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BYU Women’s Volleyball Advances to Sweet 16 in Four-set Win Over Utah



BYU women’s volleyball advances to Sweet 16 in four-set win over Utah

“You solve one problem and you solve the next one and then the next. And if you solve enough problems, you get to come home,” or in the case of the BYU women’s volleyball team, you get to advance in the NCAA Tournament.

The ability to problem-solve not only applied to Matt Damon’s survival in “The Martian,” but is also an integral part of how BYU women’s volleyball operates and ended up winning in four sets against the University of Utah on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse.

“We’re just really good at problem-solving,” senior Kenzie Koerber said of her team. “We just continued to do what we do best.”

What was the problem that needed solving? Well, the Cougars lost a set in the Smith Fieldhouse for just the fourth time this season, falling 25-17 to the Utes in the opening period, and struggling to get anything going on offense against a prepared Utah team.

Utah dominated most of the first set, going up 15-9, before BYU was able to bring it back within three, 16-13. The comeback didn’t last long, however, as the Utes went up one set to none on the Cougars’ home court.

Taylen Ballard-Nixon and Koerber both had three kills each in the first set, but the Cougars hit just .100 as a team.

Koerber admitted that it wasn’t her best night offensively, finishing with six kills and six errors, but she and the rest of the Cougars decided to bring it on defense and find creative ways to score, feeding BYU’s tournament breakout star so far, Erin Livingston, who finished with a team-high 13 kills.

Kenzie Koerber digs against Utah in the Smith Fieldhouse. (Addie Blacker)

Ballard-Nixon got a solo block in the second set to give BYU the lead, 16-15, in what proved to be a turning point for the Cougars and their dominant defense. Both coaches used their challenges over the next few possessions, and BYU’s blocks remained strong to take a 21-17 lead. The Cougars held on to win the second set 25-22, tying the match at 1-1.

“We keep fighting,” head coach Heather Olmstead said. “We never give up.”

BYU led for most of the third and fourth sets, with a couple of late surges from the Utes to make things interesting in each period. The Cougars went on to win the both of last two sets 25-23 to complete the four-set win, fending off the Utah comeback attempts with 11.5 blocks on the night, including seven from Heather Gneiting. Libero Madi Allen aided the defensive effort with 10 digs and Koerber added nine of her own, adapting to the game and assisting in ways other than her normal deadly spikes.

“We just tried to focus on ourselves and play BYU volleyball and play in the moment,” Kennedy Eschenberg said of how the Cougars were able to hang on to win despite the Utah runs.

BYU now heads to Pittsburgh to play in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament next week.


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The Hardest Costume Design Challenge on ‘Cyrano’ Had Nothing to Do With the Lead Character



This story about the “Cyrano” costume design first appeared in the Below-the-Line Issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine.

The real Cyrano de Bergerac lived in France in the 17th century, and the Edmond Rostand play that immortalized him begins in 1640. But director Joe Wright made a conscious decision to move the action up a century for his new musical “Cyrano,” which stars Peter Dinklage as the poetic swashbuckler.

“The idea was to re-create Cyrano around the mid-1700s to give the idea of lightness through the costumes,” costume designer Massimo Cantini Parrini said. “The 1600s, while a beautiful period to represent, is very set and rigid. Setting a musical in the 1700s allowed us to make everything light and airy at the same time.”

Parrini achieved that lightness by using delicate and transparent fabrics inspired by watercolors from the 1700s that he’d seen in a museum in Rome. “The colors were so watery and ethereal that I wanted to re-create them through the costumes, using more fabrics one on top of the other, with different colors,” he said.

He worked with natural fibers such as silk and linen, along with fabrics like organza that are “delicate but full-bodied at the same time.” He added, “For me, it is very important to maintain the criteria of the costume itself while capturing the essence of the historical period that I have to represent.”

Costume design for Peter Dinklage’s Cyrano

But Parrini occasionally used costumes that weren’t strictly accurate to the period. “Bringing modernity to a historical language is very important for understanding the costumes,” he said. “It is important for me that the costume is understood even by an audience that knows nothing of the past.”

He also needed to pay attention to the requirement that costumes would need to move with actors who suddenly turned into dancers. “I enjoyed using materials that aided me in creating movement,” he said. “For example, it was wonderful to see the soldiers in their rigid uniforms suddenly become light as air during the dance sequences.”

Costume sketch for the character of De Guiche

His favorite articles of clothing, though, were the ones he designed for Ben Mendelsohn’s villain, De Guiche, while the most challenging designs were for the nuns in a convent where Cyrano’s longtime secret love, Roxanne, lives after her husband is killed in battle. (Costumes for Roxanne, played by Haley Bennett, were designed by Jacqueline Durran.)

“The nuns’ costumes were very difficult because I was looking for modernity and antiquity at the same time—they caused me a great deal of suffering!” he said. “The result is beautiful, though, because the nuns are ‘aliens’ of the 1700s, maintaining an authority that the clergy requires.”

Read more from the Below-the-Line Issue here.

Photo by Jeff Vespa for TheWrap

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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Hits $1.6 Billion at the Box Office



Another week, another set of box office milestones to have fallen at the feet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, continuing what’s been a regularly recurring theme ever since the multiversal blockbuster first hit theaters over a month ago.

Tom Holland’s web-slinger may have lost his box office crown to Ghostface’s return in slasher sequel Scream, but a running domestic tally in excess of $700 million has secured Spidey’s status as the star of the fourth highest-grossing domestic hit of all-time.


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