March 27, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State University volleyball opened its spring exhibition season Saturday, March 25, with three match wins in the Cougar Spring Challenge, hosted by WSU in Bohler Gym.
In the first match, the Cougars topped University of Portland 30-27, 30-20, before going on to defeat Idaho 28-30, 30-20, 15-8, in the second match. The Cougars closed out the round-robin tournament with a 28-30, 30-22, 15-7, win over Gonzaga.
The Washington State team featured four returning starters including libero Jalen Pendon, outside hitters Kelly Rosin and Brittany Johnson, and setter Maureen Perez. Saturday saw the debut of three Cougar newcomers in redshirt junior outside hitter Adetokunbo Faleti, freshman setter Corina Beyer and junior transfer middle blocker Tara West.
At the one-day tournament, the Cougars were led offensively by outside hitters Faleti (.352 hitting percentage with 88 attacks), Johnson (.272 hitting percentage with 123 attacks, and Rosin (.235 with 70 attacks).
"These are the best numbers we have seen from our outside hitters in my tenure at Washington State," Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "The key to these numbers was our team serve-receive and our setters' ability to distribute the ball very quickly. Our team and staff are very excited about this team's ability to implement a new offense and play as a team. We still have lots of work to do but this was a great indication of the direction we are heading. We have a very fast team and as our ball control improves we are better able to make use of our speed."
The Cougars play again in two weeks at the Portland Nike Spring Invitational April 8 at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. WSU will take on teams from Portland, Montana, Oregon and Idaho.