Cinderella Cougars Dump Top-Seed Rams

Junior setter Karina Puikkonen led the Cougars with her second career triple-double in upending No. 1 seed Colorado State. Puikkonen had 11 kills, 36 assists, 10 digs and six blocks, while hitting .733. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

FORT COLLINS -- One night after a winning a five-game thriller over UNLV, No. 4 seed BYU blocked Colorado State's championship hopes by winning another five-game epic in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Cougars downed the Rams 30-23, 26-30, 29-31, 30-19, 15-11 Friday night at the Moby Arena. With the win the Cougars improve to 14-16 overall, while the Rams drop to 21-9.

BYU advances to play in the MWC Tournament Championship Final against No. 3 seed Utah Saturday. It will be the first time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have not met in the MWC Tournament final. The match will be carried live on Fox Sports Net (Rocky Mountain) at 2 p.m. from the Moby Arena on the campus of CSU.

"I was obviously thrilled when the match went to five games," BYU coach Karen Lamb said. "I knew we were going to win. I've said it before, but we're the best five game road team in the conference."

The Cougars' most seasoned player, setter Karina Puikkonen, led the way with her second career triple-double, as she set a MWC Tournament record for setters with 11 kills (zero errors) to go with 10 digs and 36 assists, while hitting a match-high .733. She was also instrumental in shutting down the Rams' MWC Freshman of the Year Tess Rogers with six blocks as Rogers could muster only 10 kills.

"Anytime you start blocking a team it's really hard for the opposing players to get into their system," Puikkonen said. "They start questioning themselves and don't know what to do next."

The Cougars dominated play at the net out-blocking the Rams 20.0-3.0 for the match.

BYU hit over .300 in every game except for the third (-.023) and finished the match strong after working out of a one games to two deficit, as the Cougars had only three hitting errors in 48 attempts in the last two games. BYU hit .438 to CSU's .040 in the decisive game to seal the match.

Kimberly Wilson tied for the team lead with 11 kills for the Cougars. Defensively, Laura Nielsen and Carrie Bowers led the way with 10 and nine blocks, respectively.

"I think our blocking has picked up and that's why we're having success and winning," Puikkonen said.

"I'm really pleased for our team because we've come through a lot of adversity this season," Lamb said. "We've earned our two wins so far this week, but we know we have a tough match against Utah tomorrow."

Volleyball Box Score

The Automated ScoreBook

BYU vs Colorado State (Nov 22, 2002 at Fort Collins, Colo.)

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

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

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

2 PUIKKONEN, Karina... 5| 11 0 15 .733| 36| 0 2| 0| 10| 0 6 0| 2

5 CASTILLO, Sahara.... 5| 1 1 2 .000| 0| 1 4| 0| 5| 0 0 0| 0

6 METCALF, Lindsey.... 5| 6 3 25 .120| 3| 3 2| 2| 9| 1 4 1| 0

7 LARSON, Allison..... 5| 9 7 28 .071| 1| 0 2| 0| 3| 0 4 0| 0

8 BOWERS, Carrie...... 5| 7 1 19 .316| 0| 0 1| 0| 2| 0 9 1| 0

18 NIELSEN, Laura...... 5| 9 2 22 .318| 1| 0 4| 0| 6| 1 9 0| 0

3 VARNER, April....... 2| 1 0 4 .250| 0| 0 0| 1| 3| 0 2 1| 0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 5| 0 0 0 .000| 3| 0 0| 2| 13| 0 0 0| 0

15 WILSON, Kimberly.... 5| 11 7 30 .133| 0| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 2 2| 0

17 MAHAFFEY, Micelle... 5| 0 0 2 .000| 3| 0 1| 0| 3| 0 0 0| 0

TEAM................ | | | | 1| | |

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

Totals.............. 5| 55 21 147 .231| 47| 4 16| 6| 56| 2 36 5| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 20.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 9 2 23 .304 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 5 TEAM RECORDS

2 13 3 31 .323 BYU................. 30 26 29 30 15 14-16

3 12 13 44 -.023 Colorado State...... 23 30 31 19 11 21-9

4 13 2 33 .333

5 8 1 16 .438

Colorado State | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

4 ROGERS, Tess........ 5| 10 14 46 -.087| 1| 2 1| 0| 3| 0 0 1| 0

9 COURTNEY, Melissa... 5| 10 1 16 .562| 47| 3 3| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 3

10 SARAUER, Becky...... 3| 3 3 14 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0

11 SHIRLEY, Katie Jo... 5| 5 4 11 .091| 0| 0 1| 0| 9| 0 1 0| 0

13 KNOX, Michelle...... 5| 18 10 41 .195| 2| 0 1| 1| 6| 0 1 1| 0

17 DOWNS, Andreya...... 5| 12 8 34 .118| 1| 1 7| 0| 4| 1 0 0| 0

6 DENNETT, Melissa.... 4| 3 5 17 -.118| 1| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0

8 BAUER, Casey........ 4| 7 6 24 .042| 3| 0 1| 1| 6| 0 1 0| 0

14 KERR, Lindsey....... 5| 0 0 0 .000| 3| 0 0| 2| 15| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 5| 68 51 203 .084| 58| 6 14| 4| 54| 1 4 2| 3

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 3.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 12 36 .056 Site: Fort Collins, Colo. (Moby Arena)

2 20 7 40 .325 Date: Nov 22, 2002 Attend: 1845 Time: 2:20

3 14 11 55 .055 Referees: Patsy Malta, Eric Asami

4 12 14 47 -.043 Semifinals of Mountain West Championship

5 8 7 25 .040 BYU will face Utah in Finals

Tags: Results