Cougars Claim Victories In Two Conference Matches

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    By John Gale

    The No. 19 BYU women”s volleyball team defeated New Mexico on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006, one night after surviving a five-game thriller against TCU.

    The two wins improved the Cougars” record to 15-2 overall and 6-1 in Mountain West Conference play.

    After jumping out to a 13-5 lead in the first game against the Lobos, the Cougars committed numerous attack errors to lose the lead. New Mexico eventually won 32-30.

    Despite losing the first game, the Cougars cruised from there, winning the next three games 30-22, 30-18 and 30-21 to take the match. After hitting just .082 in the first game, BYU recovered to hit .464 the rest of the way.

    “I thought that we got better as the match wore on,” BYU coach Jason Watson said. “We ended better than we certainly started the game and so that”s the encouraging thing.”

    Outside hitter Chelsea Goodman led the Cougars with her 11th double-double of the season with 23 kills and 16 digs. Middle blocker Marisa Vandersteen had 10 kills and five blocks while hitting .667 in just her second career start.

    Setter Amy Schlauder had the first double-double of her career, recording career highs of 70 assists and 10 digs.

    “Having Amy out on the court is just a great presence for us,” middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock said. “She”s a great natural leader and she just gets the job done no matter what”s going on.”

    Outside hitter Rose Morris led the Lobos (6-12, 2-5) with 16 kills and 11 digs.

    The match against TCU was much more difficult.

    The Cougars lost the first game 30-27 before responding to take the next two games 30-23 and 30-26.

    BYU dug an early seven-point hole in the fourth game. They fought back to take a 21-20 lead before TCU responded with a 6-2 run on the way to a 30-27 win, forcing the Cougars to play a decisive fifth game for the second time this season.

    The situation looked grim for BYU when the Horned Frogs jumped out to 9-4 lead in the fifth game, but the Cougars answered with a dominating 11-1 run to close out the match with the 15-10 win.

    “It says a lot about our resolve,” Watson said. “It certainly was a very, very impressive run at the switch there. We just asked them to believe and they did.”

    Goodman led BYU with a career-high 27 kills and 10 digs. Rightside hitter Erica Lott added 12 kills and 12 digs.

    Setter Nirelle Hampton led TCU with 53 assists, eight kills, nine digs and four blocks.

    Injuries continue to plague the Cougars. Lott and Schlauder returned from injury to play TCU, but middle blocker Rachel Dyer ruptured the plantar fascia in her foot in practice Thursday, Oct. 6, 2006. She will be sidelined three to four weeks.

    “It was a blow for us,” Watson said. “She has been playing incredibly well.

    The Cougars play Wyoming on the road next week.

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