Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Cougars reach Sweet 16
Deseret News 5Dec99 S3
By Jeff Call: Deseret News sports writer
PROVO, UTAH -- BYU women's volleyball coach, Elaine Michaelis,
advanced her team for the fourth consecutive time to the Sweet
Sixteen Tournament. This is the eleventh Sweet Sixteen appearance for
the Cougars in eighteen years. Defeating Wisconsin on Saturday night,
the Cougars moved into the second round of the tournament at the
Smith Fieldhouse. "As you can tell, I'm excited," she said. BYU
downed the Badgers 6-l5, l5-l0, l5-4, l5-9.
The Cougars received a boost of confidence by beating a tough Big 10
team as they head into the regional semifinals next weekend. "They play
in a tough conference," Michaelis said. "To me, (beating Wisconsin)
show us we belong where our dreams have been and that we can play with
the best. What our players did tonight has to tell them that we can do
it and that we can do it anywhere."
Those dreams consist of going to Hawaii for the final four for the
second time in school history and winning a first national championship.
Beating Wisconsin wasn't easy for BYU. "I thought our passing rotation
was better and that we served better," explained Cougar setter Anna-Lena
Smith. "We had a little lapse in that first game, but we're glad we put
that aside, " Michaelis said. "The best thing we could do was to forget
(game one)." "We made a lot of unforced errors in the first game,"
Smith said. "We knew we were the ones who beat us, not them, so we
picked it up."
Wisconsin Coach Pete Waite said, "This is a game of playing together."
"We needed to be playing on all cylinders to beat a team like BYU. We
played well in the first game but we didn't play well the rest of the
match." In games three and four, BYU started strong.
Wisconsin senior Allyson Ross played her last game as a Badger. "It's
a huge disappointment. It's hitting me hard," Ross said. "We had a
great chance tonight. We were very prepared. We knew their players but
we didn't produce." Nina Puikkonen led BYU with 24 kills, seven blocks
and a .477 hitting percentage.