Volleyball Hands No. 6 Michigan First Loss of Season in Sweeping Fashion
Sept. 19, 2009
Ann Arbor, Mich. – In front of a crowd of 2,673 in Crisler Arena, the Oregon State volleyball team snapped No. 6 Michigan’s 52-win non-conference regular season streak in sweeping fashion on Saturday afternoon, taking the Michigan ADIDAS Invitational title.
Set scores were 27-25, 25-22, 25-23.
“That was a spectacular performance by Rachel Rourke,” head coach Taras Liskevych said. “The key to the game was when it was 12-2 in the first set, she served nine in a row to really bring the team back. The team did a great job blocking, passing and on defense.”
Senior Rachel Rourke (Queensland, Australia) terminated a season-high 25 kills, adding a career-best tying five service aces and eight digs to pace the Beavers. Rourke’s overall tournament performance earned her Most Valuable Player honors. Senior Lexie Rathgeber (White Rock, British Columbia) was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Freshman Ashley Eneliko (Seattle, Wash.) had a strong performance defensively at the net with a career and match-high seven blocks.
The Beavers found themselves down by 10 early in the first set, with the Wolverines on a 12-2 run. But a short run behind the serving of Ah-Hoy and eight straight tough jump serves by Rourke put the Beavers back into the set. The two teams exchanged sideout points before kills by junior Jill Sawatzky (St. Andrews, Manitoba) and Rourke wrapped up the set in favor of the Beavers.
Oregon State continued in its rhythm in the second set, trading mainly sideout points with the Wolverines throughout before building a small three-point lead at 23-20. Michigan threatened, coming back to within one at 23-22, but a block by Knitter and a senior Lexie Rathgeber (White Rock, British Columbia) kill closed out the set with Oregon State holding a 2-0 lead.
The Beavers battled back from being down by as many as three in the final set, but big blocking by senior Camilla Ah-Hoy (Laie, Hawai’i), Eneliko and Knitter helped bring the team back before another Rourke kill put the match away.
Michigan’s Juliana Paz led the Wolverine offense with 14 kills, while libero Sloane Donhoff had a match-high 17 digs.
Oregon State improves to 9-3 on the season, while Michigan is now 12-1.
Oregon State opens up Pac-10 play next in legendary Gill Coliseum on Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Washington State.
Oregon State Notes – Senior Rachel Rourke now is second all-time for kills with 25 in the match, 1,575 overall; she needs 188 to tie the school record … Oregon State is 7-0 in three-set matches; 4-0 on the road … The last top 10 upset for Oregon State was Oct. 3, 2008 against No. 4 USC at home, Aug. 26, 2007 on the road at No. 10 Hawai’I … Oregon State has won three of its four tournaments this season.
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