ALBUQUERQUE -- Three Cougars recorded double-digit kills as No. 14 BYU finished the regular season with a three-game defeat of New Mexico, 15-11, 15-6, 15-4, Saturday at the Johnson Center. BYU improved its overall record to 20-6, and won its last nine consecutive conference games to finish with a 12-2 mark.
All-American Nina Puikkonen led a solid Cougar offensive attack, finishing the match with 15 kills on her way to recording a .522 hitting percentage. Senior Melissa Layton added 12 kills and three service aces, and sophomore Sunny Tonga tallied 11 kills and a .625 attack percentage for the match. Redshirt freshman Karina Puikkonen finished with 43 assists on the night.
"When a team hits .400, that says a lot about the setter," said BYU coach Elaine Michaelis. "I thought Karina played really well tonight. She kept the offense running all night."
The Cougar attack proved to be too much for a New Mexico team that struggled to find an offensive rhythm. BYU held the Lobos to a .080 attack percentage for the match, and recorded 10 team blocks to New Mexico's four.
After finishing the regular season in second place in the Mountain West Conference, BYU now looks to make a strong showing in the upcoming post-season tournament action.
"We came together tonight," Michaelis said, "and now we are ready for the Mountain West Tournament."
The Cougars will begin tournament play next week in Fort Collins, Colo. The tournament will run Nov. 16-18 at Moby Arena, home of MWC regular-season champion Colorado State.