Aug. 28, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Washington State University volleyball team won its 2005 season opening match with a 27-30, 30-21, 30-26, 30-20 victory over the University of Portland at the Chiles Center Sunday afternoon.
Senior transfer Natalia Owens led WSU with 14 kills (.312 hitting percentage) and a match-high six blocks. WSU junior Jen Barcus added 13 kills (.333) and four blocks. Portland's Nicole Thometz had a match-leading 15 kills (.083) while Murphy McClenhanan led the day with 25 digs.
For the Cougars, it was the 14th opening win in the past 15 seasons. For the Pilots, the 505 fans in attendance was the third-largest volleyball crowd in school history.
Part of that crowd was cheering on the Cougs as local players Jessie Camp (Gresham, Ore.) and Kelly Rosin (Springfield, Ore.) added nine kills each and sophomore transfer Maureen Perez (Vancouver, Wash.) had 38 assists in her debut as the WSU setter. Freshman Jalen Pendon contributed 24 digs and three service aces.
Portland started the match with a 19-11 first game lead before WSU fought back to tie the game at 26 before falling 30-27. The Cougars went on to hit .222 for the four-game match and held Portland to a mere .103 hitting percentage. WSU out-blocked the Pilots 10 to 4.
"I'm really happy for the team," second-year Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "We came out and performed solidly after game one. I was happy with the momentum change in game one in spite of the loss and it carried over to rest of the match. This was a great confidence-builder for a group of women who have worked their tails off. We still have a lot of position questions we have to answer and we are a work in progress."
Washington State travels to the UC Davis Tournament Sept. 2-3, to take on Idaho State, Toledo and host UC Davis.
Univ. of Portland (0-1) 30 21 26 20 Washington State (1-0) 27 30 30 30 STATISTICS: KILLS - WSU 54 (Owens 14), UP 52 (Thometz 15) HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .222, UP .103 ASSISTS - WSU 49 (Perez 38), UP 51 (Surplus 41) DIGS - WSU 76 (Pendon 24), UP 74 (McClenahan 25) BLOCKS - WSU 10 (Owens 6), UP 4 (Kettler 2) SERVICE ACES - WSU 9 (Pendon 3), UP 8 (Kettler 3) Attendance: 505.