Upset Sends BYU Into Round of 16

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SEATTLE (Dec. 1, 2007) - For the first time since 2000, the BYU women's volleyball team is headed to the NCAA Tournament Regional Semifinals after a stunning five-game upset of No. 6 Washington on Saturday. The 30-28, 28-30, 25-30, 30-22, 15-13 Cougar win was just the second loss of the year for the Huskies on their home floor as Washington became the highest-seeded team to lose in this year's tournament.

"Beating Washington at home is a tremendous accomplishment," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We're as proud of our team as we've ever been. We were patient and composed when we could've let Washington get away from us."

BYU will now play Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 5 p.m. ET at Penn State University.

Junior middle blocker Rachel Dyer led the way for BYU with a career-high 22 kills on .625 hitting to go along with six blocks. Senior Chelsea Goodman recorded yet another double-double, her 23rd of the season and 57th of her career, with 16 kills and 20 digs, the third time this year she has posted at least 20 digs. Three other Cougars tallied double-digit kills as Erica Lott (17), Ashton Hansen (13) and Bryn Porter (10) reached double figures. Hansen led the Cougars with a .706 attack percentage and six blocks.

The Cougars began slow in game one as they fought to find their place against the nation's sixth-ranked team. Down 18-13, BYU began to make a run, scoring four straight including back-to-back aces from Dyer to get to within one point. Washington called a timeout to try to halt the Cougar momentum, but Goodman and Hansen combined for a block out of the break to knot the score at 18-18. BYU continued to pressure Washington, eventually earning a 25-22 lead late in the game. The Huskies battled back to tie the game at 26-26, but three straight Cougar points gave BYU three game-point opportunities at 29-26. A service error and a hitting error left the Cougars with just one left at 29-28, but they got the one that counted the most as Annie Pinegar sent a dig over that net that fell for a kill.

After an early battle in game two, the Cougars took a 7-5 lead on three straight points. Despite continued pressure by the Huskies, BYU kept pushing to a 12-8 lead after a kill from Goodman found its mark. However, after a 14-10 Cougar advantage, Washington put together a 4-0 run to knot the score. Amy Schlauder put BYU back on top with a dump that found the floor, and the Cougars soon had the lead up to five points at 21-16. But the Huskies once again responded to the BYU advance, scoring eight of the next 10 points to take their first lead since 5-4 at 24-23. From there, the two teams battled down the stretch with neither able to gain more than a one-point lead until three straight Husky scores gave them game point at 29-27. Hansen saved the first for BYU, but Washington got a kill on the next ball to take game two 30-28.

Washington came out fast and furious in game three, running up an early 5-1 lead before the Cougars called timeout. BYU scored three of the next four points out of the break but were thwarted in their comeback bid by a 5-0 Washington run leading to a 12-5 Husky lead. The advantage continued to grow for the home team until it became a 22-11 lead. The Cougars began to find life at that point, getting two kills and an ace from Goodman during a 10-3 run that cut the deficit to just four points at 25-21. But the early Husky lead proved insurmountable for BYU despite the late push as Washington got the 30-25 win.

With their backs against the wall, the Cougars came out fighting in game four, jumping out to an 8-5 lead. Three straight Husky scores knotted the score, but Lott responded with three consecutive winners of her own followed by a solo block to put BYU up 12-8 and prompt a Washington timeout. A Husky attack error out of the break kept the BYU run alive, and the Cougars soon found themselves with a 16-9 lead. A 4-0 Washington run allowed the Huskies to climb back in the game momentarily, but back-to-back kills from Goodman drove the lead to 20-14. Washington kept BYU on its toes as the game progressed and no lead felt safe, but in the end a .484 BYU attack percentage was too much for the Huskies as the Cougars powered to the 30-22 win.

For the third time in the last four matches, BYU found itself playing a fifth game for all the marbles. Washington scored three of the first four points, but the Cougars battled back with a 4-1 run to go up 5-4. The two teams fought tooth and nail as the lead see-sawed back and forth until BYU scored four straight points to go up 12-9. A raucous crowd tried to swing the momentum back in Washington's favor in the final stages, and the Huskies responded accordingly with back-to-back scores to cut the lead to just one point at 12-11. But Dyer came up big for the Cougars with back-to-back kills on the slide to give BYU match point at 14-12. A Cougar net call on the first point left BYU with just one more chance, but Goodman came flying in with a kill to give the Cougars a 15-13 win.

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