The BYU women’s volleyball team went 2-1 at the Shocker Classic over the weekend in Wichita, Kansas, with wins against Wichita State (3-1) and Virginia Commonwealth University (3-1) but a loss against No. 3 Texas (1-3).
The Cougars lost their first set against the Shockers but came back to win the next three (23-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20). Four teammates, McKenna Miller, Madelyn Robinson, Kennedy Eschenberg and Heather Gneiting, hit double-digits in kills. For Eschenberg, it was a career-high 13 kills along with a .476 hitting percentage. The team’s total for the match was 61 kills compared to Wichita State’s 39.
The team was unable to defeat No. 3 seeded Texas on Sept. 13 (1-3). The game started out with success in set one (25-23), but the Longhorns came back to win the next three (22-25, 19-25, 18-25). Although the Cougars didn’t win the match, Miller, Robinson and Gneiting had 10 or more kills each, along with 18 digs courtest of Mary Lake. They ended the match with 50 kills and a .186 hitting percentage.
The last game of the weekend started with a bang. BYU pulled ahead of VCU immediately in the first set and won commandingly 25-8 against VCU. Whitney Bower finished the first set with four service aces.
The second set against the Rams proved to be more difficult for the Cougars. The two teams swapped points until the score was tied 16-16. VCU gained momentum and won the second set 22-25.
Bower began the third set with another service ace. The score remained close with BYU pulling ahead thanks to three kills and a service ace, bringing the score to 20-17. Both sides continued to gain momentum, with both the Rams and Cougars calling timeouts. BYU eventually went on to win the third set 25-22.
The fourth set looked a lot like replays of the second and third. Halfway through the set, BYU called a timeout when VCU pulled ahead by one, leading 13-12. Immediately after the timeout, BYU tied up the score, with the teams beginning to swap points once again until BYU gained three points in a row courtesy of two kills by Miller and one by Kate Grimmer. The Rams called an emergency timeout, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Cougars. BYU took the last set 25-21.
Grimmer finished the weekend with a .611 hitting percentage. The top four kill leaders were Miller with 13, Grimmer and Eschenberg just behind her at 11 each, and Gneiting at 9. Miller is leading the team in kills with 116 this season. Bower and Lake were the match leaders in digs with 15 and 11 respectively.
The Cougars next game is against the University of Utah on Thursday, September 19.