Cougars Pass First Test; Hawai`i Up Next

Senior rightside blocker Carrie Bowers led the Cougars with 12 kills in BYU's first round win of the NCAA Tournament over New Mexico State on Thursday night. She also collected six digs, three blocks and one ace, while hitting .478. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

HONOLULU -- In its most critical performance of the year, the BYU women's volleyball team rode its serving and passing to a sweep of New Mexico State 3-0 (30-17, 30-17, 30-27) in the first round of the NCAA Championship Thursday. The Cougars improve their record to 24-8, while ending the Aggies' 24 match-win streak and season at 30-5.

To give BYU coach Karen Lamb her first career head coaching victory in the NCAA Tournament, BYU tied a season-high with 14 service aces, coming from seven different players.

The Cougars had an across the board statistical advantage over the Aggies, as well. While BYU prevented NMSU from having a player in double-digit kills, BYU's Carrie Bowers and Lexi Brown led the way for the Cougars with 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

"We served and passed very well today," BYU coach Karen Lamb said. "I'm proud of how our kids came out and competed from the beginning."

In game one, BYU had, perhaps, its strongest start to a match this season, jumping out to a quick 8-1 lead. The run was powered by sophomore outside hitter Kim Wilson who put down three kills. Junior outside hitter Lindsey Metcalf used a deft float serve to keep NMSU out of system to sustain the run. The Aggies would fight back into the match and narrow the lead to five points at various points, but a 4-0 run, book-ended by kills from Metcalf and Brown, made the score 18-9 and gave BYU complete control of the match. NMSU struck with its final meaningful run in the match, 3-0, to close to within 21-13, but the Cougars closed the game with a 9-4 run, capped by a Metcalf kill to take the game. Wilson had all five of her kills in the match in the first game.

NMSU seized the early lead in the second game with a quick 3-1 lead. As was the case all night, though, BYU staged another meaningful run. Countering the Aggie start, the Cougars took the lead on a 5-1 run to take a 6-4 lead, which they would build upon as the game wore on. NMSU's Abby Stines put down a kill to make it 6-5, but BYU would use a 6-1 run to force the Aggies into a timeout at 11-5. Senior serving specialist Sahara Catillo had two of her season-high three aces on back-to-back points to give BYU a controlling 19-11 advantage. Bowers was looked to more in the second game and led the team with five kills in the game, including three down the stretch, as BYU took a the second game and 2-0 lead in the match.

The Aggies came out a fired up team in game three, and held a slim advantage in the early going. The Cougars, though, slowly chipped their way into the lead and nosed ahead for the first time on a Bowers kill to make it 7-6. BYU stretched its lead for the first time with a 4-0 run, making the score 14-10 and forcing NMSU into a timeout. The run was sustained by a pair of Cougar blocks for points. The Aggies fought back and took the lead at 19-18 and held similar advantages down the stretch. NMSU continued to apply pressure, but saw its last lead at 24-23. Richards tied the game with a kill and BYU took the lead back for good when Aggie Trinia Cuseo hit the ball into the antenna. Brown provided two kills from there and the match ended as Laura Nielsen and Bowers combined for a block on Stevi Adams.

"Our passing broke down, and we got a little stagnant in the last game," said BYU senior libero Uila Crabbe.

Crabbe patrolled the Cougar backrow with a match-high 16 digs.

The No. 13 blocking team in the nation, BYU out-blocked NMSU 11-6, and improved to 20-4 on the year when out-blocking its opponent.

NMSU was led by nine kills from Adams. BYU out-hit the Aggies .243 to .124.

BYU now advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, for the first time since 2000, where it will play No. 2 Hawai`i Friday at 7 p.m. (HST), 10 p.m. (MST).

"We always enjoy playing Hawai`i," Lamb said. "There are great fans here, and they are a great team. We just have to come out focused from the beginning."

Match Notes: This is the Aggies' first loss since a loss to Fresno State on Sept. 19 ... Richards with 36 assists and 10 digs had her team-leading 12th double-double of the year ... Crabbe has now led BYU in a team-best 23 matches this season.

Volleyball Box Score

The Automated ScoreBook

BYU Cougars vs New Mexico State (Dec 04, 2003 at Honolulu, Hawaii)

BYU Cougars | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

4 TOGO, Melanie....... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 1 1| 0| 3| 0 0 0| 0

5 RICHARDS, Lauren.... 3| 4 1 5 .600| 36| 4 3| 0| 10| 1 2 0| 1

6 METCALF, Lindsey.... 3| 6 5 22 .045| 0| 2 1| 0| 4| 0 1 1| 1

8 BOWERS, Carrie...... 3| 12 1 23 .478| 2| 1 0| 0| 6| 1 2 1| 0

9 BROWN, Lexi......... 3| 11 1 17 .588| 1| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 4 0| 0

18 NIELSEN, Laura...... 3| 6 2 12 .333| 0| 1 0| 0| 5| 1 4 0| 0

3 VARNER, April....... 2| 1 2 8 -.125| 0| 0 0| 1| 0| 0 2 0| 0

7 WILSON, Kim......... 3| 5 7 20 -.100| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 1 0| 0

11 KEARL, Lindsey...... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 2 2| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 16| 0 0 0| 0

15 CASTILLO, Sahara.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 3 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

TEAM................ | | | | 1| | |

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

Totals.............. 3| 45 19 107 .243| 40| 14 8| 2| 48| 3 16 2| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 11.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 15 7 37 .216 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 4 31 .290 BYU Cougars......... 30 30 30 (24-8)

3 17 8 39 .231 New Mexico State.... 17 17 27 (30-5)

New Mexico State | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

3 Stines, Abby........ 3| 7 4 17 .176| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 6 1| 0

5 Cuseo, Trinia....... 3| 5 4 22 .045| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 5 2| 0

9 Hearne, Shari....... 3| 3 0 4 .750| 0| 1 3| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0

11 Reader, Morgan...... 3| 4 0 10 .400| 23| 1 3| 0| 4| 0 0 1| 1

12 Adams, Stevi........ 3| 9 4 33 .152| 1| 0 1| 2| 6| 0 0 0| 0

31 Olivas, Amanda...... 3| 0 1 5 -.200| 1| 0 1| 2| 10| 0 0 0| 1

2 Silagy, Sarah....... 3| 2 4 14 -.143| 0| 0 0| 2| 2| 0 0 0| 0

4 Arner, Megan........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 1| 3| 8| 0 0 0| 0

7 Godber, Jackie...... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0

32 Borden, Alice....... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

TEAM................ | | | | 4| | |

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

Totals.............. 3| 30 17 105 .124| 28| 2 10| 14| 37| 0 12 4| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 6.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 7 7 32 .000 Site: Honolulu, Hawaii (Stan Sheriff Center)

2 8 3 33 .152 Date: Dec 04, 2003 Attend: Time: 1:23

3 15 7 40 .200 Referees: Glenn Sapp, Kevin Cull

Length of Games - 0:22/0:21/0:28

NCAA Tournament Women's Volleyball - 1st Round

BRIGHAM YOUNG "Cougars" @ NEW MEXICO ST. "Aggies"

Tags: Results