BYU Kicks Off Deseret First Duel at Utah

Senior Chelsea Goodman is one double-double away from tying the Mountain West Conference career double-double record at 47. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU women's volleyball team (12-5, 4-3 MWC) will renew its rivalry with Utah on Friday night at 7 p.m. as the two teams meet for the 84th time. The match in Salt Lake City will be the first meeting of the newly created Deseret First Duel.

"This is another important week for us," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "Utah is always a tough opponent, especially at Crimson Court. How we respond in this two match is very important."

Senior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman has continued to step up for the Cougars, ranking among the top 10 in the Mountain West Conference in kills, digs, aces and points. The preseason MWC Player of the Year is just one double-double away from tying the league career double-double record at 47. Junior middle blocker Rachel Dyer has also been solid for BYU as she leads the MWC and ranks sixth in the nation in hitting at .448. The Cougars are capable of coming up big over the next several weeks as BYU has traditionally played its best in October, going 18-2 (.895) all-time in the month in just over two years under Watson.

An important MWC matchup is on tap for Friday night as the Cougars face Utah on Crimson Court at 7 p.m. The Utes are 7-9 overall this season and tied with BYU for fourth place in the league at 4-3 after losing the 2006 MWC Setter of the Year and Player of the Year as well as the nation's top middle blocker during the offseason. Junior outside hitter Kathryn Haynie leads the team with 3.61 kills per game while adding 2.17 digs per contest. BYU leads the all-time series, 62-21, but has not defeated Utah in Salt Lake City since 2000.

BYU and Utah will be playing for more than just in-state bragging rights on Friday as the match will mark the inaugural contest of the newly created Deseret First Duel persented by Deseret First Credit Union. The rivalry series includes competition in the 12 sports the two universities compete head-to-head during regular-season play.

The Deseret First Duel will use a system that awards points to the winner of each head-to-head competition. A team trophy will be awarded to the individual winner of each sport--football, basketball, softball, etc. Points won by the individual sports will count toward each school's overall total. At the conclusion of each school year, a granite traveling trophy will be awarded to the overall rivalry series champion.

The Cougars' match at Utah will be streamed live over the Internet on BYU Radio. All-Access and GameTracker will also be available.

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