PROVO — On a BYU women's volleyball team that has been beset with inconsistency at times this season, senior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman has been consistently good. The Cougars (13-6 overall and 5-4 in the Mountain West Conference) fell to league-leader Colorado State last week, but in that match Goodman set the MWC record for career double-doubles — 48 — with 20 kills and 16 digs.
As BYU looks to finish the season strong, it will rely heavily on Goodman.
"The attribute that comes to mind that we as coaches have always appreciated is the fact she does what she does all the time," said coach Jason Watson. "So many people don't fully appreciate how difficult it is to be good for an extended period.
"For the most part, she's been extremely good on a regular basis. We can count on her to be a great player. As a coach, it's nice to have a player like that. She has done so much for our program throughout her career. What she does both on and off the court is crucial to our success. Whenever we have needed it, Chelsea's come up big."
A co-captain from Mesa, Ariz., Goodman has embraced her leadership role on the team. She expects a lot out of herself.
"Earlier in the season, I felt that pressure a lot," she said. "I felt overwhelmed. Then I realized I can only do so much. I realized there are some situations that I can't control. So I'm trying to delegate more and give others more responsibility."
"There's a lot of pressure and stress on her shoulders," Watson said. "She wears it well. She's created this identity for herself. She understands that challenge."
Goodman also understands that her collegiate career is winding down and there's a sense of urgency to help her team reach its potential.
"It's not exactly where we want to be, but I'm trying to look at the positive side," she said. "I'm trying to figure things out now, before we get to the Mountain West Conference Tournament. We want to go undefeated the rest of the way in conference (play). That means we have to step it up and really be consistent."
Like Watson, Goodman agrees that the biggest obstacle for the Cougars to overcome is inconsistency.
"We came off an exciting win against Utah (on Oct. 12), then we barely showed up for the game against CSU," she explained. "We have to learn to adjust and be able to play our game no matter the situation."
Against the Utes, Goodman recorded the first BYU triple-double match since 2004 by Lauren Richards and the first by a non-setter since 2000, set by Nina Puikkonen. She tallied 21 kills, 11 digs and 12 blocks in that match.
On the court, Goodman, named the preseason MWC player of the year, is known for her exuberance, particularly after scoring a point on one of her patented kills or powerful jump serves.
"I tend to get overexcited about everything," she said. "It comes naturally. I try to have fun in everything I do. I'm passionate about volleyball and I'm passionate in everything I do."
"There's a certain degree of competitiveness she brings on the court," Watson said. "Off the court, she's a little different. She's always upbeat and she enjoys the companionship of her teammates. She's a wonderful teammate to them."
Goodman's ability to eat has reached legendary status among the team. Watson says she's always eating something, but he can understand that.
"She expends energy when she plays," he said. "She needs to replenish that."
Eating is one of Goodman's favorite pastimes.
"I basically eat anything that won't kill me when I put it in my mouth," she explained. "When we're on the road and we go out to eat, I'll order two meals. I eat anything that's edible. I eat twice as much as the rest of the players. When we're told we're going to eat at Taco Bell, I get excited. When it's Outback (Steakhouse), I get excited."
Then again, there's not much she doesn't get excited about. As for her MWC double-double record, Goodman said she hasn't thought much about it. "It's kind of an exciting thing. Being at BYU and playing in the Mountain West Conference means a lot of me. It's cool to say I broke a conference record."
Getting to know BYU volleyball's Chlease Goodman
• The senior outside hitter hails from Mesa, Ariz. She prepped at Mountain View High School.
• Last week, Goodman set the Mountain West Conference record for most career double-doubles with 48.
• Earlier this month against Utah, Goodman recorded the first BYU triple-double match since 2004 by Lauren Richards and the first by a non-setter since 2000, set by Nina Puikkonen. She tallied 21 kills, 11 digs and 12 blocks in that match.
• Leads the team in kills with 4.52 per game, which is fourth in the league. Goodman has recorded a team-high 350 points and 20 service aces. She ranks second on the team in digs (238).
• Led the MWC in kills and points last season and earned All-America honors.
• Was named the preseason MWC player of the year.