Tanuvasa knocked home the final kill to give Utah Valley the set win, 15-13, to take the set 3-2.

Tanuvasa led the Wolverines with 15 kills to go along with seven digs. Kennedy set a career-high with 14 kills while Bell tallied a double-double with 12 kills, 16 digs, and a pair of aces. Bryton Bishop led UVU defense, nearly setting a career high with 25 digs and five assists while Hamson had a team-high five blocks to go along with nine kills. Abbie Miller finished with 30 assists and five digs and Natalie Palmer had a double-double with 15 assists, a career-high 15 digs, and three aces. Abbie Vincent had a season-high 10 digs and a pair of aces.

The Wolverines return home to Lockhart Arena as Utah Valley faces off with Dixie State again on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 1:00 p.m. MT. The Wolverines then hit the road for a pair of neutral-site matches with WAC-newcomers Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston on Oct. 22-23 in Phoenix, Ariz.

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