BYU Dominates Lobos, Advances To Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship Final | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Dominates Lobos, Advances To Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship Final

PROVO -- Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Nina Puikkonen led top-seeded BYU to the 3-0 (15-1, 15-0, 15-9) semifinal victory over New Mexico today in the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship Tournament at the Smith Fieldhouse.

Puikkonen, a sophomore middle blocker, led all players with 10 kills in the match. She also finished with a .533 hitting percentage and four blocks.

The Cougars jumped on the Lobos early winning game one 15-1 on .563 hitting while holding New Mexico's hitting percentage to --.150.

The momentum that BYU gained in the first game was intensified in the second as the Cougars blanked the Lobos 15-0 while hitting .800 as a team. Five BYU players finished the night with a hitting percentage over .500. The Cougars had only six hitting errors in the match and finished with a .466 team attack percentage.

The win by the Cougars, which took 55 minutes, set up a final match with second seeded Colorado State in Saturday's final. The match was the second of the tournament for BYU that took less than an hour to complete. BYU defeated Wyoming in its quarterfinal match Wednesday in 55 minutes as well.

The Lobos reached the semifinal match after upsetting fourth-seeded Air Force 3-2 Wednesday. Amber Smith led the Lobos with five kills. Janelle Torres helped New Mexico by finishing with a match-high 8 digs.

The final will be played Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah, at 4 p.m. BYU, ranked No. 9 in the nation, and No. 12 Colorado State split their season series with each team winning on their home floor.

Quote Sheet

New Mexico vs. BYU

New Mexico Coach Laurel Brassey Iverson:

"We're real proud of this team. We came in here tonight as the only team to beat a higher seed. I'm real proud of them to get to this match when nobody expected us to be here. I'm not, however, satisfied with our performance. We really wanted to do better."

"You have to give BYU a lot of credit. They were on tonight. We just didn't serve well tonight, which has been our strength over the last part of the season. We really expected to put up a better fight. I'm not so disappointed with the outcome as I am with our performance."

On BYU: "Of each of our three matches this season, this was the best I've seen them. When they get the momentum, it's hard to turn it off."

On Game Three: "I thought we came out with more enthusiasm. Elaine (Michaelis) switched their setter, which gave us a chance to get something going. I thought that was very kind."

New Mexico Outside Hitter Amber Smith:

"I felt with all my heart we could beat BYU tonight. It wasn't too long ago when this team had reached rock bottom. Throughout the year, we have all pulled together. We've taken steps to being a better team and better people. That's what this is all about."

BYU Coach Elaine Michaelis:

"Our goal is to progress every match. And I think we played better tonight than we did on Wednesday (vs.Wyoming). Everyone played at an extremely high level tonight."

"We will have to play at a high level tomorrow against Colorado State, no question about it. But I have confidence that our team will rise to that level."

On Colorado State: "CSU's middles are dangerous. We will have to serve strong to get them out of their system. It will be a great defensive match. I think it will come down to who can block and play defense."

BYU Outside Hitter Caroline Bower:

About playing Colorado State: "We're excited to play Colorado State. It's a chance to progress and see where our strengths and weaknesses are. My concern is that we pass well. When we pass well, we are hard to stop."

BYU Middle Blocker Jackie Bundy:

"I don't think we have been tested as much as Colorado State (in this tournament), but I like how we have played well -- no matter the competition.:

BYU Middle Blocker Melissa Layton:

"Obviously Colorado State is the best team in our conference, along with us, so we are very excited to play them."

Volleyball Box Score

New Mexico vs BYU (Nov 26, 1999 at BYU PROVO UT)

New Mexico | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 TORRES, Janelle..... 3| 0 2 4 -.500| 16| 0 1| 0| 8| 0 0 0| 3

2 CONLEY, Micaela..... 3| 4 6 19 -.105| 0| 0 0| 1| 2| 0 0 0| 0

4 GOFFARD, Jessie..... 3| 3 3 10 .000| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

7 SMITH, Amber........ 3| 5 7 15 -.133| 0| 0 3| 0| 3| 0 1 0| 0

10 BURNS, Blaire....... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 0 0| 0

12 SANSONI, Erika...... 3| 2 1 8 .125| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0

3 PINTABONA, Tanya.... 1| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

6 SHIELDS, Vanessa.... 3| 3 5 14 -.143| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 1 0 0| 0

8 LEE, Elisha......... 1| 1 0 2 .500| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

9 GRIFFIN, Kelly...... 1| 0 0 1 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

13 ALLISON, Nana....... 3| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 0 2| 2| 2| 0 0 0| 0

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 3| 18 24 75 -.080| 17| 0 9| 3| 19| 1 2 0| 3

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 2.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 5 8 20 -.150 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 3 10 21 -.333 New Mexico.......... 1 0 9 11-22 5-9

3 10 6 34 .118 BYU................. 15 15 15 26-3 13-1

BYU | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

## Name GP| K E TA PCT| A| SA SE| RE|DIG|BS BA BE|BHE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2 WHITTAKER, Natalie.. 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 3| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0

3 SMITH, Anna-Lena.... 3| 2 0 4 .500| 22| 2 0| 0| 7| 0 1 0| 0

8 BOWER, Caroline..... 3| 4 0 5 .800| 0| 1 1| 0| 6| 0 1 0| 0

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina..... 3| 10 2 15 .533| 0| 0 1| 0| 3| 2 2 1| 0

10 BUNDY, Jackie....... 3| 7 3 15 .267| 2| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 4 1| 0

12 LAYTON, Melissa..... 3| 3 1 7 .286| 1| 0 4| 0| 4| 0 6 0| 0

7 BRINTON, Martha..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 4| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 1

14 CARPENTER, Mari..... 2| 5 0 8 .625| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 1 0| 0

15 TONGA, Sunny........ 1| 2 0 4 .500| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 1 0| 0

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Totals.............. 3| 33 6 58 .466| 29| 3 10| 0| 27| 2 16 2| 1

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 10.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 11 2 16 .563 Site: BYU PROVO UT (SMITH FIELDHOUSE)

2 12 0 15 .800 Date: Nov 26, 1999 Attend: Time: 0:55

3 10 4 27 .222 Referees: PATSY MALTA, TOM GIVEN, GINA ACKER