Fighting Illini Earn Sweep Over Cougars

Senior Allison Larson led BYU Friday with a career-best six blocks and a team-high nine kills. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After winning three matches in a row, the BYU women's volleyball team dropped its third consecutive decision 30-32, 27-30, 26-30 to Illinois Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Cougars record falls to 5-8 while the Fighting Illini improve their record to 6-2.

While the Cougar offense struggled to maintain momentum by being outhit .225 to .189, the BYU block continued to hold the team within striking distance throughout the match as the Cougars held a 12.0-4.0 advantage.

"We were doing a really good job until the end of the first game," head coach Karen Lamb said. "If we win that game the match takes on a whole different tone."

In the critical first game, the Cougars were the aggressors in seizing the early lead. BYU's lead bulged to as many as five, but Illinois fought back to tie the game at 21-21. The game was again tied, this time at 29-29, but an Erin Virtue service error put the Cougars up 30-29 before the Fighting Illini stormed back with a quick 3-0 run to take the game.

BYU was unable to mount offensive pressure early in the second game, and its first kill of the game came courtesy of Allison Larson when she made the game 8-12. Illinois built its lead to as many as seven at 12-19, but the Cougars chipped away and crawled to within two at 26-28 on a double block by Larson and Laura Nielsen. The Cougars could not get any closer, however, as Illinois took a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third game was much like the second, as the Cougars fell back early, but fought back to within striking distance of claiming the lead. However, a hard fighting Cougar squad could not overcome numerous missed serves and poor passes as Illinois walked out with the win.

"The difference between tonight and last night is they competed hard tonight," Lamb said. "I think we took a step forward tonight as a team, and win or lose that's our goal. We know if we keep moving in the right direction we will win."

The Cougars were led defensively by Larson and Carrie Bowers who each had a match-high six blocks. Six blocks also marks a career high for Larson. Lindsey Metcalf had 12 digs to go with four blocks. Metcalf has now recorded double-digit digs in five consecutive matches, and she is averaging 4.69 digs per game within that span.

Offensively Larson led the Cougars with nine kills, and Karina Puikkonen had seven kills with no hitting errors while hitting a match-high .700. She also managed to dish out 29 assists.

Jessica Belter, Sue Webber and Lisa Argabright each had 12 kills to lead Illinois. Webber also picked up 12 digs for a double-double on the night.

BYU will start Mountain West Conference play next week as it travels to UNLV Friday and San Diego State Saturday. The Cougars will next return home to host Air Force and New Mexico, Oct. 4-5.

Volleyball Box Score

ILLINOIS vs BYU Cougars (Sep 20, 2002 at PROVO, UT)

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

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

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

1 BELTER, Jessica..... 3| 12 6 29 .207| 1| 1 4| 1| 4| 0 1 0| 0

2 VANDREY, Melissa.... 3| 8 9 28 -.036| 0| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0

3 EISERMAN, Betsy..... 3| 2 1 6 .167| 45| 0 0| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 0

5 O'BRYAN, Shelly..... 3| 8 2 14 .429| 0| 2 0| 0| 3| 0 2 0| 0

7 WEBBER, Sue......... 3| 12 4 25 .320| 2| 0 6| 2| 12| 0 2 0| 0

11 ARGABRIGHT, Lisa.... 3| 12 3 27 .333| 0| 3 5| 0| 3| 0 2 0| 0

10 VIRTUE, Erin........ 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

12 BAZZETTA, Kathleen.. 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 3 0| 0| 5| 0 0 0| 0

14 HARKS, Lauren....... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 1| 12| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 3| 54 25 129 .225| 50| 9 16| 4| 46| 0 8 0| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 4.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 17 8 40 .225 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 21 9 48 .250 ILLINOIS............ 32 30 30 6-2, 0-0 BIG TEN

3 16 8 41 .195 BYU Cougars......... 30 27 26 5-8, 0-0 MWC

BYU Cougars | 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... 3| 7 0 10 .700| 29| 0 0| 1| 4| 0 2 0| 1

3 VARNER, April....... 3| 3 4 13 -.077| 1| 0 1| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0

6 METCALF, Lindsey.... 3| 6 3 21 .143| 2| 1 3| 0| 12| 0 4 1| 0

8 BOWERS, Carrie...... 3| 4 3 23 .043| 0| 2 1| 0| 0| 0 6 1| 0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 2| 3| 8| 0 0 0| 0

18 NIELSEN, Laura...... 3| 7 1 15 .400| 0| 1 1| 0| 2| 1 3 0| 0

5 CASTILLO, Sahara.... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

7 LARSON, Allison..... 3| 9 5 23 .174| 0| 0 1| 0| 0| 0 6 0| 0

15 WILSON, Kimberly.... 3| 2 1 6 .167| 1| 0 0| 3| 5| 0 1 0| 0

17 MAHAFFEY, Michelle.. 2| 0 0 0 .000| 2| 0 0| 2| 2| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 3| 38 17 111 .189| 36| 4 10| 9| 38| 1 22 2| 1

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 12.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 14 6 35 .229 Site: PROVO, UT (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 10 4 33 .182 Date: Sep 20, 2002 Attend: 1269 Time: 1h 30m

3 14 7 43 .163 Referees: ANNETTE COTTLE, MYLIE JEWKES, KAREN MARSHAL

Tags: Results