Oct. 20, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - - The Washington State volleyball team won a thrilling first game but then fell to host Arizona State in the next three games Friday night at the Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils (11-9, 3-6 Pac-10) defeated WSU (14-9 2-7) 33-35, 30-27, 30-19, and 30-19.
ASU's Nicole Morton had a match-high 20 kills (.372), while libero Sydney Donahue, the Pac-10 leader, had 35 digs. Nina Reeves and Margie Giordano combined for another 29 kills and 31 digs. Marina Mercer had 62 assists. Staci Smith and Morton each had five blocks.
Brittany Johnson led WSU with 16 kills and Kelly Rosin added 12 kills while each had five blocks. Three freshmen added to the Cougars stats: Kelly Hyder had 26 digs, Corina Beyer had 40 assists and 16 digs, and Cassie Robbins added 9 kills and four blocks.
WSU led early in the first game but the home court Sun Devils played tough and took a 25-22 lead. The Cougars battled back to tie the game at 27, and went ahead to serve for the game, 29-27. But the Cougars needed five attempts at game point as the teams knotted it up five more times. Johnson landed a kill for the 33-all tie followed by Rosin and Cassie Robbins combining on a block for WSU to go ahead 34-33. Rosin ended the game with a kill for the 35-33 Cougar win. WSU hit .259 in the extended first game and held ASU to a .186 hitting percentage.
After the valiant first game win, the wheels came off for the Cougars. The Sun Devils came back to win the second game 30-27, holding the Cougars to a .037 hitting percentage although ASU only hit .123. Arizona State kept the momentum rolling with a 30-19 third game win, hitting .310 and keeping the Cougs at .061, and won the fourth game by the same 30-19 score as ASU hit .326 and WSU sunk to -.027.
"We really hurt ourselves tonight by not being able to pass the ball. I think that is one of our strengths and tonight it was one of our weaknesses," Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "Our setter was running all over the place and we were out of our system most of the night and ASU was able to capitalize on that. We need to get back into the gym and refocus our efforts since I think that is one of our best attributes as a volleyball team and right now we're giving up too many easy points because of our serve-receive."
Washington State hosts No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 USC Oct. 26 and 27, at Bohler Gym.
Arizona State (11-9, 3-6) def. Washington State (14-9, 2-7) 33-35, 30-27, 30-19, 30-19 KILLS - WSU 53 (Johnson 16), ASU 73 (Morton 20) HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .096, ASU .220 ASSISTS - WSU 46 (Beyer 40), ASU 68 (Mercer 62) DIGS - WSU 92 (Hyder 26), ASU 94 (Donahue 35) BLOCKS - WSU 13 (Johnson 5, Rosin 5), ASU 14.5 (Smith 5, Morton 5) SERVICE ACES - WSU 3 (Pendon 1, Rosin 1, Beyer 1), ASU 7 (Reeves 2) Attendance: 824.