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BYU routs Cowgirls

Cougars even their mark at 1-1 in MWC play

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BYU's Lindsey Metcalf spikes the ball on Wyoming's Sara Maytorena in Saturday's match.

BYU’s Lindsey Metcalf spikes the ball on Wyoming’s Sara Maytorena in Saturday’s match.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

PROVO — A night after a listless performance in a three-game loss to visiting Colorado State, the BYU women's volleyball team found just the salve it needed Saturday night in Mountain West Conference opponent Wyoming.

The Cougars swept the Cowgirls 30-23, 30-25, 30-25 before a crowd of 1,094 in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU improves to 10-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference; Wyoming drops to 10-6 and 0-2.

Beating Wyoming is nothing new for BYU — the Cougars boast a 53-3 series record against the Cowgirls, including a 28-match winning streak and a 27-1 mark in Provo. Wyoming hasn't beaten BYU since November 1989.

In Saturday night's sweep, BYU hit .342 for the match, compared with Wyoming's .142. And the Cougars, who are among the nation's best in blocks, finished with 11.5 total for the three games.

April Varner led BYU with a game-high 15 kills, while Lindsey Metcalf added season-highs of 12 kills and five assists. Carrie Bowers contributed nine kills, while setter Lauren Richards finished with 38 assists.

"We had so much more energy tonight," said Metcalf, comparing Friday night's loss to Saturday night's victory. "We decided tonight we'd just have more fun and that everyone was going to feed off that."

BYU had been riding a five-match win streak — including key wins against powerhouses Penn State and Ohio State — and was on the verge of breaking into the Top 25 polls before faltering against CSU in the MWC opener.

Cougar coach Karen Lamb said the loss served as a reminder to her team to play hard every night. "We're getting better — but we've still got a long way to go," she said.

Rankings and respect will be a result of court success, she said, adding "we just gotta keep winning, because that's all we can control."

The fact that BYU won its 10th match of the season wasn't lost on Lamb or her players — it means the Cougars are halfway to the 20-victory mark it missed in its 14-19 injury-riddled season a year ago. It was the first time in nearly three decades BYU hadn't won at least 20 matches.

Wyoming, a 20-win team a year ago, was led by Michele Rauter's 13 kills.

E-mail: taylor@desnews.com