Beavers Defeat Pittsburgh To Keep NCAA Hopes Alive

Nov. 28, 2003

STOCKTON, Calif. - Four Oregon State players finished with double-figure kills as the Beaver volleyball team kept its NCAA hopes alive by defeating Pittsburgh 3-1 in the first match of the Bankers Classic at Pacific on Friday night. Game scores were 30-22, 16-30, 30-26, 30-25.

OSU (16-15) faced a must-win situation against Big East champion Pitt (24-5) if the Beavers were to have a chance at receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Teams must have a winning record to be eligible for an at-large invitation, and a loss at the Bankers Classic would eliminate OSU's chances. The Beavers still need to win Saturday, when they close out the regular season with a 7 p.m. match against Pacific, which swept Alabama-Birmingham in Friday's other match.

'This keeps our hopes alive. One to go. Everyone's feeling pretty good,' coach Nancy Somera said. 'Aside from game two, we did a really nice job. Our athleticism really showed.'

Laura Collins hit .700 with seven kills and a season-high 59 assists to set up an OSU offense that hit .291 with 75 kills. The Beavers hit .312 or better in the three games they won, but struggled to a -.022 mark in the one game they lost.

'Game two, we just got out of rhythm, and that results in errors. We had 13 hitting errors and four service errors in game two, so 17 of their points in that game were off our errors,' Somera said. 'But, we stayed strong and were able bounce back in games three and four and put game two behind us. We held steady.'

Anne Watts-Roberts led OSU with 20 kills on .275 hitting, while Allison Lawrence hit .267 with 19 kills to move her into seventh place on the single-season kills list with 416. Amanda Eggert hit .500 with 12 kills, and Karah Rhoades rounded out the players in double-figures with 11 kills. Pitt was led by Wendy Hatlestad, who had 30 of her team's 62 kills.

OSU narrowly edged Pitt defensively, outdigging the Panthers 67-66. K.C. Frederic led the Beavers with 19 digs, with Lawrence adding 15 and Rhoades 11 as the two outside hitters finished with double-doubles. Pitt's Megan McCrane led all players with 27 digs.

Match Results - Bankers Classic at Stockton, Calif.

Oregon State (16-15)	30  16  30  30Pittsburgh (24-5)		22  30  26  25
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