PROVO The BYU volleyball team did something it hadn't done in 12 years Saturday night, it lost to New Mexico at home, 22-30, 30-26, 30-24, 30-25.
The Cougars came out with plenty of energy in the first game as they stole the lead early on at 7-6 on a kill by Chelsea Goodman and never relinquished it. Goodman and Rachel Dyer led BYU in the opening game with five kills apiece on a .325 team hitting percentage. But that was about the extent of truly good play for the Cougars, as they kept falling apart in long streaks, giving control of each of the final three games to New Mexico on a plethora of errors.
BYU's hitting percentage took a huge hit in Game 2 as a .079 percentage didn't allow them to take advantage of the Lobos' paltry .125 hitting in the same game. New Mexico's Jeanne Fairchild, the conference's leading hitter, finished with only 13 kills on the night, but freshman Lisa Meeter led the Lobos with 14 kills and 15 digs.
After the Cougars fell apart in the third game after taking a 20-16 lead, they fell behind 1-5 in the fourth and never could pull things together again. They finished the night with a .212 hitting percentage, racking up 31 errors to the Lobos' 20. They also lost the service war as one serve after another found its way either into the net or over the baseline for 14 errors to only five aces.
They improved their hitting percentage a bit in Game 4 to .289 for the game, but allowed New Mexico to come out really strong with a .395 percentage of their own.
Goodman is continuing to close in on the MWC double-double record as she compiled yet another one for her 45th of the season. The conference record stands at 47. Goodman finished the match with 16 kills and 12 digs. Erica Lott added a double-double of her own with 12 kills and 13 digs, notching the 22nd of her career. But it wasn't enough to stop the Cougars from losing their second home match of the season.
The Cougars were happy to be back in familiar territory after playing 10 of their first 14 on the road, and they took care of TCU on Thursday night without much trouble, but the Lobos were a different story.
No. 23 BYU now finds itself with an 11-5 overall record, 4-3 in the MWC and a lot of catching up to do in the next few weeks.
Coming into the contest BYU led the series with New Mexico 59-8. The two teams split in 2006 with the Lobos ending a 23-match losing streak to the Cougars in Albuquerque on Nov. 3. But the Cougars were still nursing a long winning streak at home against New Mexico as the last time they lost in Provo was Oct. 13, 1995.
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