No. 12 BYU sets to finish non-conference play against in-state rival Utah State

The Cougars can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

No. 12 BYU is headed up to Logan to face their third and final in-state rival, Utah State, before the Cougars begin competing in their inaugural season of the Big 12 next week.

After a 3-0 sweep against Utah Valley this week, the Cougars are looking to finish off their in-state stretch untouched as this concludes their non-conference play.

Senior outside hitter Erin Livingston led the way against the Wolverines with 10 kills and hit .429, and opposite hitter Kate Prior added seven kills and hit a game high .700. Freshmen Mia Lee and Whitney McEwan-Llarenas notched six and five blocks, respectively. 

The Cougars finished with 36 kills and hit .361, while holding Utah Valley to .061 hitting percentage, one of five times this season that the Cougars have held an opponent to under .100. 

BYU heads to Utah State to take on the 2022 Mountain West Conference champions. The Aggies are coming off of a 3-0 win against Utah Valley as well and looking to put up a fight against the Cougars at home. Graduate Outside Hitter, Shelby Capllonch led the way with 10 kills hitting .444 followed by Sophomore, Kaylie Ray, garnering 9 kills on a .438 hit percentage.

The Aggies are undefeated at home this season and have won 22 of the last 25 games played in the Wayne Estes Center. They currently sit at 7-3 on the year as they round out their non-conference slate hosting the Cougars. BYU will be the second Top 25 opponent the Aggies have matched up against this year, as they opened the season with then No. 5 Nebraska.

Blocks are no stranger to the Aggies. Utah State currently ranks 20th in the nation for total blocks with 88.0 this season, averaging 2.75 per set, which puts them 22nd nationwide. Notable blockers for Utah State are Kelsey Watson (third), Kennedi Boyd (sixth), and Adna Mehmedovic (ninth) all respectively ranked in the Mountain West top 10 in blocks.

BYU is a familiar environment for Utah State Head Coach, Rob Neilson. In his fourth season with the Aggies, the BYU alumni has had quite the career in Logan so far, leading the Aggies to back-to-back Mountain West championship titles, while simultaneously punching their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010, making it the program’s fifth-ever appearance the tournament. 

The Aggies finished 22-11 last season, making it the first time recording at least 22 wins in back-to-back seasons since 1982. 

Capllonch, in her fifth season at Utah State, is a notable Aggie to keep your eye on in this matchup against the Cougars. She was named the Mountain West Tournament MVP last season. Capllonch totaled 315 kills on .219 hitting and helped get the Aggies to their first Mountain West Tournament title.

Tonight’s game between the Aggies and No. 12 Cougars will begin at 7 p.m. in Logan and can be streamed live on the Mountain West Network.

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