No. 12 Rams Upset No. 9 Cougars To Claim Title At Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

No. 12 Rams Upset No. 9 Cougars To Claim Title At Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship

PROVO -- Using their quickness and strong offensive firepower, the No. 12-ranked Colorado State Rams upset top-seeded No. 9 BYU Cougars, 3-0 (15-8, 15-8, 15-12) today to win the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship held at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah. The win improved Colorado State's record to a program-best 28 wins and only two losses while BYU fell to 26-4 overall.

CSU came out strong, posting 15-8 wins in the first two games. BYU battled in the third game, before succumbing 15-12. The loss ended the Cougars' 28-match home win streak.

CSU senior Catie Vagneur, named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, led all hitters with 19 kills, including the match-winner, on a three-game personal-high 45 attempts to hit .311. Sophomore Courtney Cox had 17 kills and a three-game career high 14 digs.

Sophmore Angela Knopf hit .500 with 16 kills, nine digs and a match-high seven blocks. Junior Summer Jennings had 14 kills, a .321 hitting percentage and a three game career high six blocks to give the Rams strength in the middle.

Colorado State hit .299 as a team and coach Tom Hilbert credits a lot of that to setter Peckham, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury. Peckham finished the night with 60 assists and a career three-game high 14 digs. That effort helped her earn setter of the tournament honors. Senior Kristen Vance, named the defensive specialist of the tournament, led all players with 20 digs.

The Cougars, who hit a dismal .177 for the match thanks to a three-game season high 14 team blocks by the Rams, were led by senior Caroline Bower and sophomore Nina Puikkonen. Both players ended the match with double--doubles. Bower had a team-high 15 kills to go along with 12 digs. Puikkonen, the only Cougar to be named to the all-tournament team, notched 11 kills and a season-high 16 digs. She also collected six blocks to lead BYU.

BYU's Anna-Lena Smith, named setter of the year for the Mountain West Conference earlier in the week, finished with 29 assists, tied a career high with nine kills and had a .563 hitting percentage.

Both teams are awaiting announcement of NCAA tournament bids. The bids will be announced Sunday at 8 p.m. Mountain time during the 1999 Division I Women's Volleyball Selection Show. The 30-minute show can be viewed live on television with the use of a DSS dish such as DirecTV or Dish Network or with a C-Band downlink "moveable" satellite dish. Members of the media may obtain a special phone number to listen to the audio portion of the bracket announcement.

The all-tournament team included six CSU players, one from BYU and one from Utah.

Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team:

McKelle Stilson, So., MB, Utah

Nina Puikkonen, So., MB, BYU

Angela Knopf, So., MB, CSU

Catie Vagneur, Sr., OH, CSU

Summer Jennings, Jr., MB, CSU

Courtney Cox, So., OH, CSU

All-Tournament setter:

Allison Peckham, So., S, CSU

All-Tournament Defensive Specialist:

Kristen Vance, Sr., DS, CSU

Tournament Most Valuable Player:

Catie Vagneur, Sr., OH, CSU

Quote Sheet

BYU Coach Elaine Michaelis:

"Our hats are off to Colorado State. They had a great game plan and carried it out, and we did not (carry ours out). Today they were better than we were on this particular day."

"Mostly the servicing game was really poor on our part. We didn't serve well at all. We played pretty poor defense as well."

"They were mixing up their serves a lot, they were serving us short, deep, inside, outside. We didn't even have a chance to run our offense. They just played really sharp today."

"I was surprised we didn't come out and play harder and I'm not sure why (we didn't). Our focus was not as it should."

(on NCAA Tournament) "I don't think this makes much difference. Maybe they'll get to go to Penn State instead of us...I'm confident this team is going to go on and represent us well. They had a good day today and we didn't, but with two good teams, anything can happen on any day."

Caroline Bower, Outside Hitter, BYU:

"At the very end it was awesome by our team to show the fighting spirit like we did, but overall we weren't in sync. We weren't connecting like we usually do. Instead of being the aggressors, we let them be the aggressors, so that definitely affected our consistency."

Colorado State Coach Tom Hilbert:

"I'm still above ground right now. Our players played an exceptional game and executed our game plan."

"BYU is a very tough team to beat but our players played with character. They're real warriors and I'm very proud of them."

"I think this was a great night for Catie (Vagneur) and Courtney (Cox). We had real good consistency from everyone. We distributed the ball pretty well."

Catie Vagneur, Colo. State:

"I felt that everything had seemed to easy for them and they weren't going to come out and respect us, where for us, we had to come out and work for every win."

"We were one step ahead of them and we were getting to them. We could feel it."

Angela Knopf, Colo. State:

"The five-game match against Utah helped us because with each game and each point we had to play harder and we all came together well."

Summer Jennings, Colo. State:

"Our fans are the best. Their support is incredible, even when we're on the road."

Volleyball Box Score

COLORADO ST Rams vs Brigham Young (Nov 27, 1999 at BYU PROVO, UT)

COLORADO ST Rams | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

4 COX, Courtney....... 3| 17 6 54 .204| 0| 1 2| 0| 14| 0 3 0| 0

5 KNOPF, Angela....... 3| 16 1 30 .500| 0| 0 2| 0| 9| 2 5 0| 1

8 SWARTZENDRUBER, Kris 3| 6 3 12 .250| 2| 1 1| 0| 9| 0 1 0| 0

9 JENNINGS, Summer.... 3| 14 5 28 .321| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 6 0| 0

14 VAGNEUR, Catie...... 3| 19 5 45 .311| 1| 0 1| 1| 8| 1 1 0| 1

15 PECKHAM, Allison.... 3| 2 1 4 .250| 60| 1 1| 0| 14| 0 6 0| 0

1 VANCE, Kristen...... 3| 0 1 1-1.000| 1| 1 1| 1| 20| 0 0 0| 0

6 METSCHKE, Shauna.... 2| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 3| 74 22 174 .299| 64| 4 8| 2| 76| 3 22 0| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 14.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 24 7 51 .333 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 22 6 56 .286 COLORADO ST Rams.... 15 15 15 28-2 12-2

3 28 9 67 .284 Brigham Young....... 8 8 12 26-4 13-1

Brigham Young | ATTACK |SET| SERVE |SRV|DEF| BLOCK |GEN

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

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

2 WHITTAKER, Natalie.. 3| 0 0 3 .000| 0| 0 0| 1| 10| 0 0 0| 0

3 SMITH, Anna-Lena.... 3| 9 0 16 .562| 39| 0 0| 0| 7| 0 1 0| 0

8 BOWER, Caroline..... 3| 15 8 45 .156| 3| 1 0| 0| 12| 2 2 0| 0

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina..... 3| 11 3 34 .235| 1| 0 1| 1| 16| 1 5 1| 0

10 BUNDY, Jackie....... 3| 7 5 22 .091| 3| 1 1| 2| 12| 0 4 0| 0

12 LAYTON, Melissa..... 3| 1 5 15 -.267| 3| 0 3| 0| 4| 0 3 1| 0

14 CARPENTER, Mari..... 3| 11 4 37 .189| 0| 0 1| 0| 1| 0 1 1| 0

15 TONGA, Sunny........ 1| 5 2 9 .333| 1| 0 0| 0| 1| 1 3 0| 0

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

Totals.............. 3| 59 27 181 .177| 50| 2 6| 4| 63| 4 19 3| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 13.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 17 11 55 .109 Site: BYU PROVO, UT (SMITH FIELDHOUSE)

2 18 8 63 .159 Date: Nov 27, 1999 Attend: 1167 Time: 1H 50M

3 24 8 63 .254 Referees: VERNA KLUBNIKIN, PATSY MALTA, GINA ACKER