WSU Wins Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tournament

Aug. 31, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State handed 23rd-ranked BYU its second loss of the day as the crimson Cougars won the championship of the 13th Annual Les Schwab Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tournament Saturday night before 605 fans at Bohler Gym.

Washington State (3-0) defeated BYU (1-2) 30-15, 30-23, 30-21, in the final match of the tournament. Nevada (2-1) defeated Gonzaga (0-3) 30-21, 30-22, 30-25, for second place in the team standings.

WSU senior LaToya Harris was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The six named to the all-tournament team included Adrian Hankoff and Brenn Larson from WSU, Allison Larson and Lexi Brown, from BYU, and Jill Couwenhoven and Michelle More of Nevada.

LaToya Harris and Chelsie Schafer led WSU in the title match with 12 kills each. Schafer was the match digs leader with 15 while Holly Harris led the team with four blocks. LaToya Harris and Victoria Prince each had three services aces as the host Cougars had nine aces to BYU's one. Freshman setter Brenn Larson had 31 assists.

BYU dominated the net defensively, as they had done all tournament, out-blocking WSU 11.5 to seven. Carrie Bowers had nine blocks but the blue Cougars were led offensively by Allison Larson's seven kills and the team hit a miserable -.036. Libero Uila Crabbe added 14 digs.

The last time Washington State defeated a ranked team was Nov. 16, 2000, when the home-court Cougars downed #7 UCLA in four games.

'We really wanted to beat BYU,' Hankoff, celebrating her 21st birthday, said. 'We know quite a few of their players and that gave us an extra kick to win.'

'Our passing helped out more against BYU and gave us a chance to run different plays,' LaToya Harris said. 'We followed what Cindy told to do - to spread their hitters out. We just need to take care of our side of the court and pick up certain defenses and blocks and do the little things. And we did that tonight.'

Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick commenting on her team's tournament performance, 'We played well against BYU and played ugly against Gonzaga except the first game against Gonzaga. I'm pleased with the way we played tonight because BYU is a big blocking team.'

In the Nevada -Gonzaga contest, the Wolf Pack's Michelle More led all players with 18 kills and Laura Wooley had a match-high 13 digs. GU's Abby Cullen was the only Bulldog in double-digit kills with 11. The Zags out-blocked Nevada nine to four but hit only .142 to the Wolf Pack's .233.

Earlier in the day, Nevada held off BYU 30-22, 31-29, 29-31, 27-30, 15-4 and Washington State swept Gonzaga 30-17, 30-24, 30-24.

The Cougars travel to Alaska next weekend for the Nanook Classic Tournament hosted by the University of Alaka-Fairbanks.

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