Volleyball Falls in Season Finale Heartbreaker

Nov. 27, 2009

Box Score

Pullman, Wash. – Junior Jill Sawatzky (St. Andrews, Manitoba) posted a career-best 27 kills, adding 23 digs, while senior Rachel Rourke (Queensland, Australia) killed 26 balls, but the Oregon State volleyball team fell in its season finale to Washington State in five (17-25, 25-23, 20-25, 27-25, 11-15) on Friday evening.


“The match was a perfect example of our season,” head coach Taras Liskevych said. “What cost us a little bit were some untimely errors especially serving errors. You can’t start the fifth set by starting and ending the fifth set by missing a serve. The one skill that was very good tonight was consistent passing. I have to give a lot of credit to Jill [Sawatzky], which is great for her for the next season. Rachel [Rourke] started out rough but got on track again, and that’s what’s going to happen in a match. You have to steady that out a bit. This program is really built on the back of these seniors, and now we just have to take another step forward.”


Senior Bree Knitter (Fallbrook, Calif.) added seven kills with four blocks. Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy (Laie, Hawai’i) earned her 14th double-double of the season with 57 assists and 14 digs. Freshman Alyssa O’Neil (West Linn, Ore.) also dug 14 balls. And senior Lexie Rathgeber (White Rock, British Columbia) and Rourke both had four blocks as well.


After winning the first set, Washington State took the early 2-0 lead in the second set before the Beavers charged back in the set. Rourke found her swing and serve, slamming eight and adding an ace to cause the Cougars to burn their first timeout with the Beavers leading 8-5. Oregon State held its lead throughout the set, building it to as many as four at 19-15. The Cougars inched their way back in, tying the set at 23 all, but a pair of Rourke kills tied the match up at one set each.


Coming out of the break, Washington State regained the lead, taking the third set. Oregon State and Washington State volleyed back and forth with the Cougars leading at one point 14-12. Sawatzky turned her swing on helping the Beavers go on a 4-0 run to take the lead at 16-14, causing Washington State to burn a timeout. Washington State reached set point first at 24-23, but the Beavers surged back to tie the match up at two sets each behind a block by Eneliko and Rourke.


In the deciding set, the Cougars quickly jumped ahead with a 2-0 lead with the Beavers holding on, never letting WSU’s lead get more than two points. A controversial call, quickly followed by a yellow card against Oregon State, deepened the gap in favor of the Cougars. A service error closed out the set and match.


Washington State’s Jackie Albright led the offense with 15 kills, while libero Oceana Bush had 23 digs. The Cougars improve to 18-12, 6-12 Pac-10.


Oregon State finishes its season with a 12-18, 3-15 Pac-10 record.


Oregon State Notes – Senior Rachel Rourke completes her career with 1,920 kills; Rourke moves to No. 10 all-time for service aces with three in the match, 114 career; She posts the fourth best single season record with 531 kills in 2009 … Junior Jill Sawatzky earned her ninth season double-double with a career-best 27 kills and 23 digs … Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy earned her 14th double-double of the season with 57 assists and 14 digs.


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