Dreams Dashed as Utes Top Cougars

Senior rightside hitter Allison Larson led the Cougars with team-highs of 10 kills and a .421 attack percentage in the MWC Tournament finals against Utah Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

FORT COLLINS -- In the first-ever all Utah final in the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Tournament, BYU had its championship hopes dashed by Utah 22-30, 25-30, 23-30. The loss drops the Cougars to 14-17 overall, while the Utes improved to 24-7 in winning their second consecutive title.

"After the way we played the past two days, we just didn't have anything left today," BYU coach Karen Lamb said. "Win or lose I'm extremely proud of this team and how we competed this week."

Coming off two grueling five-game wins over UNLV and Colorado State the previous two nights, the Cougars jumped to an early 4-2 lead in the first game, but the Utes fought back and slowly built up their lead. Utah led by as many as nine points (18-9), but BYU would narrow the lead to five points on a kill by Carrie Bowers and an attack error by Kim Turner. The fatigued Cougars faded down the stretch as they had a total of 11 hitting errors in the game as Utah pulled away for the win.

The second game was the closest of the match that featured 14 ties and six lead changes. A kill by Lindsey Metcalf gave BYU a 10-8 lead heading into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout Sylva Strzinkova quickly tied the match with a kill and an ace. From there Utah would outscore BYU 10-7 to take a three-point lead (20-17) going into the second media timeout. From there five different Utes contributed kills as they took one step closer to the championship.

The third game started closely, but after the game was tied at 10-10, Utah reeled off a decisive 4-0 on the strength of two kills by Turner to take a 14-10 lead and forcing BYU into a timeout. The Utes would continue to pull away before sealing the match and clinching the championship on a kill from Strzinkova.

"Utah did what they wanted to do today, and we didn't," Lamb said. "They had contributions from every position on the court."

BYU was out-hit .244 to .107, but Allison Larson led the Cougars with team-highs of 10 kills and a .421 hitting percentage. The Cougars out-blocked the Utes 8.5-8.0 and were led by Larson and Carrie Bowers who had three blocks each. Uila Crabbe had a team-high 11 digs to sustain the Cougar defense.

Larson and Karina Puikkonen were named to the MWC All-Tournament team for their efforts.

MWC Tournament Most Valuable Player Turner led the way for the Utes with match-highs of 16 kills on .542 hitting.

"The players came here to win," Lamb said. "I think we all saw what kind of team this is. They have improved so much as the season has gone on and no matter how bleak things looked they never gave up. We have to keep working, though, because we have two tough matches against Hawai'i and Arizona next week."

BYU will end its season with matches against No. 2 Hawai'i Tuesday and No. 16 Arizona Friday. Both matches are scheduled at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.

Volleyball Box Score

BYU vs Utah (Nov 23, 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|POINTS

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

2 PUIKKONEN, Karina... 3| 3 1 7 .286| 27| 0 2| 0| 3| 1 2 0| 0| 5.0

6 METCALF, Lindsey.... 3| 6 5 22 .045| 0| 0 0| 1| 7| 0 0 0| 0| 6.0

7 LARSON, Allison..... 3| 10 2 19 .421| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 3 0| 0| 11.5

8 BOWERS, Carrie...... 3| 3 2 14 .071| 0| 2 1| 0| 2| 0 3 0| 0| 6.5

15 WILSON, Kimberly.... 3| 6 8 27 -.074| 1| 0 0| 1| 4| 1 1 0| 0| 7.5

18 NIELSEN, Laura...... 3| 8 4 17 .235| 0| 0 2| 0| 0| 1 2 0| 0| 10.0

3 VARNER, April....... 1| 1 2 5 -.200| 1| 0 0| 0| 5| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

5 CASTILLO, Sahara.... 3| 0 1 1-1.000| 0| 0 1| 4| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 11| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

17 MAHAFFEY, Micelle... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 1| 37 25 112 .107| 30| 2 7| 6| 38| 3 11 0| 0| 47.5

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 8.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 11 41 .073 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 14 7 36 .194 BYU................. 22 25 23 14-17

3 9 7 35 .057 Utah................ 30 30 30 24-7

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

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

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

5 BEAL, Brenda........ 3| 5 2 11 .273| 0| 2 0| 0| 2| 1 2 0| 0| 9.0

6 KARTCHNER, Kelsie... 3| 2 2 8 .000| 43| 0 2| 0| 5| 1 2 0| 0| 4.0

10 STRZINKOVA, Sylva... 3| 12 6 35 .171| 1| 2 1| 2| 12| 0 1 1| 0| 14.5

14 SCHULZ, Sabine...... 3| 5 6 22 -.045| 1| 1 2| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0| 6.0

15 TURNER, Kim......... 3| 16 3 24 .542| 0| 1 0| 0| 6| 1 2 1| 0| 19.0

16 PHILLIPS, Lyndsey... 3| 10 2 14 .571| 1| 0 3| 0| 0| 0 3 0| 0| 11.5

2 MORRILL, Jackie..... 3| 1 0 1 1.000| 1| 0 0| 0| 10| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

4 HUNDLEY, Shelly..... 2| 1 2 4 -.250| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 1.0

9 LEICHLITER, Danielle 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

17 HORNER, Taryn....... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0.0

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Totals.............. 1| 52 23 119 .244| 47| 6 8| 2| 39| 3 10 2| 0| 66.0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 8.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 4 34 .294 Site: Fort Collins, Colo. (Moby Arena)

2 21 8 42 .310 Date: Nov 23, 2002 Attend: 245 Time: 1:35

3 17 11 43 .140 Referees: Verna Klubnikin, Patsy Malta

Championship Match of MWC Tournament

Tags: Results