By Brian Hintze
BYU women’s volleyball team struggled to gain its composure Friday night against the University of Utah as it suffered the team’s toughest loss of the season at the Crimson Court.
Utah dominated the match and never gave BYU a glimmer of hope.
“Give Utah all of the credit. They played awesome tonight. They were great. They didn’t make any mistakes in any part of the game,” BYU head coach, Elaine Michaelis said. “The Cougars didn’t show up. It was not a good effort on our part in any shape or form.”
BYU’s major break-down came on the defensive side of the net.
BYU, who was the second-ranked blocking team in the nation, was not able to stop the offensive onslaught of the Utes.
Surprisingly, Utah’s offensive attack was led by its setter, Lucie Turkova.
Turkova had 10 kills and hit for a .600 percentage.
She also dished out 32 assists while leading four of her five hitters to a .300-plus percentage hitting night.
“It was definitely part of the game plan for me to go offensively, but I didn’t expect to lead the team in kills. It was open so I just kept hitting it,” Turkova said.
Utah was able to keep the Cougars guessing for the entire match with its hitting and quick passing which left the hitters one-on-one on the out side against BYU’s block.
The Cougars offense never got going verses Utah.
As a team, BYU had averaged above .270 hitting on the year, but Friday night it was held to a season low .034 percentage.
Nina Puikkonen and Sunny Tonga lead the team with seven and nine kills respectively, but both girls hit below .150.
Michaelis offered no excuse for her teams lack of performance on the court.
After a short speech in the locker room, a disappointed Michaelis left her squad by themselves to work out their problems in a private, players-only team meeting.
The Cougars will look to remedy this loss Friday night in the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse at 7 against Air Force.