Brett Pyne | Posted: 18 Oct 1999 | Updated: 28 Apr 2011

Cougars Host Notre Dame Tuesday in Non-Conference Match

PROVO -- After improving to 5-0 in Mountain West Conference play Friday with a 3-0 win at Utah, BYU will play a non-conference match against Notre Dame Tuesday in the Smith Fieldhouse. The 13-2 Cougars, ranked No. 8 in the AVCA/USA Today poll, host the 10-4 Fighting Irish at 7 p.m. The match will be tape delay broadcast on KBYU-TV Channel 11 Friday at 8 p.m. Holly Rowe and former BYU All-American Amy Steele Gant will call the action.

A Quick Look at the Cougars

The Cougars have a seven match win streak entering its match with Notre Dame. BYU sits atop the Mountain West Conference with a 5-0 record and has yet to drop a game to a Mountain West foe, winning all five matches in three games. The Cougars will return to MWC play this weekend when they travel to face nationally ranked Colorado State Friday and Wyoming Saturday. As a team, the Cougars are the nation's fourth-best blocking team, averaging 3.5 blocks per game, and have the nation's eighth best offensive attack, hitting .293. Individually, the Cougars are led by sophomore middle blocker Nina Puikkonen and senior All-American setter Anna-Lena Smith. Both players have been recognized as Mountain West Conference players of the week this year. Puikkonen leads the Mountain West Conference in kills (4.22 kpg) and blocks (1.65 bpg). She is 10th nationally in blocks. Smith leads the conference in assists (13.37 apg) and is 16th nationally. She is 90 assists from breaking the BYU all-time assist record held by current U.S. National Team setter Charlene Johnson Tagaloa.

Quote from Coach Elaine Michaelis

"This match will come down to who passes and serves well. Notre Dame has a very good middle blocker and a nice outside attack with two good hitters playing outside and rightside. We played very well at Utah on Friday and we will need to repeat that against Notre Dame.

Series with Notre Dame

This will be the second meeting with Notre Dame. The Cougars and Fighting Irish first met in 1993 at the Pacific Bankers Classic in Stockton, Calif., with BYU claiming a 3-0 win (15-5, 15-6, 15-11). The match was the final regular season match for the Cougars, who went on to earn a Final Four berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Scouting the Fighting Irish

Notre Dame is well rested for their trip to Utah after a bye week last week. The Fighting Irish have a two-match win streak with 3-0 wins at Rutgers and Seton Hall Oct. 9 and 10. The Irish have won four of their last five, with the loss coming to nationally ranked Michigan, who beat BYU in the season-opener. Notre Dame's four losses have all come against top-25 teams. They lost to then No. 6 ranked Pacific (0-3), No. 18 Clemson (0-3), No. 17 Colorado State (0-3) and No. 23 Michigan (1-3). Among their 10 wins is a 3-2 win against Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference. The Fighting Irish are led by 6-4 middle blocker Mary Leffers, who averages 3.40 kills and 1.91 blocks per game while hitting .392. Other players to watch include 6-1 rightside hitter Kristy Kreher (3.00 kpg, 2.02 dpg, .310 attack percentage) and 6-3 outside hitter Christi Girton (3.56 kpg, 2.15 dpg, .288 attack percentage). Like the Cougars, the Irish are a strong hitting and blocking team with a .277 team hitting percentage and 3.33 blocks per game average.

Smith's Record-"Setting" Pace

All-American senior setter Anna-Lena Smith leads the conference in assist and is 16th nationally with a 13.37 assists per game average. After adding 39 assists against Utah Friday night, Smith now needs 90 assists to surpass current U.S. National Team setter Charlene Johnson Tagaloa atop BYU's all-time list. She should top the record this week (at Colorado State or Wyoming). She also holds the BYU match record with 89 assists against Hawaii in last year's WAC Championship match. Smith is averaging 1.14 kills, 1.86 digs while hitting .367.

Puikkonen Strong in the Middle

Puikkonen was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week last week for her play against Weber State, UNLV and San Diego State. In the three matches, Puikkonen put away 17 blocks and 41 kills for averages of 1.70 blocks and 4.10 kills per game. She hit .447 (41-7-76) for the week, collected 21 digs and served two aces. Puikkonen has recorded double-digit kills in 14 of 15 Cougar matches this year. She had a team-leading 13 kills and five blocks against Utah Friday while hitting .458. She leads the Mountain West Conference in kills (4.22 kpg) and blocks (1.65 bpg). In the past five years, no one has averaged more blocks per game than Nina Puikkonen did last year (2.17 bpg). She is currently 10th this year in blocks per game. A Volleyball magazine Freshman All-American last year, this year she has been named to the Georgia Invitational and the Loyola Marymount Invitational all-tournament teams.

Carpenter Tops Conference in Hitting

Senior outside hitter Mari Carpenter enters the week ranked 6th in the nation in hitting while leading the conference with an attack percentage of .392. She sixth in the Mountain West with 3. 83 kills per game. The 6-4 senior, who also plays on BYU's basketball team, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Loyola Marymount Invitational Georgia Outback Invitational earlier this year.

Bower Provides Leadership with All-Around Game

Senior Caroline Bower leads the team with four double-doubles. She leads the team in digs averaging 3.14 per game and has had double-digit digs a team-high nine times. She had a match-high 16 digs and seven kills in BYU's win over Utah Friday. The previous week she had 15 kills and 17 digs against Weber State, eight kills and 10 digs against UNLV and nine kills and nine digs against San Diego State. The senior team captain tied for 10th in the Mountain West Conference with a .258 hitting percentage and is third in digs averaging 3.14 per game. She also averages 3.31 kills per game from her outside hitter position and ranks eighth in the conference with a team-leading 19 service aces (0.37 sapg).

Bundy Coming Off Strong Outing at Utah

Sophomore middle blocker Jackie Bundy had one of her best matches of the year Friday against Utah. She hit a team-leading .471 while recording nine kills in 17 attempts with only one error. She also came up with seven digs and helped the Cougars to a solid passing night. Bundy is a strong blocker in the middle as well, averaging 1.37 blocks per game -- the fourth best average among Mountain West Conference players.

Soft-Spoken Michaelis Wields Winning Stick

In the world of collegiate women's volleyball, few if any coaches command more respect than Cougar head coach Elaine Michaelis. Now beginning her 38th year at the helm of the BYU program, Elaine Michaelis also enters her fifth year as Director of Women's Athletics. A proven winner, Michaelis is second all-time in Division I victories with an 825-206-5 record (since records were first kept at BYU beginning in 1969) and has the most wins ever by a female coach. She enters her first season in the new Mountain West Conference with a 321-30 conference record in four previous leagues and the distinction of winning the inaugural championship of each league. Last year, Michaelis coached in her 1000th recorded match and reached the milestone of 800 victories while coaching the Cougars to their third straight NCAA Regional Final. Michaelis, whose 31-4 record last year marked the eighth time she has recorded more than 30 victories in a season, has had 25 straight 20-win seasons.

A Glimpse at Last Week

BYU's eighth-ranked women's volleyball team defeated rival Utah Friday on the Utes home court, 15-7, 15-4, 15-12, to extended the Cougars' win streak to seven matches and remain unbeaten in Mountain West Conference play. Nina Puikkonen had 13 kills and five blocks to lead BYU. Mari Carpenter added 11 kills and Jackie Bundy nine. Caroline Bower had a match-high 16 digs for the Cougars while All-American setter Anna-Lena Smith tossed up 39 assists to go with seven digs and three blocks. Smith now needs 90 assists to break BYU's all-time assist record. Utah was led by Stilson and Alisa Geddes with 11 kills apiece. The Utes hit .139 as a team. BYU, which leads the conference in hitting, mustered a .309 attack percentage for the match.

Comparing Statistics

BYU Utah

ATTACK

Percentage .293 .277

Kills per game 16.7 15.3

SET

Assists per game 14.9 13.9

SERVE

Aces per game 1.8 1.6

SERVE RECEIVE

Errors per game 2.0 1.4

DEFENSE

Digs per game 14.0 13.2

BLOCKING

Blocks per game 3.5 3.3

Brigham Young Overall Team Statistics (as of Oct 16, 1999)

All matches

Overall record: 13-2 Conf: 5-0 Home: 4-0 Away: 6-1 Neutral: 3-1

TEAM STATISTICS BYU OPP

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

ATTACK........................

Kills....................... 852 664

Errors...................... 307 410

Total Attacks............... 1859 1949

Attack Pct.................. .293 .130

Kills/Game.................. 16.7 13.0

SET...........................

Assists..................... 759 591

Assists/Game................ 14.9 11.6

SERVE.........................

Aces........................ 90 99

Errors...................... 184 144

Aces/Game................... 1.8 1.9

SERVE RECEPTIONS..............

Errors...................... 103 90

Errors/Game................. 2.0 1.8

DEFENSE.......................

Digs........................ 713 581

Digs/Game................... 14.0 11.4

BLOCKING......................

Block Solo.................. 39 19

Block Assist................ 276 142

Total Blocks................ 177.0 90.0

Blocks Per Game............. 3.5 1.8

Block Errors................ 38 24

BALL HANDLING ERRORS.......... 17 18

ATTENDANCE....................

Total....................... 6631 7114

Dates/Avg Per Date.......... 4/1658 7/1016

Neutral site #/Avg.......... 4/236

MATCH WINS BY #GAMES 1 2 3 4 5 Total

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

Brigham Young....... 0 0 9 2 2 - 13

Opponents........... 0 0 2 0 0 - 2

GAMES WON BY GAME 1 2 3 4 5 Total

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

Brigham Young....... 12 11 10 4 2 - 39

Opponents........... 3 4 5 0 0 - 12

POINTS BY GAME 1 2 3 4 5 Total

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

Brigham Young....... 214 203 214 60 34 - 725

Opponents........... 144 133 176 28 26 - 507

Brigham Young Overall Individual Statistics (as of Oct 16, 1999)

All matches

Overall record: 13-2 Conf: 5-0 Home: 4-0 Away: 6-1 Neutral: 3-1

|-----------ATTACK---------| |---SET---| |-----SERVE----|

## Name GP-MP-MS K K/Game E TA Pct A A/Game SA SA/Gm SE

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

14 CARPENTER, Mari 42 14- 161 3.83 38 314 .392 1 0.02 1 0.02 2

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina 51 15- 215 4.22 65 408 .368 6 0.12 14 0.27 39

3 SMITH, Anna-Lena 51 15- 58 1.14 14 120 .367 682 13.37 6 0.12 13

15 TONGA, Sunny 19 11- 47 2.47 13 106 .321 5 0.26 1 0.05 3

8 BOWER, Caroline 51 15- 169 3.31 60 423 .258 18 0.35 19 0.37 15

10 BUNDY, Jackie 46 15- 99 2.15 50 224 .219 8 0.17 15 0.33 27

11 BARRUS, Alyssa 11 8- 8 0.73 3 24 .208 0 0.00 0 0.00 0

12 LAYTON, Melissa 46 15- 92 2.00 50 211 .199 24 0.52 19 0.41 59

7 BRINTON, Martha 5 4- 0 0.00 0 1 .000 10 2.00 0 0.00 0

6 KENNEDY, Emily 4 3- 0 0.00 0 0 .000 1 0.25 1 0.25 0

5 RHEAD, Amy 12 9- 2 0.17 3 5 -.200 0 0.00 1 0.08 5

2 WHITTAKER, Natalie 51 15- 0 0.00 6 17 -.353 3 0.06 12 0.24 21

18 O'REILLY, Lindsey 2 2- 1 0.50 3 4 -.500 1 0.50 1 0.50 0

17 OTTESON, Michelle 2 2- 0 0.00 2 2 -1.000 0 0.00 0 0.00 0

BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 51 15- 852 16.71 307 1859 .293 759 14.88 90 1.76 184

Opponents........... 51 15- 664 13.02 410 1949 .130 591 11.59 99 1.94 144

|---DIG---| |--------BLOCKING---------|

## Name G RE DIG Dig/G BS BA Total B/Game BE BHE

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

14 CARPENTER, Mari 42 3 30 0.71 7 21 28 0.67 6 0

9 PUIKKONEN, Nina 51 11 98 1.92 15 69 84 1.65 8 0

3 SMITH, Anna-Lena 51 0 95 1.86 2 36 38 0.75 4 11

15 TONGA, Sunny 19 2 13 0.68 2 9 11 0.58 1 0

8 BOWER, Caroline 51 27 160 3.14 4 33 37 0.73 3 1

10 BUNDY, Jackie 46 26 87 1.89 5 58 63 1.37 10 0

11 BARRUS, Alyssa 11 0 3 0.27 0 10 10 0.91 1 0

12 LAYTON, Melissa 46 11 112 2.43 3 38 41 0.89 5 2

6 KENNEDY, Emily 4 0 4 1.00 0 0 0 0.00 0 0

7 BRINTON, Martha 5 0 0 0.00 1 2 3 0.60 0 2

5 RHEAD, Amy 12 5 12 1.00 0 0 0 0.00 0 0

2 WHITTAKER, Natalie 51 17 95 1.86 0 0 0 0.00 0 1

18 O'REILLY, Lindsey 2 0 2 1.00 0 0 0 0.00 0 0

17 OTTESON, Michelle 2 0 2 1.00 0 0 0 0.00 0 0

TEAM 1

BRIGHAM YOUNG....... 51 103 713 13.98 39 276 177.0 3.47 38 17

Opponents........... 51 90 581 11.39 19 142 90.0 1.76 24 18

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