Cougar Volleyball Opens Season with Win Over Gonzaga

Aug. 25, 2006

BROOKINGS, SD - The Washington State University volleyball team opened its 2006 season with a 3-1 win over Gonzaga University in the first match of the South Dakota State Jackrabbit Kickoff Tournament Friday morning at Frost Arena on the SDSU campus.

WSU (1-0) defeated Gonzaga (0-1) with game scores of 30-23, 31-33, 30-23, and 30-19.

Adetokunbo Faleti, a redshirt junior transfer from Arlington, Texas, led the Cougs with 25 kills and a hitting percentage of .408. Sophomore Brittany Johnson added 11 kills. WSU's setting duties were shared by junior Maureen Perez, 24 assists, and freshman Corina Beyers, 21 assists. Freshman Kelly Hyder contributed 15 digs and Australian junior transfer Tara West led the team with four blocks.

Gonzaga junior Briawna Mueller and freshman Layne Brosky each had 10 kills. Setter Heather Dunn had 36 assists. Alecia Douglas had 14 digs and three service aces while Elaina Renius had four blocks. Gonzaga hit .107 for the match while WSU had a .239 hitting percentage.

'The first win feels great and the first match of the season, when you have young and inexperienced athletes, just to be able to play; we didn't play perfect volleyball but we did play together,' Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'I gave the athletes tow goals this weekend: one was consistency and the second one was composure. I felt like we did a good job, whether we were up or down, making sure stayed composed and stayed together and this is something we'll continue to work on. We need to do a better job on serve-receive. In practice we were putting up really good numbers and today we passed the ball well enough but our standards are much higher than that. I was very impressed by Corina Beyer. I though she came in and made a big difference in the match, really setting our hitters, especially our left side hitters, some really hittable balls.

In the only game loss, the Cougars overcame an eight-point deficit twice in the second game to get to serving for game point, up 29-28. But the Zags preserved and after each team had several chances at game point, GU came back to take the 33-31 win.

The next opponent for the Cougars is North Dakota State, in a match scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (PT) Friday afternoon.

Washington State (1-0) def. Gonzaga (0-1) 30-23, 31-33, 30-23, 30-19KILLS - WSU 64 (Faleti 25), GU 47 (Mueller, Brosky 10 each)HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .239, GU .107ASSISTS - WSU 47 (Perez 24), GU 37 (Dunn 36)DIGS - WSU 53 (Hyder 15), GU 57 (Douglas 14)BLOCKS - WSU 10 (West 3), GU 9 (Renius 4)SERVICE ACES - WSU 9 (Pendon, Beyer 2 each), GU 7 (Douglas 3)Attendance:  68.
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