No. 16 BYU women’s volleyball sweeps LMU

BYU women’s volleyball commanded all the attention Thursday night as they dominated LMU in three sets at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Both teams started the night off with a thrilling first set. Neither side exceeded a lead greater than two points for the majority of the game with a total of 14 ties throughout. It was neck and neck until LMU pulled ahead 20-16, which ended up being the greatest lead of the set. 

After a timeout from LMU, BYU regained speed and caught back up to tie the game 22-22 while also achieving a 3-0 scoring run. The timeout was crucial for BYU during set one as Whitney Llarenas commented on the team’s resiliency.

“We like to talk about staying in the present, so whatever happens in the past doesn’t matter,” Llarenas said. “I think we did a really good job implementing that after talking about it.”

As match point approached for the Cougars (24-23), Llarenas secured the set with an extraordinary kill and closed out 25-23.

“I do it for the team,” Llarenas said.

Continuing on to set two, BYU took out LMU 25-18. The teamwork greatly improved between the two sets and it was represented well through the stats of the set. With 12 kills, hitting .417, and only two errors, the Cougars showed their fans what a winning team looks like. 

Coach Olmstead talked about the change in the team between the first and second sets. She mentioned her players’ grit and adaptable teamwork. “We focused on our game plan and being our best selves. We served and passed really well that helped us offensively hit for a good clip.”

Set three fueled each team’s hunger for victory as there was a total of 8 ties throughout. LMU players, Kari Geissberger and Audrey Klemp, led their team in kills with nine each for the night. Hitting .226 and 40 kills overall, LMU did not give up, despite falling behind in set wins. 

BYU managed to pull ahead with a 4-0 scoring run, but this lead did not last as LMU fired back to tie the set 21-21. With tension high, BYU’s stamina did not diminish. The tie was broken with another amazing kill by Llarenas. This was the exact motivation BYU needed to finish the set 25-21. 

Looking forward to No. 17 Pepperdine coming to face the Cougars at home, BYU hopes to prepare as much as they can at practice in order to be ready to face their opponents. 

“They’re going to bring it and we want to play our best against them,” Olmstead said. 

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