PROVO — No. 22-ranked BYU clinched the Mountain West Conference Championship outright for the first time since 1999 on Friday night by sweeping San Diego State 36-34, 30-26 and 30-26 in San Diego.
"Winning the title is something we haven't done in some time," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We feel that the hard work our athletes have done and the direction they have chosen to take this program has been justified."
Erica Lott led the way in the first game with nine kills while Lauren Richards Evans had 21 assists. The key in the Cougars' sweep though was their .379 hitting percentage with 11 blocks compared to a .236 hitting percentage with four and a half blocks for San Diego State. Chelsea Goodman recorded her 11th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 11 digs. Lott also tied a career high with 22 kills. BYU is currently 18th in the nation in hitting percentage.
Friday's victory improved BYU to 22-2 overall and 13-2 in the MWC. The Cougars were playing UNLV in the regular season finale Saturday.
UTAH STOPS UNLV: Also Friday, at Las Vegas, the University of Utah volleyball team (19-7, 11-4, Mountain West) spotted UNLV a two-game lead but rallied to win the last the three frames and the match, 3-2. The victory insures at least a third-place finish in the league for the Utes. Scores were 22-30. 30-32, 30-16, 30-24 and 15-13 as the Rebels fall to 14-13 overall and to 10-5 in league play.
The Utes were led by Shelly Sommerfeldt's double-double of 24 kills and 20 digs. Airial Salvo had a 17-kill, 20-dig effort of her own.
AGGIES SWEEP NEVADA: At Logan, Utah State claimed the second seed in the upcoming Western Athletic Conference tournament with a convincing 3-0 win against Nevada in the final regular season match for both teams Saturday night. Scores were 30-21, 31-29 and 30-22. The Aggies improve to 11-6 in the league and Nevada is now 10-6. Hawaii owns a 15-0 mark with a late night game against Louisiana Tech on Saturday and New Mexico State was second at 11-5. The WAC Tournament will begin on Thanksgiving Day in Reno, Nev.
NAIA REGION 1 RESULTS: Albertson College defeated Northwest University Saturday in five sets to win the NAIA Region I championship title played at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.