Sept. 17, 2005
ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Washington State Cougars won a pair of matches Saturday at the Billikens Classic Tournament hosted by Saint Louis University. In the early contest, WSU swept Oakland University with game scores of 30-16, 30-18, 30-25, moving WSU to a 6-4 record, one better than the entire 2004 season. In the tournament nightcap the Cougars came from two-games down to defeat hosts Saint Louis University 3-2.
Game scores for the WSU-SLU match were 27-30, 19-30, 30-25, 30-22, 15-11. Middle Tennessee State won the tournament with a 3-0 record while WSU finished second with a 2-1 record and moved to 7-4 overall.
WSU junior middle blocker Jen Barcus was named to the all-tournament team and contributed 19 kills, hit .548, and 9 blocks in the final match. Natalia Owens added 17 kills, 12 digs and three blocks. Jessie Camp added 10 kills and 9 blocks. Jalen Pendon was the match digs leader with 26 as Gwen Davis had 29 assists and Maureen Perez added 18 assists. WSU out-blocked SLU 17 to five.
SLU's Tatyana Menshikova led the Billikens with 27 kills and 11 digs. Setter Lauren Boissevain had 65 assists while Erin McClanahan had 17 digs.
In the first game against SLU, the Cougars overcame a mid-game six-point deficit and knotted the score at 27 only to fall 30-27. The Billikens hit a solid .324 in the second game and held the Cougars to .032 for the 30-19 win.
WSU took a 17-10 lead in the third game and extended it to a 29-22 advantage when St. Louis stopped the Cougs three times before a Billikens' serve went long and WSU captured the 30-25 win. Game four was tied at 18 before WSU's offense connected and the Cougs took a 30-22 win. WSU hit .290 in this game and held SLU to .132.
The deciding fifth game was a see-saw battle but solid hitting down the line by Washington State led to the 15-11 win. Cougars were down 10-8 when they combined a trio of kills from Camp and one from Owens with three SLU errors to out-score the Billikens seven to one to win the fifth game and the match.
"Pretty neat win for us," WSU Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "They worked their tails off in that match, showing a lot of character to keep coming back to win. We really had to come up with an answer to Tatyana Menshikova and assistant coach Ken Ko made adjustments for that third game. We changed blocking angles and got a better match-up with Natalia Owens going against Menshikova. Jen Barcus is the model of consistency for us, putting up great numbers every night. But we are providing great passing allowing her to succeed. Game three slowed them down offensively especially and we stayed with that lead the rest of the way."
In the morning win over Oakland, Barcus led the Cougars with 11 kills, hitting .500, and added six blocks. Perez had 18 assists at setter while Pendon led the match with 14 digs. Davis had three of WSU's nine service aces. Oakland (1-11) was led by the 10 kills and five blocks of Heather Lippert.
WSU opens Pacific-10 Conference action Friday, Sept. 23, with a 7 p.m. Bohler Gym match against No. 2 Washington, and hosts Gonzaga University Sat., Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. Last week the Cougs defeated Gonzaga 3-1 at Spokane.
Washington State (6-4) def. Oakland University (1-11) 30-16, 30-18, 30-25 STATISTICS: KILLS - WSU 34 (Barcus 11), OU 30 (Lippert 10) HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .183, OU -.036 ASSISTS - WSU 30 (Perez 18), OU 27 (Moller 14) DIGS - WSU 37 (Pendon 14), OU 46 (Licavoli, Dodson 10 each) BLOCKS - WSU 13 (Barcus 5), OU 5 (Lippert 5) SERVICE ACES - WSU 9 (Davis 3), OU 1 (Licavoli 1) Attendance: 239.
Washington State (7-4) def. Saint Louis University (6-8) 27-30, 19-30, 30-25, 30-22, 15-11 STATISTICS: KILLS - WSU 62 (Barcus 19), SLU 77 (Menshikova 27) HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .224, SLU .227 ASSISTS - WSU 56 (Davis 29), SLU 74 (Boissevain 65) DIGS - WSU 60 (Pendon 26), SLU 61 (McClanahan 17) BLOCKS - WSU 17 (Barcus 9), SLU 5 (Christman 4) SERVICE ACES - WSU 4 (Davis, Owens, Barcus, Rosin 1 each), SLU 6 (Menshikova, Christman 2 each) Attendance: 326.