Portland Sweeps Cougar Volleyball

Sept. 22, 2004

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The University of Portland volleyball team swept Washington State 33-31, 30-24, 30-25 Tuesday night in a non-conference match held at Bohler Gym.

Portland moves to a record of 9-3 while the Cougars, under the direction of first-year Head Coach Brian Heffernan, fall to 3-9.

'It was very disappointing,' Heffernan said. 'Portland did a nice job but I felt like the difference in the match was not necessarily what they were doing to put stress on us, but what we were doing to put stress on ourselves. We had seven net violations tonight. We missed seven serves they missed one. We had seven blocking errors, they had one. So those are just points right there that we're giving away.'

Nicole Thometz, Michelle Oakland and Sara Vercruyssen combined for 34 of the Pilots' 54 kills on the night. Thometz added 11 digs while Sheena Surplus had 44 assists. Monique Kettler, who sprained her ankle on the first play but was able to return late in the game, and Liz Lord each had a pair of blocks. Murphy McClenahan had a match-high three aces.

WSU was led by the 14 kills (.464) and four blocks of Jennifer Todd. Freshman Kristin Kelley had a career-high 12 kills (.391). Jen Barcus led all players with five blocks while Stacey Holbrook had 12 digs. Nicole Martin has 42 assists. The Cougars out-blocked Portland 10 to three.

The Pilots were ahead in game one 27-24 but WSU put on a charge as Todd and Kelley landed kills to put the Cougar deficit at one. Thometz and Kelley traded scores when Kelly Rosin's kill tied the game at 28. Vercruyssen's attack went into the net to put WSU up one but and serving for the game win. Oakland's kill knotted it up again at 29. Todd and Vercruyssen traded kills for a 30-all score. Rosin misfired on the next attack but redeemed herself on UP's serve for the game and the score was 31-all. Lord and Thometz ended the rally with back-to-back kills and the Pilots took the first game, 33-31.

After an 11-all tie in the second game, Portland took the lead and did not relinquish it, ending with a 30-24 win.

The Cougars came out of the break and made a charge in the third game, going ahead 14-11. But the Pilots hit .483 in this game and after the 16-all tie, maintained a three to four point lead until the final score of 30-25.

'Kristin Kelley had her best night as a Cougar,' Heffernan said. 'She had 12 kills, hit 391, had a solo block and a block assist. That was a good night for her. And I think Liz Spear had a great night with nine kills, and hitting .412. And as usual, Jenn Todd was the model of consistency, she had a great night.'

WSU opens Pac-10 Conference play this weekend at No. 2 USC and at No. 10 UCLA.

Washington State (3-9)	31	24	25University of Portland (9-3)	33	30	30STATISTICS:KILLS - WSU 54 (Todd 14), UP 54 (Vercruyssen 12)HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .225, UP .264ASSISTS - WSU 51 (Martin 42), UP 48 (Surplus 44)DIGS - WSU 42 (Holbrook 12), UP 46 (Thometz 11)BLOCKS - WSU 10 (Barcus 5), UP 3 (Kettler, Lord 2 each)SERVICE ACES - WSU 1 (Holbrook), UP 7 (McClenahan 3)Attendance:  631.
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