BYU-Gonzaga wvb Whitney Bower celebrate

BYU freshman setter Whitney Bower celebrates a point in the Cougars 3-1 victory against Gonzaga at the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.

No. 13 BYU women’s volleyball defeated West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga in four sets (21-25, 25-9, 25-20, 25-16) on Saturday.

Senior outside hitter McKenna Miller led the way for BYU (24-4, 15-2) with 18 kills in the match, posting a .419 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Whitney Bower had a double-double with 43 assists and 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Heather Gneiting matched her season high of 12 kills while posting seven blocks and two aces in the match.

“Our crowd was awesome this afternoon,” BYU head coach Heather Olmstead said. “I liked how we battled hard after a not-so-clean first set. We kept at our plan and navigated through the match pretty well.”

Senior libero Mary Lake added 18 digs, nine assists, two aces and a rare kill for the Cougars in their 16th win in a row over the Zags. Junior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg had eight kills on 10 attempts with no errors and four blocks as well.

In a tightly contested first set saw 10 ties and neither team could take the lead early. However, the Gonzaga (10-19, 4-13) offense proved to be too much for the Cougars to handle as the set progressed and the Bulldogs pulled away from a 20-20 tie to win the set, 25-21.

Miller posted five kills in the second set to lead the Cougars to a 25-9 win and a stellar .520 hitting percentage. BYU went on an 11-1 run early in the set behind two aces and a kill from Gneiting and five kills by Miller. A final Robinson kill ended the set quickly with a 16-point Cougar win.

BYU and Gonzaga battled for the lead at the beginning of the third set, but a 9-1 run from the Cougars gave them a comfortable lead going forward. A kill by Gneiting and a block by Gneiting and Miller finished off the set, 25-20.

A 8-1 run this time helped BYU pull away in Set 4, including a pair of kills and a block from sophomore Madelyn Robinson. Robinson also ended the set with a kill, her ninth of the match, to give the Cougars the 25-16 win.

BYU will return home for Senior Day on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 8 p.m. MST. The match will be televised on ESPNU.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!