COLORADO SPRINGS -- Junior middle blocker Nina Puikkonen (pronounced PWEEK-a-nen) from BYU was named the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Player of the Week Monday, marking the second time this season and the fourth time overall Puikkonen has earned the award.
A native of Murray, Utah, Puikkonen helped the Cougars to a 2-0 record last week with victories over Air Force and New Mexico. She totaled 12 kills and five total blocks in a 15-5, 15-1, 15-1 win over Air Force, and followed with 11 kills, eight digs, three solo blocks and two block assists in a 15-6, 15-1, 15-0 win over the Lobos. For the week, Puikkonen hit .459 (26k-3e-37a) and averaged 3.83 kills per game. She has recorded 10 or more kills in 15 matches this season and currently ranks No. 8 on the BYU all-time kill list with 1,052 career kills.
The NCAA leader for blocks per game the past three weeks, Puikkonen was named MWC Player of the Week and the AVCA/Sports Imports Division I National Player of the Week Sept. 11. Puikkonen was a second-team AVCA All-America selection and the MWC Player of the Year in 1999.
The Cougars travel to No. 5 Pepperdine Wednesday before MWC matches at UNLV and San Diego State later this week.
Mountain West Conference Players of the Week:
Sept. 4 -- Courtney Cox, Jr., OH, Colorado State
Sept. 11 -- Nina Puikkonen, Jr., MB, BYU
Sept. 18 -- Delavane Diaz, Fr., OH, Air Force
Sept. 25 -- Angela Knopf, Jr., OH, Colorado State
Oct. 2 -- Allison Peckham, Jr., S, Colorado State
Oct. 9 -- Lucie TurkovÃ¡, Sr., S, Utah