BYU Advances To MWC Title Match

Rachel Dyer recorded a career-high 17 kills in helping BYU advance to the MWC title match with a five-game win over UNLV. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LAS -- BYU moved one step closer to the Mountain West Conference Tournament title Friday night with a tough five-game win over host UNLV. The semifinal victory set up a title-match showdown between top-seeded BYU and third-seeded Utah, who advanced with a sweep of Colorado State in the day's earlier match.

The No. 21 Cougars will face the Utes on Saturday night at 8 p.m. PST to determine the MWC Tournament champion and recipient of an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The match can be seen live on CSTV. BYU defeated Utah for the first time in 10 matches in September but then saw its perfect 20-0 record blemished at Utah in November. BYU is 1-2 all-time in the MWC championship match, winning the title in 2000, and 1-3 all-time in MWC Tournament play against the Utes.

"This was a very nice win for us that showed our ability to persevere and overcome difficulties," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "I was pleased with the way we stayed composed and came together in game five. We feel we are prepared and ready to face a very good Utah team tomorrow in what will be a great match both for us and for the fans."

All-MWC outside hitter Chelsea Goodman recorded her 13th double-double of the year with 18 kills and 27 digs. Redshirt freshman Rachel Dyer led BYU with a career-high 17 kills while All-MWC outside hitter Erica Lott contributed 15 kills and a career-high-tying 13 digs in her seventh double-double of the season. MWC Player of the Year Lindsy Hartsock rounded out BYU's offensive effort with 13 kills on .478 hitting while putting up 8 blocks.

BYU began the match with a balanced approach, scoring the first five points of the game on kills from Goodman, Dyer and Lauren Richards Evans in addition to a service ace from Janvier Beaumont and a huge block from Goodman and Dyer. The Cougars continued to dominate from there, building a 15-3 lead thanks to a solid defensive effort that kept the Rebels out of their offense and hitting negative. UNLV battled back to cut the lead to seven at 26-19 but would come no closer as BYU took the game 30-21.

The two teams battled it out to begin game two, grinding to a 5-5 tie. A Richards Evans dump on the next point followed by a Rebel ball-handling error gave BYU a two-point advantage, which they slowly built up to a seven-point lead at 24-17. Three straight points gave UNLV comeback hopes, but the Cougars responded with a 6-3 spurt to close out game two and earn the 30-23 win. The passion and determination of both teams was evident throughout the game as several long rallies produced diving saves and spectacular plays.

UNLV got out to an early 3-2 lead in game three, their first advantage of the match. After finding themselves down 8-5, the Cougars responded with a 6-0 run sparked by a kill through the seam from Hartsock. UNLV refused to go down without a fight however, putting together a 5-1 spurt of its own to regain the lead at 13-12. A see-saw battle ensued from there, with neither team able to take control and pull away. Clinging to a slim 20-19 lead, UNLV managed to capitalize on BYU miscues and build a larger 25-21 advantage, which the Rebels would hold onto for the 30-24 game-three win.

With their backs against the wall again in game four, the Rebels came out swinging, pounding kills all over the court to jump out to an 8-4 lead. The Cougars tied the match at 12-12 but allowed UNLV to put together a 6-1 run to take a commanding 18-13 lead. Despite several long rallies and close calls, BYU could not get within two points of the Rebels, falling 30-24 and setting up a game-five showdown.

BYU came out poised and ready to play in game five, owning a 5-1 season record in five-game matches and winning by an average margin of 15-11 in the decisive fifth game throughout the season. Sure enough, the Cougars started hot, scoring four of the game's first five points. The Rebels came back to tie the match at 5-5 as both teams battled for every ball and every point. A 4-1 run gave UNLV an 11-9 advantage.

After once again trading points, the Rebels earned match-point at 14-12 but could not put the Cougars away. Three points later, thanks to a huge block, a UNLV hitting error and a powerful kill down the middle from Chelsea Goodman, BYU ha d its own match-point at 15-14. With the Cougar faithful going wild in the background, the Rebel offense misfired to give BYU the victory.

Volleyball Box Score

BYU COUGARS

#21 Brigham Young Univ. vs UNLV Rebels (Nov 25, 2005 at Las Vegas)

Brigham Young Univ. | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 GOODMAN, Chelsea.... 5| 18 7 56 .196| 1| 0 4| 2| 27| 0 4 0| 0| 20.0

5 EVANS, Lauren....... 5| 4 2 7 .286| 58| 1 0| 0| 9| 0 3 0| 4| 6.5

9 PATTERSON, Lexi..... 5| 7 2 16 .312| 0| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 2 1| 0| 8.0

10 LOTT, Erica......... 5| 15 9 58 .103| 1| 1 2| 2| 13| 0 1 0| 0| 16.5

14 HARTSOCK, Lindsy.... 5| 13 2 23 .478| 1| 1 1| 0| 1| 1 7 0| 0| 18.5

44 DYER, Rachel........ 5| 17 7 38 .263| 0| 0 2| 0| 4| 1 3 0| 0| 19.5

2 BEAUMONT, Janvier... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 1 0| 1| 7| 0 0 0| 1| 1.0

3 EVANS, Lindsey...... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 17| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

11 KEMP, Annie......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 5| 74 29 198 .227| 63| 4 9| 5| 83| 2 20 1| 5| 90.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 12.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 5 37 .270 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 18 4 50 .280 Brigham Young Univ.. (3) 30 30 24 24 16 25-2

3 14 8 38 .158 UNLV Rebels......... (2) 22 23 30 30 14 15-15

4 17 5 37 .324

5 10 7 36 .083

UNLV Rebels | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE|POINTS

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3 NUA, Melody......... 5| 4 3 17 .059| 52| 2 0| 0| 13| 0 4 0| 1| 8.0

4 CUNNINGHAM, Camille. 5| 1 0 3 .333| 0| 0 1| 0| 14| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

8 BANKS, Michelle..... 5| 5 5 14 .000| 5| 1 1| 1| 10| 0 1 1| 0| 6.5

9 PENCHEVA, Mariana... 5| 14 6 37 .216| 2| 0 0| 1| 2| 3 3 1| 0| 18.5

10 MIRAMONTES, Lauren.. 5| 11 4 35 .200| 0| 1 1| 0| 3| 0 6 0| 0| 15.0

14 JOHNSON, Jennifer... 5| 13 8 44 .114| 1| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 1 0| 0| 13.5

2 LUMSDEN, Brittani... 5| 1 0 6 .167| 3| 1 0| 0| 11| 0 0 0| 0| 2.0

5 KOOCHI, Kristin..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

6 ALADJOVA, Maria..... 5| 18 10 42 .190| 1| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 1 0| 0| 18.5

7 WALKER, Jada........ 5| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 2| 2| 12| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

12 FLAHAVEN, Ashley.... 3| 3 1 7 .286| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 2 0| 0| 4.0

13 REID, Kortney....... 1| 1 2 3 -.333| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

16 CASARES, Anna....... 2| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 5| 71 39 209 .153| 65| 5 6| 4| 80| 3 18 2| 1| 88.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 12.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 13 11 44 .045 Site: Las Vegas (Cox Pavilion)

2 17 10 54 .130 Date: Nov 25, 2005 Attend: 813 Time: 2 H 39M

3 14 6 39 .205 Referees: PATSY MALTA, VERNA KLUBNIKIN

4 20 6 42 .333

5 7 6 30 .033

Tags: Results