BYU wvb vs. LIU Brooklyn

BYU freshman Whitney Bower (7) prepares to set a teammate during a match against LIU Brooklyn at the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019.

PROVO — The No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball team swept LIU Brooklyn (25-14, 25-17, 25-10) Thursday night in its first match of the BYU Doterra Classic.

Senior McKenna Miller and sophomore Madelyn Robinson each had a game-high 10 kills for the Cougars, hitting at .409 and .400, respectively. Sophomore Heather Gneiting added seven with four blocks while junior Taylen Ballard-Nixon and junior Kennedy Eschenberg each had six kills for BYU.

BYU totaled 11 aces from a combined six players, including Gneiting and Whitney Bower with three apiece. The Cougars out-hit the Sharks .371 to .030 on the night.

BYU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in Set 1 following a Mary Lake ace and Ballard-Nixon kill, forcing LIU to call timeout. The Cougars maintained a convincing lead throughout the set, never letting their lead get below six. Five different players each recorded an ace for BYU on their way to a 25-14 win.

The Cougars once again came out strong in Set 2, causing the Sharks to call another early timeout after a 5-2 BYU lead. LIU hung around, however, and forced a BYU timeout after cutting the Cougars’ lead to 17-15. BYU proceeded to score six unanswered points behind Gneiting's serve to go up 23-17 before winning the set by a score of 25-17.

BYU built a 10-5 lead in Set 3 after a kill by Miller and an ace by Gneiting, her third of the match. The Cougars continued their momentum, recording a hitting percentage of .484 on the set and finishing off the match with back-to-back aces by Robinson to seal a 25-10 win.

The Cougars (3-1) will face Sam Houston State on Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. MT for its second match of the BYU Doterra Classic.

Weber State 3, Sam Houston State 0

In the first match of the day, Weber State downed Sam Houston State (25-21, 25-19, 25-18) behind nine kills from four different players and 13 team blocks led by 10 from Hannah Hill.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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