Puikkonen Leads Cougars Past Utah In Mountain West Showdown | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Puikkonen Leads Cougars Past Utah In Mountain West Showdown

PROVO -- Led by sophomore middle blocker Nina Puikkonen, the 10th-ranked BYU women's volleyball team defeated the University of Utah 15-7, 15-6, 15-3 to improve its record to 22-3 overall and 11-1 in Mountain West Conference play. Utah falls to 19-7 overall and 9-3 in the Mountain West.

Puikkonen finished with 17 kills and a .533 hitting percentage to keep the Cougars in the hunt for the regular season conference championship.

"Nina (Puikkonen) just hits over our block," Utah coach Beth Launiere said. "We can do everything right but she hits higher than anyone in the country. I think she will be an All-American this year. She has my vote."

The Utes were also led in the middle by their sophomore, McKelle Stilson. Stilson, who was named Mountain West Player of the Week on Oct. 4, led Utah with 9 kills and a .261 hitting percentage, despite the Cougar defense focusing on her.

"McKelle is unstoppable if they get a pass," BYU coach Elaine Michaelis said. "She's a great player. We tried to give them some tough serves and keep the ball away from her."

Michaelis claimed that despite 21 serving errors by the Cougars, serving was the key to victory.

"The key was our serving game," Michaelis said. "We were trying to keep our serves tough, but I'm not sure why we missed that many serves in our own gym where we practice everyday. When we were serving well, it helped everything because we made it tough to pass the ball."

The Cougars finished the night hitting .374 with senior All-American setter Anna-Lena Smith having 40 assists. She also led the Cougars with 10 digs. The Utes' aggressive defensive effort was led by junior Jen Snow-Richards and sophomore Alisas Geddes, who each had eight digs on the night.

"They dug a lot of balls," Michaelis said. "We should have had more blocks. They wouldn't let anything drop."

The Cougars and the Utes both finish regular season play next weekend with No. 11 Colorado State and Wyoming. Wyoming will play BYU Friday and Utah Saturday. Colorado State will travel to Utah Friday and play BYU Saturday in a match that could determine the regular season champion of the Mountain West Conference.

The Mountain West Conference Tournament will be held Nov. 24-27 in the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo, Utah.

Volleyball Box Score

Utah vs Brigham Young (Nov 12, 1999 at Provo, Utah)

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

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

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2 TORRES-LOPEZ, G..... 3| 3 3 14 .000| 25| 1 2| 0| 7| 0 2 0| 2

3 STILSON, McKelle.... 3| 9 3 23 .261| 2| 0 2| 0| 0| 0 2 0| 0

4 SNOW-RICHARDS, Jen.. 3| 9 7 19 .105| 2| 0 1| 0| 8| 0 0 0| 0

13 GEDDES, Alisa....... 3| 8 7 24 .042| 1| 0 3| 0| 8| 0 1 0| 0

14 BARTON, Brooke...... 3| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 1| 2| 6| 0 0 0| 0

16 BRADLEY, Adrianne... 3| 3 8 15 -.333| 2| 1 0| 6| 3| 0 2 0| 0

5 BEAL, Brenda........ 2| 2 1 9 .111| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 1 0| 0

8 TURKOVA, Lucie...... 3| 0 0 1 .000| 1| 0 1| 0| 4| 0 0 1| 0

9 URBANOVA, Lenka..... 1| 0 0 0 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 0 0| 0

12 ELLETT, Katrena..... 2| 1 1 10 .000| 0| 0 0| 0| 0| 0 2 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 35 30 115 .043| 33| 2 10| 8| 37| 0 10 1| 2

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 5.0

Game K E TA Pct

1 11 13 39 -.051 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 TEAM RECORDS

2 9 4 33 .152 Utah................ 7 6 3 19-7, 9-3 MWC

3 15 13 43 .047 Brigham Young....... 15 15 15 22-3, 11-1 MWC

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

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

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2 WHITTAKER, Natalie.. 3| 0 0 0 .000| 1| 1 3| 0| 6| 0 0 0| 0

3 SMITH, Anna-Lena.... 3| 3 2 8 .125| 40| 1 2| 0| 10| 0 3 0| 0

8 BOWER, Caroline..... 3| 8 3 26 .192| 2| 2 2| 1| 9| 0 3 1| 0

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina..... 3| 17 1 30 .533| 0| 0 6| 0| 7| 0 5 1| 0

10 BUNDY, Jackie....... 3| 6 1 11 .455| 0| 2 3| 0| 1| 0 5 0| 0

12 LAYTON, Melissa..... 3| 3 0 5 .600| 0| 2 5| 1| 4| 0 1 0| 0

14 CARPENTER, Mari..... 3| 10 2 19 .421| 0| 0 0| 0| 3| 0 1 0| 0

15 TONGA, Sunny........ 3| 4 2 8 .250| 3| 0 0| 0| 1| 0 1 0| 0

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Totals.............. 3| 51 11 107 .374| 46| 8 21| 2| 41| 0 19 2| 0

TEAM ATTACK PER GAME TOTAL TEAM BLOCKS: 9.5

Game K E TA Pct

1 9 1 24 .333 Site: Provo, Utah (Smith Fieldhouse)

2 22 7 45 .333 Date: Nov 12, 1999 Attend: 2557 Time: 1:30

3 20 3 38 .447 Referees: SUE LEMAIRE, KIM NORMAN, KAREN MARSHALL