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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Volleyball Knocks Off No. 4 Washington 3-1
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 10/23/2009
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Oct. 23, 2009

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PULLMAN, Wash. -- Playing in pink uniforms for the Attacking Breast Cancer Pink Campaign, the Washington State volleyball team rallied to hand No. 4 Washington its second defeat of the season before 2,724 fans, the tenth-largest crowd in Bohler Gym history and the largest volleyball crowd on campus since 1997.

WSU (16-4 overall, 5-4 Pac-10) defeated Washington (17-2, 7-2) with set scores of 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, and 25-22, the first win for the Cougars in the last 13 meetings. WSU's last win over UW in volleyball was a sweep Nov. 18, 2002, in Pullman.

Sophomore Meagan Ganzer led the Cougars with 15 kills with Cassie Robbins adding 12 kills (.370) and Brittany Tillman supplying 10 kills and a team-high five blocks. Renee Bordelon had 43 assists and Jackie Albright and Oceana Bush combined for 45 digs. Kelly Hyder supplied a pair of aces.

The Huskies had four players in double-digit kills led by Bianca Rowland's 15 (.393), with Jill Collymore adding 12, Kindra Carlson 11 and Airial Salvo 10 kills. Jenna Hagglund had 47 assists. Rowland had a match-high seven blocks with Salvo adding five blocks. Collymore had three aces but also tallied six of UW's 18 service errors. Tamari Miyashiro led the match with 28 digs. Washington hit .239 for the match compared to WSU's .219 hitting percentage. Washington's other loss this season was at No. 7 Stanford, in five sets.

"It's always fun to beat the in-state rival, especially when we are recruiting the same kids they are looking at, so this adds one thing for us that we can say that we're competing with UW and now we're beating them. It's definitely exciting," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "The crowd was definitely into it and I think they made some of their serving errors (because of the crowd)."

"We weren't making the big defensive plays in the first set but I thought we were attacking the way we wanted to attack. Big defensive plays drive our team so I knew we could turn it around," Palileo, said. "UW did a good job early on, blocking us and trapping us so we made an adjustment in game two, attacking the middle half of their court, and I think that turned it around a little bit along with two other small adjustments we did pretty well and pretty quick."

"I think we were patient at times, played hard when we needed to and came out on top," Bordelon said.

The Huskies opened the first set hitting a blistering .467 led by Carlson and Rowland each landing four kills. UW also out-blocked the Cougs six to one in this set. Four times the visitors laced a trio of points consecutively and kept the lead from the opening serve.

Washington State caught fire in the second set behind the five kills of Robbins and the four kills from Tillman. There were 13 tie scores and four lead changes in this set but the last time UW was ahead was at 18-17. Tied at 20-all, a service error by Hagglund was followed by a kill from Tillman and the Huskies took a timeout, down 22-20. Bordelon's attack didn't get over the net and on the next play, Collymore's serve didn't either. Up 23-21, Tillman landed a bomb in the middle to put WSU serving for set. An errant pass on the Cougar side ended the first try. Tillman hammered a ball right down the front row of the Huskies to end the set in a 25-22 WSU win and even the match at one win each. WSU hit .400 and had five blocks in this set.

After a see-saw start to the third set, UW scored to tie the set at 12-all and tallied three more points. But WSU answered as Tillman landed a kill, teamed with Todorovich for a block and Hyder served an ace, tying the set at 15. After a timeout by the Dawgs, the long rally resulted in Collymore's attacking going long and the Cougs went on to out-score the Huskies eight to four. Serving for set at 24-19, the Huskies stopped WSU twice, once with a Kelcey Dunaway kill and a block of Ganzer by Carlson and Rowland. WSU won the set on an attack from Bordelon that the Huskies felt landed out of bounds untouched but the official called the point for the Cougs for the 25-21 win. Ganzer landed six kills in this set.

Down 11-6 early in the fourth set, WSU scored five consecutive points to knot the score. The Huskies went ahead 19-16 but the Cougars battled back behind a solid defense to tie the set at 21. Kills from Albright and Robbins and an ace from Bush gave WSU a two-point lead, 23-21. Rowland landed a kill for the 22nd UW point but followed it with bad serve, putting the Cougs serving for set and match. Albright finished the evening with her eighth kill of the match and the team and crowd erupted onto Marcia Saneholtz Court to celebrate the upset win.

"I knew this team could do this if we all played together for one night and played to our best ability," Robbins said. "It was so rewarding for the seniors to see that happen because we have struggled through a lot of losses to them,"

Ganzer, from Black Diamond, Wash., said, "I have been waiting for this match. I grew up on the other side of the state and I remember when I was little painting my fingernails every other one purple and yellow and I can't think of why I did that now. I had so much fun (tonight) and it is a great feeling."

This was the third Pac-10 win over a ranked team for WSU this season with earlier wins over No. 18 Arizona and No. 16 USC. WSU begins the second half of the Pac-10 schedule next weekend playing at Arizona State Friday, Oct. 30, and at No. 16 Arizona Saturday, Oct. 31.

Washington State Cougars Volleyball
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