WSU Sweeps Tennessee To Advance In NCAAs

Dec. 1, 2000

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Washington State volleyball team usedoutstanding hitting to defeat the Tennessee Lady Vols 15-10, 15-1, 15-8,in a Pacific Region first round match held on the campus of Penn StateUniversity Friday night.

Washington State, now 19-9 overall, and the sixth seed in the PacificRegion, will play the winner of the Penn State - James Madison matchSaturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. ET. Penn State is the defending nationalchampion, the third-seed in the region and ranked 8th in the lastnational poll.

Tennessee ends the season at 23-10, after coming into the tournament asthe 11th seed in the Pacific Region.

Junior Ariana Wilson led the Lady Vols with a match-high 22 kills whileErica Lear and Janelle Hester tagged five blocks each. Tennesseeout-blocked the Cougars 9.5 to one.

WSU sophomore LaToya Harris led a trio of Cougars who had spectacularmatch at the net. Harris tallied 16 kills with no errors in 28 attacks(.571) and had a match-high 13 digs. Chelsie Schafer tagged 14 killswith three errors in 27 attempts (.407) and Melissa Boyle slammed 12kills down with one error in 17 attacks (.647). WSU hit .397 for thegame.

Ten kills in 14 attacks from Harris (.714) plus service aces fromKortney Jamtaas (2), and Schafer, led the Cougars to a 15-10 first gamewin. Tennessee's Trinia Cuseo (5 kills, .833) and Wilson (11 kills,.588) couldn't provide enough fire power for SEC team. Tennessee wonthe stats battle as they out-hit (.380 to .367), out-dug (20 to 18) andout-blocked (4 to 0) WSU in the opening game.

'I think the first game was maybe jitters for the NCAA tournament andgetting started,' LaToya Harris said. 'But once we settled down andthought about what we needed to do to improve - pass the ball and runthe offense - we were more relaxed. We played well and stayed focusedand won the first game.'

The second game was quick and relatively easy for the Cougs. The LadyVols managed only five sideouts as WSU roared to a 15-1 win. MelissaBoyle tallied five kills in five attacks in this game. Tennessee's solepoint came from Janelle Hester. WSU hit .542 while holding theorange-clad Vols to .100.

WSU took an 8-3 lead in game three. Tennessee came back to close withinthree but WSU out-scored the Lady Vols 7 to 2 for a 14-6 lead. TheCougars gave up two points after the first two attempts at game point.But the third time was a charm with Boyle's tip hitting the floor on theTennessee side.

'I think this was what we expected,' Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick said.'I knew we would have a little trouble with their middle hitters. Iknew Ariana Wilson and expected Janelle Hester would be a problem too.And they did a nice job. We thought they would be a big block whichthey turned out to be a much bigger block than we were. We recognizewe're not a great blocking team but we try to get touches on the blockand don't worry so much if we end up with ten blocks or ten touches. Ifwe end up with touches, we figure our defense will cover everything.'

'We served real tough, and we've served real tough all year, and thedefense got going. The blocking never did get going but that's okaybecause we played great defense. And the hitters really picked it up.So between the hitting, the defense and the serving, which is usuallycharacteristic of us, we got going after the first game a bit better.'

WSU setter Kali Surplus added, 'Playing teams that you've never seenbefore, when you first come out it's going to be tough because you don'tknow what to expect. Once we figured it out a little bit, it helped thesecond and third game.'

Washington State (19-9) defeats Tennessee (23-10) 15-10, 15-1, 15-8

KILLS: Wilson (Tenn) 22, L. Harris (WSU) 16.
ASSISTS: Lear (Tenn) 41, Surplus (WSU) 44.
SERVICE ACES: Elliott (Tenn) 1, Peterson (Tenn) 1, Jamtaas (WSU) 2.
DIGS: Elliott (Tenn) 11, L. Harris (WSU) 13.
BLOCKS: Hester (Tenn) 5, Lear (Tenn) 5, Bautre (WSU) 1.
Attendance: TBA.

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