By John Gale
BYU”s No. 18 women”s volleyball team cruised to two victories over the weekend, sweeping matches with UNLV and San Diego State at the Smith Fieldhouse.
The wins against the Rebels on Friday, Oct. 20, and Aztecs on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006, improved the Cougars” record to 18-2 overall and 9-1 in Mountain West Conference play.
“I thought before we started being plagued by injuries, we were at a pretty nice spot,” rightside hitter Erica Lott said. “I think we”re all just coming back strong. It”s nice to get our full squad getting back going here.”
BYU took control of the first game against San Diego State (8-14, 2-8) by scoring seven consecutive points to take a 12-6 lead. The Aztecs fought back to cut the lead to two before the Cougars went on a 9-1 run en route to the 30-20 win.
The Cougars jumped out to a 15-7 lead in the second game before San Diego State responded with an 11-3 run to tie the game at 18. BYU recovered to end the game on a 12-4 run to take the 30-22 win.
The Cougars struggled through much of the third game, losing the first four points and eventually trailing 19-12. They put together runs of 5-0 and 7-1 later in the game to take a two-point lead. Outside hitter Chelsea Goodman ended the game and match at 30-27 with a powerful kill that hit the end line.
“I thought we very composed in game three,” BYU coach Jason Watson said. “I was very pleased with the win and the weekend in general.”
Lott led the Cougars with a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs. BYU”s scoring was balanced. Goodman, outside hitter Kim Wilson Sorensen and middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock contributed at least 11 kills each. Setter Amy Schlauder had 45 assists.
“Amy continues to progress and continues to get better,” Watson said. “As Amy continues to just get more and more comfortable, we”re going to see nights like tonight, perhaps even more balanced, which makes it difficult to defend.”
Rightside hitter Audra Dent led the Aztecs with 11 kills. Outside hitter Melanie Greene added nine kills and five digs.
BYU easily handled UNLV (14-7, 5-4) the previous night, sweeping the match 30-27, 30-24 and 30-23.
Goodman recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 22 kills and 10 digs while hitting .447.
“Chelsea Goodman can never graduate from Brigham Young University,” Watson said with a laugh. “She makes me a lot better coach than I really am. She played spectacularly.”
Outside hitters Maria Aladjova and Michelle Banks each had ten kills for the Rebels. Banks also had ten digs.
The Cougars face a quick turnaround with a home match against Weber State on Tuesday before a critical rematch at No. 10 Utah on Friday.