Lori Baird had five total blocks in Utah's 3-0 win over No. 12 BYU tonight.
Nov. 4, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah volleyball team (17-6 overall, 9-3 Mountain West) took down a nationally-ranked team for the second time this year as it raced past 12th-ranked Brigham Young tonight, 3-0.
Game scores were 30-26, 30-28 and 30-23 as BYU earns its first blemish of the year. It is now 20-1 overall and 11-1 in league action.
"Our mindset coming into tonight's match was to be on the offense because the last time we played BYU, we were always on our heels, playing defense," remarked head coach Beth Launiere. "I think the difference in this match with BYU was the fact that we have matured in the four to five weeks since we first met. We weren't ready for them when we went down there earlier this season. But, we were ready for them this time.
"It was a good win against a good team, a solid conference win for us."
Utah got off to slow start as it hit .143 in the first game. However, it finished hitting .262 for the match, buoyed by a .325 effort in game three alone. Airial Salvo paced the Utes in racking up 15 kills on .371 hitting. The only other Ute to tally double-digit kills was Shelly Sommerfeldt. She had 10 in hitting .286 tonight.
Freshman setter Shannon Krug had one of her best matches of the season in tallying 35 assists for the match. But, she helped out in recording six kills, three total blocks and four digs on the night.
The Utes held the top-hitting team in the conference to a meager .172 average and held the MWC's top hitter, Lindsy Hartsock, to a paltry .150 efficiency. They out-blocked their rivals tonight, 12.5-8, and saw Whitney Webb and Lori Baird lead at the net with five total blocks each. Danielle Leichliter helped out on defense too, leading with a match-high 16 digs.
There were another 14 ties in game two before Utah finally surged ahead, 19-15, thanks to a 4-0 run. The Cougars were able to pull back within one, 29-28, but Salvo tooled the BYU block in lifting Utah to the narrow two-point win.
It seemed BYU might get on track in the final stanza as it was able to build an early 3-1 lead on the Utes. But, it didn't last. The pendulum swung in favor of the home team as it rattled off seven straight points to take a commanding 20-13 lead. Utah raced out to a 29-18 cushion and let BYU tally five straight points. However, Salvo's arm did it again as her game-ending kill put the nail in the proverbial coffin and elevated Utah to the three-game win.
Chelsea Goodman and Lauren Evans led all players with 17 kills and 41 assists, respectively. Defensively, Hartsock's six total blocks and Erica Lott's 13 digs led the way for BYU.
Utah has the rest of the weekend off but returns to action next week for its final two home matches of the year. Colorado State and Wyoming come to town on Nov. 11-12, respectively. Both matches are at Crimson Court and will start at 7 p.m.