Volleyball Sweeps Idaho, Remains Undefeated
Aug. 28, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State volleyball team remained undefeated on the season with a 30-26, 30-27, 30-26 win over neighboring University of Idaho Tuesday night before 831 fans at Bohler Gym.
The Cougars, now 4-0, leave the friendly confines of Pullman and play their next 12 matches on the road before returning to host Washington, Sept. 28. Idaho hosts a tournament in Memorial Gym this Friday and Saturday.
WSU had a balanced attack against the Vandals with Jackie Albright, Brittany Johnson and Adetokunbo Faleti each nailing 11 kills in the three-game win. Cassie Robbins continued her high-percentage play with eight kills, one error and 13 attacks for a .538 hitting percentage. Tara West had a career-high eight blocks while Maureen Perez contributed 40 assists and four blocks. Libero Kelly Hyder as a dozen digs and Johnson completed a double-double with 10 digs. Perez and Johnson each had a pair of aces.
The Vandals were led by the match-high 23 kills of Haley Larsen, who also contributed 12 digs. Anna McKinney had four blocks while Kelsey Yonker's 17 digs led five Idaho players in double-digit digs. Kelsey James had 41 assists.
'We are very pleased with our ability to score in the middle and that is really setting up our outside hitters,' Cougar head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'I thought we started out the match a little bit slow serve-receiving but as the match wore on our passers got better and better and better and kept us in system. I can't say enough about Maureen. She is really distributing the ball very well and we have a very balanced attack right now with everybody pretty well involved.'
Idaho had a three-point lead early in the first game but WSU battled back to tie the game at 19-all. The Cougs, hitting .324 and holding Idaho to a .195 hitting percentage, knotted the game four more times before back-to-back attack errors by the Vandals put WSU up 25-23. The Cougs outscored Idaho five to three to end the game 30-26 in the home team's favor.
The Vandals stepped it up in the second game but WSU committed only two hitting errors in 55 attacks for a .309 hitting percentage and kept the visitors at bay with a 30-27 win.
WSU raced out to a 20-12 lead in the third game but Idaho scored four-straight points to close the gap and force the Cougs to take a timeout. WSU came out and took a 26-21 lead but the Vandals would not go away quietly, battling back but not able to overtake the Cougars' lead. WSU wins the game 20-26 and the match, 3-0.
'After the first game when we saw that we could play close with a team but than come back and get the victory, I think that was the turning point,' WSU junior Brittany Johnson said. 'Nothing is going to be handed to us so going a game at a time was our goal today and we did that.'
'Anytime you play the University of Idaho Vandals you kick it up a notch or two because of the rivalry,' Heffernan said. 'They have a great deal of pride in their program and so do we. We knew we were going to be in for a battle tonight and our athletes were well-prepared for that.'
Washington State travels to Spokane Wednesday night to take on Gonzaga at the Martin Center before heading east on I-90 to play Montana State, Texas A&M and Utah State in Bozeman this weekend.
Washington State (4-0) def. Idaho (1-3) 30-26, 30-27, 30-26KILLS - UI 53 (Larsen 230, WSU 49 (Albright 11, Johnson 11, Faleti 11)HITTING PERCENTAGE - UI .201, WSU .271ASSISTS - UI 51 (James 41), WSU 43 (Perez 40)DIGS - UI 64 (Yonker 17), WSU 51 (Hyder 12)BLOCKS - UI 8 (McKinney 4) WSU 10 (West 8)SERVICE ACES - UI 2 (Larsen 1, James 1), WSU 5 (Johnson 2, Perez 2)Attendance: 831.