Volleyball Grabs 3-1 Defeat of Oral Roberts

Sept. 9, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team defeated Oral Roberts University 27-30, 30-25, 30-27, 30-27 in the nightcap of the first day of the Baden Cougar Challenge Tournament before 623 fans at Bohler Gym.

WSU moves to a 3-2 record on the season and ORU is 1-3. In the first match of the night, Idaho overcame a six-point deficit in the third game to defeat the University at Buffalo, 30-26, 30-20, 31-29. Idaho is now 5-2 on the season and Buffalo has a 4-2 record.

Cougar senior transfers Te'Ara Epps and Natalia Owens joined three-years starting juniors Jen Barcus and Kelly Rosin to put down 42 kills and 29 blocks. Junior setter Gwen Davis had 43 assists while freshman libero Jalen Pendon led the match with 23 digs.

Oral Roberts was led by the 19 kills and 20 digs of Ori Zuzic. Thais Parada had 53 assists and Joanita Souza and Jaqueline Oliveria each contributed three blocks.

The Cougars out-blocked the Golden Eagles 19.5 to 5 in team blocks. WSU had a .233 team hitting percentage while holding ORU to .158.

'What we saw tonight were athletes executing a game plan,' WSU head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'This week we worked at hitting the ball off hands, mixing up our shots, those sorts of things. Based on the scouting report we gave, the athletes really went out and executed that, especially the outside hitters. We still have a long, long way to go in many regards. Being up in game one and game two and letting that slip away with a couple errors and then we doubt ourselves. That is something that over time we can have enough success and build enough character to stand in there and not allow those lapses to happen.'

In the first match of the tournament, Idaho's Meghan Brown and Amanda Bowman combined for 24 kills to lead the Vandals. Brown and Stacy Sode each had 11 digs while Saxony Brown had 38 assists. M. Brown and Erin Curtis each had three blocks for Idaho.

Buffalo's Nikki Morzenti led all players with 15 kills. Lizaiha Garcia contributed 12 digs as Amy Brown had 31 assists. Both Katie Weekley and Lauren Burd gathered three blocks.

Action continues Saturday morning as WSU takes on Buffalo at 11 a.m. and Idaho faces Oral Roberts at 1 p.m. The Cougars and Vandals meet in the 7:30 p.m. final tournament match.

Washington State (3-2) def. Oral Roberts (1-3)KILLS - WSU 57 (Barcus, Rosin 11 each), ORU 65 (Zuzic 19)HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .233, ORU .158ASSISTS - WSU 50 (Davis 43), ORU 61 (Parada 53)DIGS - WSU 67 (Pendon 23), ORU 83 (Zuzic 20)BLOCKS - WSU 19.5 (Owens 9), ORU 5 (Souza, Oliveria 3 each)SERVICE ACES - WSU 8 (Rosin, Hayashikawa, Perez 2 each), ORU 6 (Oliveria 2)Attendance:  623.
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