BYU Sweeps Rhode Island in Home Debut | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Sweeps Rhode Island in Home Debut

PROVO -- All-American Nina Puikkonen put down 15 kills and Sunny Tonga added 10 as BYU defeated Rhode Island, 30-21, 30-19, 30-25, Monday in front of 1,390 volleyball fans at the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars, ranked 16th in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll released Monday, improved to 3-1 on the season with the win while the Rams dropped to 0-4.

"Our offense was better (than last week), much faster, and the hitters were going hard," BYU coach Elaine Michaelis said. "(Setter) Karina (Puikkonen) created some nice hitting options where Rhode Island did not have a blocker up or only one blocker. "

The Cougars hit a season-high .303 as a team while holding the Rams to a .050 attack percentage. Mahe hit .421 with only two hitting errors in 19 attacks while Nina Puikkonen hit .355, making only four errors in 31 attempts. In all, five Cougars hit .300 or better. Puikkonen finished the night just three kills from overtaking fifth place on BYU's all-time kills list. She should pass former Cougar All-American Gale Johnson (1993-96) during Thursday's match with No. 23 Colorado.

The Cougars also excelled on the defensive side of the net. BYU totaled 14 team blocks while the shorter Ram front line mustered just three. Puikkonen tallied a match-high six blocks. Natalie Whittaker led BYU's back row effort with a match-high 15 digs, helping the Cougars tally 48 digs compared to 36 by the Rams.

"We blocked well tonight and we made some nice defensive plays," Michaelis said. "Natalie (Whittaker), Uila (Crabbe) and Karina all made some very nice plays to keep the ball off the floor."

One of Karina Puikkonen's eight digs was a pancake save that seemed certain to reach the floor before she slid under it at the last minute. The Cougars took the momentum and quickly transitioned into an offensive attack that produced a Whittaker kill to give BYU a 26-17 lead in game two.

Mary Kate Reardon had eight kills and Michelle Fulton and Brooke Ecklund seven apiece to lead the Ram attack.

The Cougars now prepare to host the annual Mizuno Classic this week in the Smith Fieldhouse. BYU opens the Classic Thursday when it faces No. 23 Colorado.

Volleyball Box Score

RHODE ISLAND Rams vs BYU Cougars (Sep 03, 2001 at BYU PROVO UTAH)

RHODE ISLAND Rams | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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2 KAUPPILA, Amy....... 3| 4 3 15 .067| 2| 1 1| 0| 9| 0 0 0| 0| 5.0

7 FULTON, Michelle.... 3| 7 6 16 .062| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0| 7.5

8 REARDON, MaryKate... 3| 8 6 27 .074| 1| 0 2| 0| 2| 0 1 0| 0| 8.5

9 ECKLUND, Brooke..... 3| 7 7 26 .000| 2| 0 0| 1| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 7.0

10 VALENCIA, Juliana... 3| 4 1 13 .231| 24| 0 1| 0| 6| 0 2 1| 0| 5.0

13 BOGACZ, Yolanda..... 3| 4 6 17 -.118| 2| 0 2| 0| 5| 0 2 0| 0| 5.0

3 CHUHA, Mindy........ 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 1 0| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

4 LASSEN, Meagan...... 1| 0 0 2 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

6 MILLER, Kaleena..... 3| 1 0 2 .500| 0| 0 1| 4| 6| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

12 GORAN, Brie......... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

14 THORNBLADH, Abby.... 1| 1 1 3 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

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Totals.............. 3| 36 30 121 .050| 31| 2 7| 5| 36| 0 6 1| 0| 41.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 3.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 9 8 38 .026 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 13 42 .000 RHODE ISLAND Rams... 21 19 25 0 - 4

3 14 9 41 .122 BYU Cougars......... 30 30 30 3 - 1

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

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

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2 WHITTAKER, Natalie.. 3| 4 3 13 .077| 1| 1 0| 0| 15| 0 3 0| 0| 6.5

5 PUIKKONEN, Karina... 3| 4 0 8 .500| 35| 0 1| 0| 8| 3 1 0| 0| 7.5

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina..... 3| 15 4 31 .355| 2| 0 4| 0| 4| 1 5 1| 0| 18.5

10 BUNDY, Jackie....... 3| 9 3 20 .300| 1| 0 1| 0| 6| 1 2 1| 0| 11.0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 3| 0 0 1 .000| 0| 2 3| 1| 3| 0 0 0| 0| 2.0

15 MAHE, Sunny......... 3| 10 2 19 .421| 0| 2 2| 1| 9| 1 3 0| 0| 14.5

4 WARNICK, Becky...... 2| 4 1 10 .300| 1| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 4.0

7 LARSON, Allison..... 1| 2 2 7 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 1 0 0| 0| 3.0

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Totals.............. 3| 48 15 109 .303| 40| 5 11| 2| 48| 7 14 2| 0| 67.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 19 8 38 .289 Site: BYU PROVO UTAH (SMITHFIELD HOUSE)

2 15 1 32 .438 Date: Sep 03, 2001 Attend: 1390 Time: 1H 20M

3 14 6 39 .205 Referees: ANNETTE COTTLE, BRUCE GRANT, KAREN MARSHALL