WSU Volleyball Sweeps Past Oral Roberts in NCAA First Round

Dec. 6, 2002

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- The 11th-ranked and 12th-seeded Washington State University volleyball team needed only 85 minutes to capture a 30-26, 30-17, 30-21 win over Oral Roberts University in the first round of the NCAA Div. I Women's Volleyball Championship tournament at Ahearn Field House on the campus of Kansas State.

Washington State moves to a 22-7 record, the sixth time in Head Coach Cindy Fredrick's 14-year career on the Palouse the Cougars have had 22 or more wins in a season. Oral Roberts ends the season at 22-11.

WSU advances to play Kansas State (21-8) in Saturday's second round after the No. 22 Wildcats defeated Michigan 30-26, 30-25, 35-33. The Dec. 7 match will begin at 5 p.m. PT.

Chelsie Schafer, Victoria Prince and LaToya Harris combined for 32 kills to lead WSU. Prince hit .500 for 10 kills with two service aces and three blocks. Harris had four of the Cougars' 11 aces. Freshman setter Brenn Larson had 36 assists and three blocks while libero Kortney Jamtaas had 11 digs. With Friday night's effort, Jamtaas became the WSU single-season digs leader with 420 digs.

Oral Roberts was led Patricia Menezes' 12 kills and Becky Dreher's 15 digs. Celeste Jones added four blocks.

ORU hit .134 for the match while WSU overcame a poor start to end with a .286 hitting percentage. WSU out-blocked the Golden Eagles eight to six. The Cougars 11 aces came with 13 service errors but Oral Roberts had only one ace and seven errors on the night.

'This was kind of a slow, ugly volleyball match tonight,' Fredrick said. 'But it was a 'W' and it that's what we needed. It got the cobwebs out because we haven't played for almost three weeks. It's a good way to come back and a good way to start the NCAA tournament.'

'We didn't start out serving well, but the bigger factor was passing,' ORU Head Coach Amy Farber Knowles said. 'We are normally an outstanding passing team. (Jump serving) may have been the factor in their success tonight, but we just didn't pass well.'

WSU hit a meager .152 but managed to out-block and out-serve the Golden Eagles in the first game. The Cougars had a methodical start to this game and led 14-9 but ORU had two three-point runs and tied it up at 15. WSU went on a 6-2 run, up 21-17 but could not shake the Golden Eagles who went on their own 4-1 run and were within two. A kill from Chelsie Schafer and an ace from Victoria Prince, combined with a lift by the ORU setter, Anna Moreno, put the Cougars up 25-21. After a timeout by the Golden Eagles, Prince served one of her four errors of the game and LaToya Harris hit into the net to get ORU within two again. The teams traded points until Adrian Hankoff careened one off the antenna and the Golden Eagles were still in striking distance at 27-26. Hankoff came back and sandwiched a kill and a tip around a slam from Prince, ending the game in WSU's favor, 30-26.

The Cougars raced to a 10-5 lead in game two and never looked back. WSU, hitting .410 and holding ORU to .128, extended the early lead to a 30-17 win. Hankoff had six kills with no errors on 10 attacks in this game to lead the Cougs.

'I think our kids got tired of the way they were playing and got tired of not hitting the ball well so they picked things up after that,' Fredrick said of her team's improved second game hitting percentage. 'You never know what's going to happen at the NCAA tournament. Really, really good teams play really poorly and poor teams play really good. You expect you kids to be nervous the first game out and I think they were working out a few kinks.'

WSU took an 18-14 lead before outscoring the Golden Eagles nine to one to extend the led to 27-15. Fredrick subbed in freshmen Ance Auzina and Megan Camp which allowed ORU a respite and three straight points. Schafer and Prince took care of business at the end with a kill a piece and teamed up for a block to end the game at 30-21.

'It was a lot slower pace than we're used to and I think we'll really try and pick it up for tomorrow's game,' Schafer said.

LaToya Harris said, 'We're happy that we won but not impressed with the way we played.'

Washington State advances to the second round of the NCAA Championship Tournament for the second time in the past three years, playing No. 22 Kansas State match Saturday at 5 p.m. at Ahearn Field House.

No. 11 Washington State (22-7)	30	30	30Oral Roberts (22-11)	         26	17	21STATISTICS:KILLS - WSU 49 (Schafer, L. Harris 11 each), ORU 31 (Menezes 12)HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .286, ORU .134ASSISTS - WSU 41 (Larson 36), ORU 30 (Moreno 28)DIGS - WSU 41 (Jamtaas 11), ORU 42 (Dreher 15)BLOCKS - WSU 8 (Larson, H. Harris, Hankoff, Prince 3 each), ORU 6 (Jones 4)SERVICE ACES - WSU 11 (L. Harris 4), ORU 1 (Moreno 1)Attendance:  571.

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