Injury-Riddled Cougars Lose to Rebels in Four

Provo native Kim Wilson put down a career- and match-high 17 kills on a career-best .387 hitting percentage in front of a hometown crowd against UNLV. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Beset yet again by injuries, this time to its top offensive threat, the BYU women's volleyball team dropped a Mountain West Conference match to upstart UNLV 30-17, 27-30, 18-30, 25-30 Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse. The loss snapped the Cougars' two-match win streak and evened their MWC record at 4-4 while falling to 9-13 overall. The Rebels extended their win streak to three and stand at 3-5, 7-14.

Sophomore outside hitter April Varner, BYU's go to attacker, had led the Cougars in kills in each of their last four matches and was coming off a career-high 23 kills at Wyoming Saturday. Varner sprained her ankle Wednesday in practice and is expected to be out two to three weeks.

"I am not one to make excuses," BYU coach Karen Lamb said. "But tonight our injuries really caught up with us. When you don't have all your players everybody has to play their best and tonight we struggled."

Compounding matters, sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Metcalf made her return to the lineup, but continues to be hobbled by a sprained ankle and is restricted in her movements. Junior middle blocker Carrie Bowers has stress fractures in both feet and sat out of practices this week to play in this weekend's matches.

"Lindsey is still not 100 percent," Lamb said. She couldn't really move, she couldn't jump well, her ankle is still bothering her. So we tried to adjust with the players we have."

After two impressive win s over Colorado State and Wyoming last week, the Cougars came out a determined albeit depleted team.

The first game started slowly as both teams exchanged points. BYU started to pull away as true freshman Kim Wilson dominated the play. Wilson put down her fifth kill in as many chances to put the Cougars up 17-12 and forced a Rebel timeout. Out of the timeout Wilson put down another kill to spur a 4-0 Cougar run, which forced yet another Rebel timeout. With UNLV on its heels, BYU pulled away and sealed the game on a dump by Karina Puikkonen. Wilson was a perfect six for six in the game and led BYU to a match-high .400 hitting percentage in game one.

"We played well in the first game," Lamb said. "Then we got out of our flow and couldn't get back on track."

In the final three games, BYU struggled to seize the momentum and UNLV started to execute. In the fourth game with the game tied at 4-4, UNLV staged a monumental 12-0 run to take a stranglehold on the match. The Cougars would stage a late rally and closed to gap to 25-29 on the strength of three kills by Wilson, but UNLV clinched the match on the next rally.

"I don't feel bad about our team at all," Lamb said. "Under the circumstances I feel good about our players because they're doing their best."

With Varner out, and Metcalf and Bowers at less than 100 percent, Wilson, a native of Provo, shouldered the load with a team-high 31 attack attempts. Wilson finished the night with career highs of 17 kills and a .387 attack percentage. Allison Larson also finished with doube-digit kills as she had 12.

"Kim is playing well of late and she is gaining a lot of valuable experience," Lamb said.

Defensively middle blocker Laura Nielsen picked up a career-high six blocks on the night and defensive specialist Uila Crabbe played a steady match putting up a match-high 18 digs.

UNLV was led by three players with double-digit kills. Patricia Assuncao led the way with 13 kills, followed by Blair Wilkes and Leiana Oswald, who each recorded 12 kills.

With starting middle blocker Lexi Brown out for the season with a torn ACL and middle blocker Laura Nielsen returning last week after missing a significant portion of the season due to a broken foot, the Cougar injury list this season has been long.

"I just want to see this team healthy, because I know we can be a great team," Lamb said.

The Cougars will play MWC leader San Diego State Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. The match against the Aztecs is Cosmo Kids Club Night where Cosmo will be present with toys, free prizes and food. Family admission is $10.

Volleyball Box Score

UNLV vs BYU Cougars (Oct 25, 2002 at Provo, Utah)

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

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

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

1 KING, Nicki......... 4| 2 1 4 .250| 44| 1 1| 0| 8| 1 1 1| 2

3 ASSUNCAO, Patricia.. 4| 13 9 40 .100| 0| 0 1| 2| 8| 1 3 1| 0

5 CHASE, Shannon...... 3| 4 2 14 .143| 1| 0 0| 1| 3| 1 0 0| 0

7 FACHNER, Sarah...... 4| 6 5 15 .067| 0| 1 0| 0| 0| 1 3 0| 0

11 WILKES, Blair....... 4| 12 3 22 .409| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 1 3 0| 0

15 KIRSCHNER, Christina 4| 3 3 14 .000| 0| 1 1| 0| 1| 0 6 2| 0

4 OSWALD, Leiana...... 3| 12 2 26 .385| 1| 2 2| 0| 6| 0 1 0| 0

6 MAYES, Tera......... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

9 OCASIO-CLEMENTE, She 1| 1 0 2 .500| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0

10 HENDRICKS, Jodi..... 1| 0 2 2-1.000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 0 0| 0

18 FRANCHINI, Nina..... 4| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 2| 18| 0 0 0| 0

20 FRANCO, Adriana..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 2| 0 0 0| 0

25 LEWIS, Amy.......... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 0| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 4| 53 27 139 .187| 48| 5 6| 5| 51| 5 18 4| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 6 7 31 -.032 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDS

2 16 7 35 .257 UNLV................ 17 30 30 30 7-14, 3-5 MWC

3 18 4 38 .368 BYU Cougars......... 30 27 18 25 9-13, 4-4 MWC

4 13 9 35 .114

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... 4| 6 2 12 .333| 46| 0 2| 0| 6| 0 4 0| 1

5 CASTILLO, Sahara.... 4| 0 4 10 -.400| 1| 1 3| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 0

6 METCALF, Lindsey.... 4| 7 6 25 .040| 1| 0 3| 3| 9| 0 3 0| 0

7 LARSON, Allison..... 4| 12 7 27 .185| 2| 2 6| 0| 0| 0 2 0| 0

8 BOWERS, Carrie...... 4| 8 4 23 .174| 1| 2 0| 0| 1| 0 5 0| 0

18 NIELSEN, Laura...... 4| 5 1 13 .308| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 6 0| 0

10 WEBB, Erin.......... 2| 2 2 8 .000| 0| 0 1| 2| 1| 0 0 0| 0

12 CRABBE, Uila........ 4| 0 0 1 .000| 2| 0 0| 0| 18| 0 0 0| 0

15 WILSON, Kimberly.... 4| 17 5 31 .387| 0| 0 0| 0| 5| 0 1 0| 0

17 MAHAFFEY, Michelle.. 4| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 0 1| 0| 4| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 4| 57 31 150 .173| 54| 5 17| 5| 50| 0 22 0| 1

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 11.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 19 5 35 .400 Site: Provo, Utah (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 13 7 35 .171 Date: Oct 25, 2002 Attend: 734 Time: 1H 50M

3 12 8 41 .098 Referees: GARY HOUGHTON, DAPHNE NELSON, KAREN MARSHAL

4 13 11 39 .051

Tags: Results