Smith Fieldhouse Provo UT 84606
PROVO -- In a fitting end to "Senior Night" at the Smith Fieldhouse, the No. 10 BYU women's volleyball team was led by its three seniors in defeating No. 11 Colorado State 15-8, 15-8, 8-15, 15-11 to win the regular season Mountain West Conference crown.
Seniors Caroline Bower and Mari Carpenter led the Cougar offense with 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Bower hit .429 on the night and Carpenter finished at .361. Senior All-American setter Anna-Lena Smith finished the night with 45 assists and contributed eight digs, six kills and six blocks.
"Everything was clicking tonight," Bower said. "You can't look bad with Al (Smith) setting you. Everything was right where it was supposed to be."
Also helping the offensive force was sophomore Jackie Bundy who finished with 15 kills and hit .370. She also ended the night with a team-high 13 digs. Sophomore Nina Puikkonen, who was shadowed all night by Ram blockers, made up for her lack of offense by leading all players with 12 blocks.
"I think we were well prepared going into the match," BYU coach Elaine Michaelis said. "We started off strong and I think they adjusted well in the third and fourth games. It came down to the serve and serve receive game. We won the fourth game after some good serving by (Melissa Layton) and Jackie (Bundy)."
Layton finished the night with four service aces including two in the first game that helped give the Cougars momentum.
The win sets BYU as the No. 1 seed going into next week's Mountain West Conference Tournament held at the Smith Fieldhouse. Colorado State will be the second seed. The tournament starts Wednesday and concludes with the championship on Saturday.