New Mexico Proves Too Tough To Handle For BYU
PROVO -- The BYU women’s volleyball team could not conjure up the magic from a victory the night before as the Cougars fell Saturday night to New Mexico (25-19, 25-18, 25-20). The home loss dropped BYU to 11-10 overall and 4-7 in Mountain West Conference play.
“New Mexico is a great team, but so are we,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We just had a few too many errors and gave them points at crucial times. Sometimes we were just trying too hard.”
Senior Bryn Porter provided a statistical highlight on the night as she posted her fifth double-double of the season with a team-best 12 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Melissa Lake led BYU with 13 digs while junior Kayla Walker added 12. Three Cougars – Porter, Rachel Dyer and Christina Measom – each tallied three blocks on the night.
After posting a season-high 13 kills on Friday night, Ashton Hansen Hosford picked up where she left off to tally BYU’s first winner of the match. The Cougar offense was firing on all cylinders early, but New Mexico matched BYU point-for-point. The Cougars were able to squeeze out an 11-9 lead only to see it disappear with four straight Lobo scores. Measom got the BYU sideout to make the score 13-12, but the UNM lead was soon 16-12. The Cougars got back to within two but could not come any closer, falling 25-22.
BYU jumped out to a fast 6-2 lead in set two, hitting .750 in the process. However, New Mexico quickly climbed back with a 5-0 run to go up 8-7. A kill from Dyer got BYU back on the board, but the Lobos proved too tough to handle. New Mexico steadily increased its lead throughout the remainder of the set to post a 25-18 victory, hitting .303 while holding BYU to a .105 hitting efficiency.
With their backs against the wall, the Cougars led early in set three only to see the Lobos come back to knot the score at 10-10. Three plays later, New Mexico had the lead at 12-11. The Cougars initially kept it close but eventually fell behind 17-13. The two teams traded points from there, but the deficit proved too much as BYU fell, 25-20.
The Cougars will hit the road next week for two league matches at UNLV on Thursday and at San Diego State on Saturday.
Chance For Redemption Coming for BYU
PROVO -- A pair of revenge matches highlight the BYU women’s volleyball schedule this week as the Cougars will get a chance to avenge earlier losses to TCU and New Mexico in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU (10-9, 3-6 MWC) will take on the Horned Frogs Friday night before facing the Lobos on Saturday. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m. and be shown worldwide on BYUTV.
“We see this weekend at home as an opportunity to get back on track and to make a difference in the second half of conference play,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding. “We know we have what it takes to finish strong and make an impact.”
The Cougars definitely improved last week with their first win since Sept. 27 coming in a sweep at Air Force. BYU then lost in three sets at No. 3 Texas as the Longhorns proved worthy of their ranking. Junior Kayla Walker led the Cougars with 2.83 kills per set on the week while also adding 1.67 digs and 1.33 blocks per set. She paced BYU with 10 kills and six blocks at Air Force. Sophomore libero Melissa Lake tied her career high with 18 digs against the Falcons. Despite losing their last three matches at home, the Cougars have typically played well in the Smith Fieldhouse, winning their first four matches on Elaine Michaelis Court this season and going 33-4 at home over the three prior years.
The TCU Horned Frogs are 17-6 overall and 6-4 in MWC play this season after reeling off 10 straight wins to begin the year. Junior outside hitter Lauren Otto leads the team and is tied for fifth in the MWC with 3.13 kills per set while contributing 2.55 digs per set. Sophomore rightside hitter Christy Hudson is hitting .333 on the year to rank fifth in the league followed closely by senior middle blocker Devon Kirk at .326, sixth in the MWC. The Horned Frog block is led by junior middle blocker Kourtney Edwards, who is tied for sixth in the conference with 1.19 bps. Junior Katelyn Blackwood is third in the MWC at 3.94 dps. As a team, TCU paces the league with 1.45 service aces per set. BYU is 11-1 against the Horned Frogs after losing at TCU on Oct. 4.
The New Mexico Lobos are 17-4 so far this season and 7-3 in the MWC after winning their first eight matches of the year. Two of the Lobos’ losses came against ranked teams in No. 2 Nebraska and No. 13 Colorado State. Senior outside hitter Jeanne Fairchild leads the team and the MWC in kills with 4.82 per set and points at 5.20. Senior libero Gayle Tripp is second in the conference with 4.65 digs per set while sophomore setter Jade Michaelson ranks second in the MWC at 10.89 assists per set. Junior middle blocker Anna Lehne leads the team in blocks (1.41), which both rank third in the league. As a team, UNM paces the MWC in opponent hitting percentage (.137). BYU leads the all-time series 62-9 including a loss at New Mexico on Oct. 2.
In addition to live coverage on BYU-TV, both matches will also be available on BYU All-Access and GameTracker. Links to these options can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s volleyball homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/Schedule.jsp?SP=202.