Puikkonen, Carpenter lead No. 9 Cougars to fifth victory of the season
PROVO, Utah -- (Sept. 17, 1999) Led by sophomore middle blocker Nina Puikkonen and senior outside hitter Mari Carpenter, the BYU women's volleyball team defeated Utah State 15-6, 15-4, 15-9, Friday night in the Smith Fieldhouse in front of 1,352 fans.
Puikkonen led the Cougar offense by finishing with 15 kills and a .650 hitting percentage while Carpenter ended with 11 kills and a career-high .846 hitting percentage. Those two led the way for the Cougars who ended with a team hitting percentage of .438.
"No one could dig (Mari)," head coach Elaine Michaelis said. "Nina played very well, too. You have to give Al (setter Anna-Lena Smith) credit. She was setting them high and good. Anytime a team hits that high of a percentage the setter should get the credit."
Smith finished the night with 42 assists and five kills of her own. She also led the team's defensive charge with nine digs. Caroline Bower had a strong night as well. She finished with 12 kills, a .417 hitting percentage and was second behind Smith with eight digs.
"The thing I was most pleased with was that we played a lot better defense," Michaelis said. "We didn't let too many balls go down."
BYU played thirteen players in the match, including two players, Michelle Otteson and Emily Kennedy, who had never seen action in a college match.
Melissa Schoepf led the Aggies with eight kills and Lori Sargent-McKnight had six digs and 22 assists.
The win improved the Cougars' record to 5-1 while the Aggies drop to 1-4. BYU, who is ranked ninth in the country, will look to set an all-time attendance record for the Smith Fieldhouse when they host No. 10 Pepperdine Saturday at 7 p.m.