Volleyball Upends No. 16 USC in Three

Oct. 16, 2009

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PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team swept No. 16 USC with scores of 25-17, 28-26, 25-23 before a season-best crowd of 2,028 fans Friday night in Bohler Gym. This win by the Cougars was the first over the Trojans since Nov. 27, 2004, when WSU won 3-2 in Pullman.

Washington State moves to 15-3 overall and 4-3 in Pacific-10 Conference play. USC is now 13-5 overall, 2-4 in league.

Sophomore Meagan Ganzer led WSU with 15 kills and hit .458 for the match. Freshman Rachel Todorovich had 10 kills while Renee Bordelon had 40 assists. A trio of Cougs, Cassie Robbins, Brittany Tillman and Bordelon, had three blocks. Oceana Bush and Jackie Albright each had 15 digs and Bush led the team with a pair of aces. WSU hit .304 as a team and held USC to a .228 hitting percentage.

USC's Alex Jupiter led the match with 21 kills (.310) with Kimmee Roleder adding 15 kills and hitting .414. Kendall Bateman had 42 assists and Audrey Eichler led the team with three blocks. Jessica Gysin and Alli Hillgren each had 10 digs.

'I think we were pretty consistent with the game plan and we passed well so our sideout efficiency I'm sure was pretty high,' Cougar Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. 'And we made some big kills. Ganzer had a good match tonight and we hit .458 against a pretty solid block for two out of the three sets. Defensively I thought we played really well and kept a lot of balls alive that gave us second and third swings on the ball.'

Ganzer said, 'I don't think we've ever played so well. I think this is the most fun I've had playing together as a team and I think the crowd is just an extension of our team family that makes it so much fun. But we came in working hard all this week at practice knowing what we had to do, making sure that we were all taking care of things we needed to work on and it paid off.'

'I think we all went in with an attitude that we're going to do whatever it takes to win and we definitely went after it tonight,' Tillman said. 'Everybody was excited, we had our energy, we came out with that attitude and I think we played that way too. That we're not going to lose and whatever it takes.'

WSU went on a six-zero run in the opening set for a 12-5 score and extended it to a 16-7 lead. The Cougars kept the momentum, winning this set 25-17 and hitting a blistering .522. Ganzer had five kills and Todorovich added another four kills as WSU out-blocked USC four to nothing. Jupiter led USC with six kills but hit only .083 as the Trojans hit a meager .132 in the opener.

The second set was tighter except for the six-zip run by the Cougs to go up 13-8. But USC battled back and scored three consecutive points to tie the set at 21-all, the fifth of nine ties. The teams traded points followed by a pair of blocks by Robbins and Bordelon to put the Cougs serving for set at 24-22. Jupiter's kill and a double-hit by WSU tied the set at 24. The squads twice traded points for ties at 25 and 26-points. Ganzer's cross court kill had the home team again at set point. A block of Gysin by Todorovich and Tillman ended the set in WSU's favor, 28-26. Jupiter had eight kills and hit .316 in this set while Ganzer had six kills and hit .364. Robbins and Bordelon both had a pair of blocks.

USC was scrambling in the third set and the 16 ties and six lead changes were evidence of that. Down 19-17, USC tallied three points in a row before trading scores with the Cougars. An attack error by the visitors put WSU ahead 22-21 and the Trojans came out of their timeout and scored to knot the set at 22. Tillman's kill was answered by Gysin's kill. Attacks by Ganzer and Tillman found the floor and WSU took the set 25-23 and the match. WSU hit .379 and USC hit .371 in this final set.

WSU hosts No. 12 UCLA (13-6, 3-3) Saturday night in a 7 p.m. match in Bohler Gym. No. 4 Washington defeated UCLA 3-1 Friday night in Seattle.

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