Rogers and the Cougars struggled to defend the Utes strong hitting. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- In a meeting between two in-state rivals, the Utah Utes (6-8, 2-1 MWC) swept the BYU Cougars (3-12, 0-3 MWC) (16-25, 21-25, 18-25) in the Smith Fieldhouse Friday.
“Losing to Utah is definitely sour,” BYU head coach Shay Goulding said. “However, at this point I really just want to see our team do better. We wanted a win and we needed a win to get our feet under us again. We have what we need physically we’re just not executing.”
The Cougars were led by Christie Carpenter with 10 kills followed closely by transfer Stephanie Snow with nine.
The first set began in the Utes favor with Utah taking an early 8-3 lead off strong hitting forcing Goulding to call her first timeout of the night. The timeout proved effective for the Cougars as they would pull within two after kills by Jennifer Hamson and Christina Measom. Two straight Carpenter kills would bring the score to 17-13 and would force Utah head coach Beth Launiere to call a timeout of her own.
Coming out of the huddle the Utes would go on a 3-0 run to extend their lead to seven. BYU would only score three more points the remainder of the set, as Utah would go on to win the set 25-16.
Things would begin to look up for the Cougars in the second set as BYU got off to a 5-3 start. However, the Utes wouldn’t trail for long coming back to take a 8-6 lead. Ignited by two strong kills by Measom the Cougars would take a 12-9 lead.
Still, Utah came back for more tying the score at 13-13. Three-straight kills by Carpenter would give BYU a 16-13 lead. The Utes would respond with a 3-0 run eventually tying the score at 21-21. A 4-0 run would give Utah the set victory.
In the third the Cougars struggled to find momentum after trailing 8-4 early on. Finding themselves behind 14-7, a strong kill by Measom brought BYU fans to their feet. Several key plays including two Carpenter kills would attempt to revive the Cougars bringing them within four of the Utes. However, the deficit proved to be too much for BYU as it was eventually defeated 18-25.
The Cougars will hit the road next weekend as they will next take on San Diego St. on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in San Diego.