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Volleyball Knocks Off No. 16 Arizona State in Five

Oct 11, 2013

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team (2-3 Pac-12, 15-3 overall) knocked off No. 16 Arizona State (2-3 Pac-12, 13-4 overall) Friday night before 1,100 fans in Bohler Gym at the start of Dads’ Weekend in Pullman.

The 25-23, 23-25, 25-22, 17-25, 15-9 win was the first win over a ranked opponent for third-year Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny’s program. The last time a Cougars volleyball team defeated a ranked opponent was Oct. 23, 2009, when WSU defeated No. 4 Washington in Bohler Gym; the same year that WSU last participated in the NCAA Championships Tournament.

“Anytime you can get a win in the Pac-12, that’s huge, but to beat a ranked team and a team as good as Arizona State, that’s really important,” Greeny said.

Jaicee Harris led the Cougars with 19 kills, 15 digs and two blocks. Kyra Holt chipped in 16 kills and three blocks with Emmy Allen added 10 kills and five blocks. Chelsey Bettinson had seven kills with a .368 hitting percentage and three blocks. Marcelina Glab had six blocks to lead the match. Freshman Haley MacDonald entered the match in the second set at setter and put up 38 assists. Kate Sommer led the match with 19 digs. Both Holt and Tani Stephens had a trio of aces.

WSU hit a mere .194 in the win but ASU managed to hit only .192 in spite of Whitney Follette’s 19 kills in 33 attacks with no errors for a .576 hitting percentage, in addition to her five blocks. ASU’s Bianca Arellano had 54 assists and 14 digs while Stephanie Preach added another 14 digs. Both WSU and ASU had 13 blocks.

“I think the kids came out more aggressive than we have been in the past few matches and that was good to see,” Greeny said. “I was really excited to see how we responded after a tough weekend on the road. I really liked the tenacity of our team tonight.”

When asked about the change in the Cougars lineup from earlier in the season Greeny said, “After last weekend we got back into practice and opened it up and we were competing all week. That’s what we need. We need to be able to put anybody in there at any time and expect the momentum. Haley MacDonald did a really nice job coming in and setting.”

“This was a great win at home and our fans really helped us out,” Harris said post match. “I really didn’t notice the change (in setters) because I knew I just had to go in and put the ball away. I think our blocking really us out a lot tonight. We slowed down their power hitter and she eventually was taken out so I think that really helped us. We adjusted really well this game and a lot better than we have previously.”

WSU hosts Arizona (2-2 in Pac-12, 12-4 overall going into the Friday match at No. 6 Washington) Sunday, Oct. 13 in a 1 p.m. match in Bohler Gym. The match will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.