Arizona Edges Washington State Volleyball in Four Games

Oct. 4, 2007

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PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team took a game off Arizona and was ahead late in two other games but the Wildcats grabbed the 30-28, 30-26, 25-30, 30-21 win Thursday night on Marcia Saneholtz Court at Bohler Gym.

The Cougars dropped to 9-9 on the season, 0-4 in Pac-10 play while Arizona improved to 12-5 overall and 2-3 in conference action. This was the seventh consecutive loss for WSU.

'I heard Dick Bennett (former WSU men's basketball coach) say at times during his stay here that we managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and that is an unfortunate reality for us right now,' Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. 'We need to find a way to finish games and score and to put teams away when we have them in those positions.'

WSU was led by Jackie Albright's 13 kills while Brittany Tillman and Tara West added 10 kills each. The Cougars out-blocked Arizona 19 (season-high) to 8 as West had a match-high and career-high nine blocks followed by Brittany Johnson's season-high seven blocks and Maureen Perez' season-high six blocks. Perez added 49 assists and Kelly Hyder had 19 digs. West led the Cougs with a pair of aces but WSU committed 18 service errors.

Arizona's Randy Goodenough had a match-high 15 kills with Brooke Buringrud adding 14 kills. Tiffany Owens and Jacy Norton combined for another 21 kills. Paige Weber had 52 assists and Alanna Resch led the match with 20 digs while Goodenough, Buringrud and Katie Jackels added 29 digs as UA out-dug WSU 81 to 66. Dominique Lamb contributed three aced and five blocks.

In the first game, WSU gave up a 28-26 lead as Arizona scored four straight points for the 30-28 win. The second game also saw the Cougars in contention late in the game, but the Wildcats moved from a 24-all tie to the 30-26 win. WSU came out after the break to take a 28-22 lead in the third game and watched as Arizona took three straight points but a block by West and Johnson followed by an Albright kill gave WSU the 30-25 win. Game four was tied at 10 points each when Arizona took control and out-distanced WSU 30-21.

'We played so well in the first and second games until the last three points and it's so hard to see the game taken away from you when you've worked so hard. I think we decided that we'd had enough and that we had nothing to lose,' West said about the third game turn-around.

Albright offered that the first two games didn't slip away but that the Cougars, 'just didn't finish it. I don't think Arizona did anything special to take the games, I think we pretty much gave it to them.'

'My hat's off to our team,' Heffernan said. 'I think we have a very resilient team and in many way a young team as we have many major contributors who are very young. They are taking their lumps now but I fell like we are a team that is hopefully learning from these lessons and improve upon that for tomorrow night and for the remainder of the Pac-10 season.'

Washington State hosts Arizona State (9-9, 1-4), 3-0 losers at No. 8 Washington Oct. 4, at Bohler Gym Friday, Oct. 5.

Arizona (12-5, 2-3) def. Washington State (9-9, 0-4)KILLS - UA 59 (Goodenough 15), WSU 57 (Albright 13)HITTING PERCENTAGE - UA .161, WSU .165ASSISTS - UA 55 (Weber 52), WSU 51 (Perez 49)DIGS - UA 81 (Resch 20), WSU 66 (Hyder 19)BLOCKS - UA 8 (Lamb 5), WSU 19 (West 9)SERVICE ACES - UA 6 (Lamb 3), WSU 5 (West 2)Attendance:  513.
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