Cougar Volleyball Advances To Sweet 16 For The Third Time In School History
Dec. 10, 2002
How sweet it is.
For the Washington State women's volleyball team that is, as it advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship.
Wins over Oral Roberts and Kansas State in the NCAA first and second round matches placed WSU in its third NCAA semi-finals in school history. The previous times occurred in 1996 and 1997.
WSU advanced to the Elite Eight in 1997; coincidently, the same year the Cougar football team captured the Pac-10 Championship and reached the Rose Bowl.
The wins over Oral Roberts and Kansas State pushed the Cougars' win total to 23, marking the fifth time in Cougar Head Coach Cindy Fredrick's 14-year career at WSU the Cougars have won 23 or more matches in a season.
WSU headed to Gainesville, Fla. - site of its Sweet 16 matches - winners of all 12 non-conference matches this season. In addition, the Cougars tallied a dozen wins on the road and their only home loss was to No. 1 USC, Oct. 26.
While the then top-ranked Women of Troy bested the Cougars in four, WSU made sure it would not be as accommodating of its hosts the next time a No .1 team visited.
The Cougars made the most of their opportunity when the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal visited, Nov. 16.
The Cougars defeated Stanford 31-29, 30-24, 23-30, 30-26 before a WSU season-high and remodeled Bohler Gym record attendance of 2,539.
The win was the first in school history for the Cougar volleyball program over a number one-ranked team. It was also the second time in the careers of the five WSU seniors playing their final home match that the Cougars knocked off the Cardinal. The last time was a 3-1 win in 2001.
Senior LaToya Harris recorded a double-double with a career and match-high 29 kills and 18 digs. Harris hit a season-high .460 for the match (six errors, 50 attempts). In addition, the Portland, Ore., native tallied three service aces to establish a WSU career record with 136.
Fellow senior Kortney Jamtaas registered a school-record 34 digs from the libero position. Adrian Hankoff was the only other Cougar player in double-digits with 13 kills. Victoria Prince added five blocks while setter Brenn Larson had 60 assists and three blocks.
WSU hit .226 for the match and held Stanford to .183.
'These seniors have provided four really great years,' Cougar Head Coach Cindy Fredrick said. 'They've been a really tight group and they've worked really hard together. For them to go out this way, it really couldn't have been more perfect. It's like the magical ending of their college careers.'