The BYU women's volleyball team celebrates a point in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars are 10-1 on the season after picking up road wins at San Francisco. (Preston Crawley)

BYU Olympic overview: Milestone for women’s soccer and volleyball wins on the road

BYU women’s soccer head coach Jennifer Rockwood reached her 400th career win on March 6 and the women’s volleyball team won a pair of matches on the road at San Francisco to highlight this week’s “Olympic overview.”

Women’s Soccer

No. 14 women’s soccer head coach Jennifer Rockwood hit the milestone 400th career win on Saturday, March 6 after BYU defeated Loyola Marymount 3-1. Rockwood has been with BYU since the Cougars were sanctioned by the NCAA in 1995. She is the 11th active NCAA Division I coach to reach 400 wins, 14th overall and first to reach the milestone at one school.

BYU took down both Missouri and LMU last week to improve their record to 4-2-0. The Cougars defeated Mizzou 3-0. Sophomore Bella Folino scored the Cougars’ first goal in the 19th minute to put them up 1-0. Senior All-American and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Mikayla Colohan scored two goals in two minutes against the Tigers. 

BYU then went to LMU and defeated the Lions 3-1. Colohan scored the first goal of the match off a penalty kick 26 minutes into the first half. Moments before the half ended, sophomore Brecken Mozingo scored the Cougars’ second goal. BYU’s final goal came off the foot of sophomore Rachel McCarthy in the 59th minute. The Cougars return home to South Field on Saturday, March 13 to take on Santa Clara.

Women’s Volleyball

The No. 15 women’s volleyball team won both matches in its road series against San Francisco, improving to 10-1 on the season. BYU swept the Dons in straight sets in the first match (25-23, 25-20, 25-21). Sophomore setter Whitney Bower recorded a double-double with 37 assists and 10 digs with the Cougars hitting .364. Senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon had 11 kills and sophomore opposite Kate Grimmer recorded 10 kills. Senior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg led with six blocks, with freshman libero Madi Allen and sophomore Grace Wee totaling 10 digs each.

The Cougars celebrate a point at the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU lost just one set in a road series at San Francisco. (Preston Crawley)

San Francisco put up more of a fight in the second match, sending it to four sets before the Cougars took the win (25-15, 20-25, 26-24, 25-18). Ballard-Nixon recorded her third double-double of the season, setting a personal best 23 kills and 11 digs. Freshman outside hitter Erin Livingston hit a new career-high with 18 kills and recorded six digs. Eschenberg titled 10 hits and Bower recorded her third consecutive double-double with 52 assists and 16 digs. The Cougars come back home this week against Pacific.

Cross Country

After sweeping the WCC Championship, the men’s and women’s cross country teams qualified for the 2021 NCAA Championships. All-American Conner Mantz took home the individual title and led the men’s team to their sixth-straight WCC title. The No. 1-ranked men’s team looks to win its second consecutive national championship as it enters its 22nd consecutive appearance in the meet. The No. 2 women’s team won its third-straight league championship with Anna Camp-Bennett and Aubrey Frentheway finishing second and third overall. The women look forward to competing in their sixth-straight championship meet. The NCAA Championship meet will take place on March 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Track and Field 

Junior Ashton Riner and sophomore Cameron Bates set career bests and top-10 BYU marks as the Cougars opened their outdoor season at the UNLV Spring Opener. Riner threw a personal best 52.91 meters in women’s javelin, solidifying her as No. 2 on the BYU all-time top 10. Bates landed as No. 4 overall in BYU history with a throw of 70.99 meters.

BYU’s outdoor season continues at the UNLV Invitational March 18-20.

Gymnastics

No. 11 BYU fell to No. 2 Oklahoma 197.800-196.900. The Cougars posted their fourth consecutive meet earning 196.900 or higher despite their loss. BYU put up a score of 49.200 on vault, floor and uneven bars. The Cougars kept close to the Sooners through the first two apparatuses, but minor errors on their floor rotation put a larger gap between the two teams. BYU put up its highest apparatus score of the night on the final rotation, posting 49.300 on beam.

Freshman Allix Mason posted a career-best on vault with a score of 9.825. Junior Rachel Bain also posted a career-best, scoring a 9.875 on floor, while junior Brittney Vitkauskas snagged a team-high 9.925. Freshman Elease Rollins celebrated a career-high 9.925 on beam with fellow freshman Sophia McClelland putting up 9.900. BYU will host its final home meet in the Marriott Center on March 11 against No. 13 Denver.

Tennis

Women’s tennis dominated 6-1 against Grand Canyon, moving to 5-1 at home. BYU completed its doubles sweep, moving to 25-12 in doubles matches. Emilee Astle continued to dominate as she won her singles matches, posting a team-best 9-3 on the season. The Cougars take on Weber State on March 12 at home.

Doubles partners Leah Heimuli, left, and Emilee Astle, right, prepare to receive a serve at the outdoor tennis courts in Provo. The Cougars swept doubles matches against GCU and are 5-1 at home this season. (Preston Crawley)

Men’s tennis opened conference play with a 5-2 win over Santa Clara, moving them to 5-4 on the season. The Cougars’ doubles started out early building momentum with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. BYU carried the momentum into the singles matches as Sam Tullis dominated, coming away with a 6-1 victory. Ben Gajardo nailed the win for BYU as he outlasted Dominic Barretto. BYU will host the Air Force Academy on March 12. 

Softball

BYU took down UCSB 4-1 on March 5. After two scoreless innings, the Cougars stepped up and brought in three runs. Senior Rylee Jensen-McFarland singled, sending in sophomore Kaylee Erickson before stealing second and then being brought in by a senior HannahJo Peterson double along with junior Mallory Barber. BYU scored its final run on a home run from sophomore Alyssa Podhurcak. 

BYU moved onto Stanford, holding them 2-1 into the seventh inning before the Cardinal hit a double and walked off with a 3-2 victory. Erin Miklus scored off a Podhurcak single tying up the game 1-1 in the first and Taryn Lennon ran home in the fourth putting the Cougars up 2-1 before falling in the seventh 3-2.

BYU looks to continue its early-season tournaments in Texas from March 10-13.

Baseball

BYU fell to No. 20 Oregon State in a three-game series between the two teams. The Cougars fell 1-0 in the first game after an intense pitching battle on both sides. BYU lost again in game two after the Beavers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth, making the score 5-3. BYU dropped its final game in a close-fought battle after Oregon State hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

BYU returns to Utah for a three-game series against rival University of Utah on March 11-13. The first two games will be played in Salt Lake, while the third will be the Cougars home opener at Miller Park on Saturday, March 13 at 3 p.m. MST.

Several BYU sports will allow limited fans at home games for the first time this week, including baseball, women’s soccer, and women’s and men’s volleyball. More information can be found at BYUtickets.com.

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