Kenzie Koerber celebrates a point against Boise State in the Smith Fieldhouse. (Dallin Wilks)

BYU women’s volleyball sweeps Boise State in NCAA Tournament opener

The 11-seed BYU women’s volleyball team dominated Boise State from start to finish in a three-set win over the Broncos in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday at the Smith Fieldhouse.

The Cougars “came out fired up,” as Boise State head coach Shawn Garus put it, winning the first set 25-6 and putting up an impressive 100% side-out percentage.

Erin Livingston led BYU with four kills after the first set and Heather Gneiting had three blocks. The Cougars also brought the pressure early from the service line, putting up three aces in the opening period.

“They put us on our heels early,” Garus said of BYU. “Their serving really set up huge blocking.”

The second set was a little tighter, with the Cougars winning by just six, 25-19. Livingston reached double-digit kills in the set on an assist played off the ceiling by Gretchen Reinert.

Kenzie Koerber got her third ace of the night in the third set, tying with Aria McComber for the match-high in service aces.

BYU completed the sweep with a 25-10 win in the third set, finishing with a 10-0 advantage in service aces. The Cougar defense held the Broncos to a -.012 hitting percentage in the match.

Kennedy Eschenberg led the Cougars in blocks with seven and setter Whitney Bower had 25 assists on the night.

The BYU coaches and players highlighted the crowd during the post-game press conference and credited the fans for bringing the energy for the team to feed off of.

“It’s just such a magical feeling to walk in and see all those fans,” Eschenberg said. “There’s no better place to play.”

The Cougars stay at home to take on rival Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m. MST.

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