IOWA CITY, Iowa (Aug. 24, 2007) -- The No. 17-ranked BYU women's volleyball team opened the 2007 season with a three-game sweep over Marquette of the Big East Conference Friday at the Hawkeye Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa. The Cougars downed the Golden Eagles 30-23, 30-27, 30-22 for the victory.
Senior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman led the Cougars with 14 kills. The preseason Mountain West Conference Player of the Year made only three hitting errors in her 26 attacks for a .423 hitting percentage. Junior middle blocker Rachel Dyer was the most efficient Cougar on the night, hitting .750 with six kills and no errors in her eight attempts.
"Rachel Dyer and Chelsea Goodman were very, very good," BYU coach Jason Watson said. "They kept us poised and gave us good direction. They came up big when we needed some plays."
Joining Goodman with double-digit kills in the Cougar attack were senior rightside hitter Erica Lott and junior outside hitter Bryn Porter with 11 and 10 winners, respectively. Lott also came up with a match-high 11 digs while Goodman and sophomore middle blocker Ashton Hansen paced BYU at the net with four blocks apiece.
Marquette came out strong in the opening game, scoring five of the first six points, but BYU soon found its rhythm. Back-to-back kills by Lott pulled the Cougars even at 8-8 before BYU took the lead on the next possession when Marquette's Kimberley Todd delivered an errant attack. The game was tied five more times before BYU broke away from a 14-14 tally with three straight points to claim the lead for good.
Lott began the second game with a service ace to put BYU on the scoreboard first, and the Cougars never let Marquette take the advantage despite seven ties during the game. Leading 29-24, BYU finally put an end to a 3-0 Golden Eagle run when setter Amy Schlauder set up Goodman for the game-winner.
The third game was BYU's strongest as the Cougars totaled 16 kills with only four hitting errors. After trailing 5-1, BYU roared back to overtake the Golden Eagles while building an advantage that reached a game-high 13 points at 25-12. Marquette was eventually able to cut the margin to seven on two occasions late in the game before Porter delivered a kill to give BYU the 30-22 win.
For the match, BYU hit .223 while holding Marquette to a .076 attack percentage. The Cougars also outpaced the Golden Eagles 35-31 in digs and 6-3 in team blocks. Todd led the Golden Eagle effort with 10 kills, followed by Ashlee Fischer with six. Marquette's Terri Angst had a team-best 10 digs.
"We have work to do, but it's good to get the season started and identify the areas we need to upgrade," Watson said.
The Cougars face host Iowa Saturday at 7 p.m. CT (6 p.m. MT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The match will be broadcast live on BYU Radio, available via the Internet at byuradio.org/streaming.