Volleyball Opens Season With 3-0 Over Portland at Baden Cougar Challenge

Aug. 24, 2007

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State volleyball team won its season-opening match with a 3-0 win over the University of Portland Friday night during the first day of the Baden Cougar Challenge Tournament at Bohler Gym.

The Cougars (1-0) defeated the Pilots (1-1) 30-22, 30-23, 30-24, before 849 fans. This was the 16th time in the past 17 years for a WSU volleyball team to win its opening match of the season.

WSU senior Tara West led all players with 16 kills and four blocks. Sophomore Jackie Albright added 10 kills and 10 digs while Kelly Hyder had a match-high 17 digs and three service aces. Junior Brittany Johnson had 16 digs and senior setter Maureen Perez had 43 assists.

UP's Jessica Clemens and K.C. Fox each had a team-high nine kills and Clemens was the digs leader with 14 and the team service leader with a pair of aces.

The Cougars hit .319 for the match and held Portland to a .101 hitting percentage. WSU out-blocked the Pilots 10 to 3.

'It's great to start with a win in Bohler Gym and to have a great crowd,' Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'Our support staff did a great job of getting people into Bohler Gym to see that happen. That was really a nice event for our student athletes.'

When asked about the team's strengths in the season-opener Heffernan said, 'As a team we were very low error for the night. We only made 10 hitting errors. We have been a little high in errors in practice and that has been an area of focus for us. They (Portland) really came out in game three and started to push us, and in the past, that would rattle our team. They came out and served a lot more aggressively at us and even though I don't think we passed as well in game three, I was pleased to see the passing group stick together and grit that out.'

In the opening match Friday, Portland lost the first two games but came back to win the final three over Northern Colorado 25-30, 27-30, 30-26, 30-28, 17-15. Maria Clemens, Ashley Grayson and K.C. Fox combined for 39 kills for the Pilots. UNC was led by the 23 kills from Dulcie Stone and 21 digs of Abby Mayne. The Bears committed 22 service errors in the five-game match.

The second tournament match also went five games as South Dakota State defeated Northern Colorado 30-21, 16-30, 25-30, 30-25, 15-8. Amy Anderson had 20 kills and six blocks to lead the Jackrabbits. Stone and Kenzie Shreeve combined for 32 kills while Mayne added 20 digs.

Saturday's action resumes at 1 p.m. with the WSU playing Northern Colorado with the South Dakota State versus Portland match set for 3 p.m. The WSU vs. South Dakota State match will begin at 7 p.m.

Washington State (1-0) def. Portland (1-1) 30-22, 30-23, 30-24KILLS - POR 40 (Clemens 9, Fox 9), WSU 53 (West 16)HITTING PERCENTAGE - POR .101, WSU .319ASSISTS - POR 35 (Pein 31), WSU 50 (Perez 43)DIGS - POR 57 (Clemens 14), WSU 66 (Hyder 17)BLOCKS - POR 3 (four with 1), WSU 10 (West 4)SERVICE ACES - POR 3 (Clemens 2), WSU 5 (Hyder 3)Attendance:  849.
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