Provo • New Mexico State came into the Smith Fieldhouse on a roll. The Aggies were confident, prepared and up to facing BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
A little more than an hour later, BYU swept the Aggies into the street, its attention now on Oklahoma, which had outlasted Arizona State earlier in five sets. Match time Saturday is 7 p.m.
The 12th-seeded Cougars advanced to Saturday’s second round with a dominating 25-8, 25-17, 25-14 performance Friday night in front of 2,962 spectators.
How dominating? NMSU finished the match with a negative .034 hitting percentage.
“It gets me fired up, I don’t know about you,” BYU middle blocker Nicole Warner said.
BYU (27-3) opened the match with a 12-2 run and never looked back. The Aggies (22-11) did lead for a few points early in the second game, but the expected eventually happened.
New Mexico State, which had been outblocked by opponents all season, ran up against one of the best blocking teams in the country. The Aggies’ frustration was evident as the Cougars threw back everything that came their way.
BYU outblocked NMSU 22-10 and had seven more team blocks. And after a sizzling .545 hitting percentage in game one, the Cougars came back to earth a bit, finishing at .351 for the match.
Jennifer Hamson, the Cougars’ 6-foot-7 opposite, played her usual dominant game, finishing with 13 kills, seven blocks and 12 digs. Warner added seven blocks, while Kimberly Dahl and Alexa Gray combined for 14 kills.
Twenty-eight of BYU’s kills were created by setter Heather Hannemann.
“We just play our game,” Warner said. “That’s what we do really well. It’s like keeping the gas pedal down. If they get frustrated, just keep it on them. Keep blocking them, keep hitting at them.”
BYU coach Shawn Olmstead was reduced to fine-tuning for Oklahoma.
“They followed our game plan,” Olmstead said. “They came out exactly the way we wanted to. That was the No. 1 key tonight, to put the pressure on them.
“It was tough for them to get by that block. I was impressed with some of our digs behind us.”
So was New Mexico State.
BYU 3, NMSU 0
R BYU holds New Mexico State to a negative hitting percentage with 25 hitting errors, winning 25-8, 25-17, 25-14.
• Opposite hitter Jennifer Hamson finishes with 13 kills, seven blocks and 12 digs for No. 12 BYU, which is now 27-3.
P At Smith Fieldhouse, Provo
• BYU 3, New Mexico State 0
• Oklahoma 3, Arizona State 2
• BYU vs. Oklahoma,7 p.m.