By John Gale
BYU”s women”s volleyball team went into Crimson Court Friday, Oct. 27, 2006, looking to avenge the loss they suffered at the hands of Utah in Provo earlier this season.
Unfortunately for the No. 17 Cougars (19-3, 9-2 Mountain West Conference), the rematch ended the same way as the first meeting, with a loss to the No. 9 Utes (20-2, 11-0).
“My first thought was, ”Sorry seniors,” to be honest,” outside hitter Chelsea Goodman said. “They wanted that game so bad, and we wanted to come in here and prove that we”re the better team.”
The first game remained close until the Utes reeled off eight consecutive points to take control. The Cougars struggled with the powerful serves of Utah outside hitter Airial Salvo, who had two aces during the run.
“Good players thrive in competitive situations, and she certainly did that,” BYU coach Jason Watson said. “We”ve felt for a long period of time now that probably the University of Utah goes as Airial Salvo goes, and so they”re going well.”
After an 8-1 run gave the Utes a 29-16 lead, BYU substituted defensive specialist Jenna Judkins. Behind Judkins” serves and defensive play, the Cougars fought off eight consecutive game points before finally succumbing 30-24 on a serve that sailed long.
The second game started close again until Utah went on another 8-0 tear to take command. BYU again had problems with Salvo”s serves, yielding three aces in the run.
“That”s probably the most important part of volleyball, being able to pass that first ball and get a good contact,” middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock said. “It just wasn”t there for us tonight.”
After digging a big hole, the Cougars responded with a late 9-3 spurt to cut the lead to three before a kill by Utah middle blocker Lori Baird ended the game at 30-26.
With the Cougars trailing 17-11 in the third game, Goodman ignited an
11-1 run with eight kills during the stretch to give BYU a four-point lead.
The Utes recovered to finish the match on a 12-5 run, ending it 30-27 on a kill from outside hitter Whitney Webb that sent the raucous capacity crowd home happy.
Salvo led Utah with 14 kills and nine digs while hitting .444. Middle blocker Emillie Toone added 11 kills and seven blocks.
Goodman hit .372 and contributed 18 kills and seven digs in a losing effort for the Cougars. Setter Amy Schlauder had 38 assists and nine digs.
The Cougars look to regroup on the road next week against New Mexico and TCU.