Aug. 26, 2011
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Cougars volleyball team opened the 2011 season and the Jen Greeny head coaching era with a 27-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-20 win over Santa Clara Friday afternoon at the Seattle University Fall Volley Tournament at the Connolly Center. This was the 23rd time in the past 25 years that the Cougars have won their season-opening match and the seventh consecutive first match win.
WSU senior Meagan Ganzer (Black Diamond, Wash.) led the match with 21 kills, hitting .366, and junior Rachel Todorovich (Walla Walla) added 14 kills, hitting .414, and led the match with 14 digs. Cougar setter Camryn Irwin (Prairie, Wash.), a sophomore transfer from Oregon, had 45 assists, 13 digs, four blocks, and five of WSU's 11 service aces. Marcelina Glab (sophomore, Watertown, SD) reached a career-high eight blocks to lead the match as the Cougars dominated the net with blocking, 13 to 3.
Santa Clara's Katherine Douglas led the team with 16 kills (.400) while Tanya Schmidt and Kayla Lommort combined for 25 more kills. Lommori was the Broncos' digs leader with 11 as Alexandra Palmer contributed 10 more. SC hit .247 for the match and WSU hit .331.
"It is always great to get the first win and the first match under your belt," Greeny said. "I don't know if there were jitters early as much as inexperience showing early on but the players responded in sets three and four and really came back and played well. To come out and grab that first set was really important. I really liked the way they fought back in the second set even though we didn't get it. At the break we talked about getting our middles more involved and that is exactly what we did with Marcelina Glab and Ver'Leea Hardaway and that really opened up our offense."
The Cougars laced together six consecutive points in the middle of the first set to take a 16-12 lead. Santa Clara battled back and stopped WSU on three straight set-points to take a 25-24 lead. A kill and an ace from Ganzer were sandwiched around a kill by freshman Jaicee Harris and WSU took the 27-25 win. The Cougars hit .250 with Ganzer landed four kills in the first set, and Irwin contributed three service aces. Santa Clara hit .316 in the opener.
The Broncos took an 8-5 early lead and held the Cougars by a pair of points for most of the match. Santa Clara went on a four-one run to take a 24-20 lead. With SC serving for the set win, Washington State scored four consecutive points to tie the set at 24. The Broncos landed attacks on the next two serves and took the set, 26-24. WSU hit .308 with Ganzer leading the set with eight kills and SC hit .245.
WSU took a 15-9 lead in the third set and extended it to a 25-17 win. The Cougars hit .435 in the set and held Santa Clara to a .167 hitting percentage. The fourth set was close early until WSU scored six straight points for a 14-10 lead. The Broncos could not get closer than four points as WSU won out 25-20 and took the 3-1 match win.
At the Seattle Fall Volley tournament Friday morning, Seattle U swept Eastern Washington. Seattle U takes on Santa Clara Friday night at 7 p.m. The Saturday tournament schedule for Washington State includes meeting Eastern Washington (0-1) at 11 a.m., and taking on host Seattle University (1-0) at 7 p.m.