PROVO — BYU dropped game one but came on strong to sweep the next three, downing Utah State 3-1 in volleyball Saturday night on the newly named Elaine Michaelis Court in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"These in-state matches are wonderful, but that doesn't mean that I have to enjoy them," BYU coach Jason Watson said.
The Aggies (4-3) fell behind early in game one but fought back to win 30-24. Then the Cougars (5-0) turned the momentum in game two and went on to capture the next three, 24-30, 26-30, and 14-30.
Game two was close as BYU held a 20-19 lead, but the Cougars finished the game on a 10-5 run that seemed to take the life out of the Aggies. BYU outhit the Aggies .333 to .086 in the game to establish control in the match. Lindsy Hartsock scored six of her 16 kills and Lauren Evans tallied 18 of her match-high 58 assists in game two.
"I think Utah State is much improved over last year, and so are we," Watson said. "We still have a lot of little things to get better at, but I feel great about being 5-0."
BYU struggled with its serves much of the night. The Cougars had seven service errors in each of the first two games and finished with 24 for the night.
What put the Cougars over the top in the final games was some incredible hitting and an amazing night by Chelsea Goodman. The Cougars hit .515 and .500 in the final two games to the Aggies' .270 and minus .136. Goodman was a large part of that as she had a career-high 20 kills in the game, many at critical times in the match, on a .438 hitting percentage.
Utah State struggled with a .129 hitting percentage for the match. Zuzana Cernianska and Beth Hodge led the Aggies with 11 kills each. The Aggies had 42 kills to BYU's 66.
"Utah State had won five of their last seven matches," Watson said. "They are confident when they come in here. That was a challenge we had to overcome."
BYU travels to Columbus, Ohio, next for the Ohio State Tournament. Utah State travels to Ogden for a match against Weber State.