Volleyball Wins Golden Gate Tournament

Sept. 14, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The Washington State University volleyball team won its third consecutive tournament with victories Saturday over Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne and the University of San Francisco at the Molten Golden Gate Classic tournament at the War Memorial Gym on the USF campus.

Washington State finished the tournament with a 3-0 record and climbed to a 9-0 overall record. The Cougars have now won a record 26 consecutive games in the Cindy Fredrick coaching era.

Butler, 2-1 in the tournament, 6-7 overall, placed second while host school, San Francisco, finished 1-2 (3-8) for third place. IPFW went 0-3 in tournament play and are now 5-6 overall.

For the third consecutive tournament this season, WSU senior LaToya Harris earned MVP honors. Teammate Adrian Hankoff joined USF's Brittanie Budinger and Carolina Skacel, Butler's Keely Norris, and IPFW's Fabiana Souza on the all-tournament team.

'We knew USF would come out fired up and they had the crowd to back them up,' Fredrick said. 'I think our kids held their composure really well.'

WSU defeated host San Francisco 30-24, 31-29, 30-19, in the tourney nightcap. LaToya Harris led all players with 17 kills (.429) as Chelsie Schafer added 13 and Hankoff had 12 kills. No USF players had double-figure kills as the Cougars hit .356 for the match and held the Dons to .165.

WSU had to stave off a fierce USF seven-point run in the first game for the 30-24 win. LaToya Harris had five of her 17 kills in this game. The Cougars spread their offense and hit .359 and held the Dons to a .167 hitting percentage.

The Dons hung tight with the Cougars in the second game. With the score knotted at 15 points each, USF went up 18-15 before WSU scored eight unanswered points. The host school did not give up as the visitors went ahead 29-26. USF's Caroline Skacel torched a pair of kills while Chelsie Schafer, WSU's second setter, was called for a double hit, and the Cougars were denied game point three times. Liz McCausland served into the net followed by Hankoff and Holly Harris' block to end the game with a 31-29 WSU win. LaToya Harris grabbed six more kills and the Cougs hit .348 to USF's .239.

In spite of a strong early showing by USF, Washington State dominated the third game, hitting .360 and holding the Dons to a low .089. USF did control one stat in the match with six service aces as the usually dead-aim of the Cougars was contained to two aces. WSU did out-block USF, 8 to 2.5 with Holly Harris' five and Hankoff's four.

Earlier in the day, WSU defeated Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne 30-13, 30-20. WSU's Hankoff, Holly Harris and LaToya Harris combined for 32 of the Cougars' 51 kills. Hankoff, LaToya Harris and Kortney Jamtaas combined for 41 of the Cougars' 63 digs. Victoria Prince had four blocks to lead the match. IPFW's Krista Solberg led the Mastodons with 11 kills while Linda Bankowski had 23 assists and 15 digs.

Against IPFW, the Cougars did not make an error in 28 attacks and landed 13 kills for a .464 hitting percentage. The crimson-clad WSU landed four service aces with LaToya Harris providing two.

WSU roared out to a 19-9 lead in the second game and had little trouble in extending it to a 30-20 win. The Cougars then rode a nine-point run to a take a 30-18 win over the Mastodons.

Washington State moves to Pac-10 action with Oregon State and Oregon visiting the Palouse next weekend.

'I think this tournament got us prepared for Pac-10, because we needed something to pick up our play and the crowd there (at USF) helped a lot,' LaToya Harris said. 'I think we're ready.'

'The Pac-10 is a whole different animal,' Fredrick said. 'It will be good to be playing at home, to open at home with Oregon State and Oregon. I think we have a lot of confidence and that is going to be a good thing.'

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