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Cougars Pick Up Win at TCU
FORT WORTH -- The BYU women's volleyball team got off to the right start in the crucial month of November with a four-game (30-27, 24-30, 31-29, 30-23) win at TCU on Thursday night to improve to 16-6 overall and 8-4 in the Mountain West Conference.
"We certainly ended better than we started tonight, which is one of the things we always want our team to do," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "TCU was good tonight. They played particularly well and challenged us from the beginning. This was a good win for us."
Erica Lott and Bryn Porter each tallied 15 kills to lead four Cougars in double figures. Chelsea Goodman posted her 50th career double-double with 14 kills and 16 digs while Annie Pinegar led the BYU defense with 17 digs. Rachel Dyer posted 13 kills to go along with a team-high seven blocks. Lott surpassed her season high with four service aces to help BYU score 10 points from the service line, marking the second time in three matches the Cougars have posted double-digit aces.
After an early 3-3 tie in game one, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run sparked by a kill from Lott. BYU managed to stay one step ahead of the Horned Frogs throughout the game, leading by as many as four points, until a late TCU push tied things up at 24-24. The game was still knotted at 27-27 before Porter and Lott put down back-to-back winners to create a game-point opportunity for the Cougars. BYU wasted no time in securing the 30-27 game-one victory with a block from Lott, Porter and Dyer.
TCU jumped out to an early lead in game two, but it was once again the Cougars who led most of the way through the first half despite a close battle. The Horned Frogs finally managed to take a lead at 18-17 with a block and kept up the momentum with a 4-0 run to take a 21-17 advantage. The lead held at 25-20 until Porter began to heat up, getting back-to-back points from the outside and from the service line before a block from Goodman cut the lead to just two points. But it was not enough as the Cougars fell 30-24.
Game three was a battle from start to finish as BYU pulled out the 31-29 win. The Cougars led late at 25-21, but it was the Horned Frogs who earned the first game-point opportunity at 29-28. Lott kept BYU alive with a kill to even the score, and back-to-back service aces from Pinegar sealed the game.
Perhaps sensing victory on the horizon, the Cougars came out firing in game four. After leading at 14-12, BYU put together an 8-0 run capped by consecutive aces from Lott to take a commanding 22-12 advantage. From there, the Cougars cruised to the 30-23 win.
"I thought Lott played particularly well tonight," said Watson. "She went on a nice serving run in game four that really turned it for us and gave us some nice momentum in a difficult venue for us to compete in."
BYU will play its final road match of the regular season on Friday night as the Cougars take on New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M., at 7 p.m. GameTracker and BYU All-Access will be available for the match.
Final Road Swing Awaits BYU Volleyball
PROVO -- The BYU women's volleyball team (15-6, 7-4 MWC) will play its last regular-season road matches this week as the Cougars take on TCU and New Mexico. BYU will travel to Fort Worth, Texas, to face the Horned Frogs on Thursday before battling the Lobos in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.
The pair of road contests will have lasting consequences in the Mountain West Conference race as the Cougars are just one game ahead of both teams in the MWC standings. With a 7-4 league record, BYU is currently in third place while TCU, New Mexico and Utah are locked in a tie for fourth place at 6-5.
"Obviously, this will be a very important weekend for us as we begin the crucial month of November," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We need to play well on the road and take control of our own destiny in terms of seeding for the MWC Tournament."
BYU went 2-0 last weekend with a sweep of Air Force on Friday, the Cougars' ninth of the year, and a four-game win over Wyoming on Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse. Chelsea Goodman led a balanced BYU attack against the Falcons with 10 kills and four aces as 11 Cougars saw action. Rachel Dyer led the way against the Cowgirls with 18 kills and 10 blocks to post her third career double-double. Goodman added 16 kills while Bryn Porter posted 15 and Ashton Hansen tallied a career-best 12 kills. Porter also threw in five aces.
The Cougars' final road swing will begin Thursday at TCU at 7 p.m. CT (6 p.m. MT). The Horned Frogs are 19-9 overall this season and 6-5 in the MWC. TCU is led by sophomore middle blocker Kourtney Edwards with 3.37 kills per game followed closely by senior outside hitter LeMeita Smith at 3.20 kpg and sophomore outside hitter Lauren Otto at 2.82. Edwards also ranks fourth in the conference hitting .351 and averages a team-best 1.17 blocks per game, seventh in the MWC. BYU leads the all-time series 10-0, including a sweep earlier this season.
Friday night's action begins at 7 p.m. and will have the Cougars looking for a little payback against the Lobos as New Mexico has taken the last two matches, including a four-game win in Provo earlier this season. The Lobos are 15-8 overall and 6-5 in the MWC after getting off to one of the best starts in school history. Their 15 total victories is the highest win total by a Lobo team since the formation of the MWC in 1999, and their six league victories matches the most MWC wins by a Lobo volleyball team (6 in 2005). Junior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild paces New Mexico and the conference with 4.82 kills per game and 5.26 points per game. BYU owns a 58-8 all-time record in the series.
Both matches will be available via GameTracker and BYU All-Access. Links to those options can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women's volleyball homepage at www.byucougars.com/volleyball_w/.