WSU Wins Opening Match at Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tourney

Aug. 30, 2002

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University and #23-ranked Brigham Young University won their opening matches of the two-day, four-team Les Schwab Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tournament at Bohler Gym Friday night

WSU defeated Nevada 30-22, 24-30, 30-27, 30-22 in the nightcap while BYU defeated Gonzaga 27-30, 30-27, 30-19, 30-21 in the opening contest.

In the Cougar - Wolf Pack match, Nevada's Michelle More led all players with 26 kills and hit .411. WSU's LaToya Harris led the Cougars with 17 kills followed by Adrian Hankoff's 12 and Holly Harris' 11 kills. Nevada had 76 digs and five players in defensive double-figures led by libero Lindsay Holda with 17 digs. WSU libero, Kortney Jamtaas, led the Cougs with 16 digs. Holly Harris had four blocks and freshman setter Brenn Larson tallied 52 assists.

Nevada hung with the Cougars throughout the first game until WSU, hitting .500 as a team, stretched a 24-20 lead to a 30-22 win. In the second game, the host Cougars dropped to a lowly .098 hitting percentage while the visitors moved from a 22-all tie to a 30-24 win on the three kills of More and the three attack errors of WSU.

The Wolf Pack was ahead 25-22 in game three before Washington State's rallied with a service ace from Zanda Bautre, two kills from Holly Harris, and one each from LaToya Harris, Larson and freshman Ance Auzina for the 30-27 win.

Game four was knotted at 19 points each before the Cougars stepped up and finished the match with a 30-22 win. WSU out-blocked the Wolf Pack 11 to 8 and the Cougars hit .257 as a team while Nevada hit .169. On a weekend when most of the campus and town fled to the WSU - Nevada football game in Seattle, a loud and vivacious crowd of 627 watched the Cougar volleyball win.

Earlier in the evening at Bohler Gym, Gonzaga's Abby Cullen led all players with 16 kills but the Zags hit a mere .126 and could not stop the hitting barrage of the BYU Cougars. BYU had four hitters in double-figure kills with Allison Larson's 15 the top mark. Cougar setters Karina Puikkonen (43) and Lindsey Metcalf (15) contributed 63 assists. Lexi Brown had eight blocks and Puikkonen and Carrie Bowers each had six blocks as the blue Cougars out-blocked the Bulldogs 15 to 4.

The win over Gonzaga marked the first win for BYU head coach, and former Washington State head coach, Karen Curtis Lamb. It was also a debut for Gonzaga coach Kip Yoshimura, who moved north to Spokane after many years at the helm of NAIA power, Lewis-Clark State.

Saturday matches at the Cougar Challenge Tournament include: BYU vs. Nevada (10 a.m.), WSU vs. Gonzaga (noon), Gonzaga vs. Nevada (5 p.m.) and WSU vs. BYU (7 p.m.).

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