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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Volleyball Opens Season Hosting Nike Cougar Invitational
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 08/25/2009
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Aug. 25, 2009

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COUGAR VOLLEYBALL OPENS SEASON AT HOME TOURNEY: The Washington State volleyball team hosts the Nike Cougar Invitational Tournament this Friday and Saturday, August 28-29, in Bohler Gym (capacity 3000)...Cougs take on UC Davis, Montana State and Portland...below is the daily schedule...ADMISSION IS FREE, for all matches this weekend.

Nike Cougar Invitational Schedule Friday, August 28 4:30 p.m. Portland vs. Montana State 7 p.m. Washington State vs. UC Davis Saturday, August 29 10 a.m. Portland vs. UC Davis 12:30 p.m. Washington State vs. Montana State 4:30 p.m. Montana State vs. UC Davis 7 p.m. Washington State vs. Portland

MONEY IN THE BANK: The Washington State volleyball team has won its season-opening match 17 of the past 18 years...last year the Cougars squeaked out a 3-2 over the Cal State Northridge at the Boise State Tournament Aug. 29 with set scores of 25-13, 23-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-10...Cougars won that tournament and began the year with a 3-0 record.

COUGAR COACHING STAFF: Head Coach Andrew Palileo is in his second season at WSU after a highly successful tenure at South Dakota State...Palileo has a 10-19 overall record (3-15/t9th Pac-10) at WSU, and a 12-year career record of 240-160...associate head coach Brian Lamppa and assistant coach TeAna Tramel complete the coaching staff...Kara Kiefer is the coordinator of operations for 2009.

ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE FOR COUGS: The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Div. I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll (Aug. 18), has seven WSU's opponents ranked in the top 17...six are Pac-10 schools so the Cougs will play each twice...the conference teams include Washington No. 4, national runners-up Stanford at No. 5, California at No. 6, UCLA at No. 9, USC at No. 12, and No. 14 Oregon...non-conference opponent Utah is ranked No. 17...Arizona "also received votes" in the preseason poll (t-38th)...go to www.avca.org for the weekly Coaches Top 25 poll.

DON'T BACK THE COUGS INTO A CORNER: In the 2008 season, the Cougars were undefeated in five-set matches with wins over Cal State Northridge, Seattle University, Gonzaga, Oregon State and Arizona...WSU's record in four-set matches was 2-4 in 2008 while in the 3-set matches WSU went 3-15...in home matches the Cougars were 6-8, with a 2-9 record on the road and a 2-2 record on neutral courts...Cougars won three of their final four 2008 matches, all Pac-10 wins.

NOTEWORTHY FACTS ABOUT THE 2009 WASHINGTON STATE VOLLEYBALL TEAM: Experience - 4 returning starters plus libero from 2008 squad; a total of 9 returning letterwinners Height - this is the tallest Cougar volleyball team this century...in 2009 the Cougs have: One player at 6-4 (Conley Kipp) Three at 6-3 (Annie Adams, Meagan Ganzer, Cassie Robbins) Two at 6-2 (Rachel Todorovich and Tangerine Wiggs) Two at 6-1 (Jackie Albright, Brittany Tillman)

MEET THIS WEEK'S WSU OPPONENTS: ABOUT THE UC DAVIS AGGIES (0-0): Located in Davis, Calif., the Aggies are members of the Big West Conference...2008 record was 12-17 overall and 4-12 (7th) in conference...return three starters plus libero and only six letterwinners from the 2008 squad...led by 5-10 Jr. OH Kayla Varney (1.20 kps), 5-7 Sr. L Avreeta Singh (3.88 dps), and 5-10 Sr. S Carson Lowden (9.01 aps)...WSU CONNECTIONS: Kayla Varney and Kimika Rozier both played for Vista Murrieta High; Carson Lowden is a second cousin to Sports Information Director Bill Stevens...Head Coach Jamie Holmes has a one year record at UCD of 12-17, and a 2-year career record of 32-27...LAST TIME: WSU won 3-0. Sept. 2, 2006, in Pullman...SERIES RECORD: UC Davis leads the series 3-1.

ABOUT THE MONTANA STATE BOBCATS (0-0): Located in Bozeman, Montana, the Bobcats are members of the Big Sky Conference where they went 0-16 in league and 3-23 overall in 2008...return four starters plus the libero and a total of nine letterwinners...led by 6-1 Sr. MB Nicole Syrpiuk (2.28 kps), 6-1 Sr. MB Kyla Hendry (.094 bps), 5-5 Jr. L Meghan Albiston (3.75 dps) and 5-8 Sr S Taylor Faught (8.67 aps)...Head Coach Sara Schaub has a 3-23 record at MSU after her first year and a 21-33 overall record in two seasons...LAST TIME: Aug. 31, 2007, WSU defeated Montana State 3-0 in Bozeman (30-23, 30-28, 30-28)...SERIES RECORD: WSU leads 12-10 (WSU streak +3).

ABOUT THE PORTLAND PILOTS (0-0): Located in NW Portland, the Pilots are members of the West Coast Conference where they posted at 1-13 (8th) record in 2008 and finished 8-24 overall...four starters and seven letterwinners return to the 2009 squad...led by 5-10 Sr. OH Maria Clemens (2.46 kps and 2.62 dps), 5-5 Jr. L Danielle Dupar (2.75 dps), and 5-10 Sr. S Kaylyn Jones (8.66 aps)...Head Coach Joe Houck is in his second year at Portland with an 8-24 record at UP and a 139-100 career record in 9 years...LAST TIME: WSU won 3-0, Aug. 24, 2007 in Pullman...SERIES RECORD: WSU leads the series 7-1 (WSU streak +3).

PAC-10 COACHES 2009 PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: Washington (90 points) was selected by the Pac-10 volleyball coaches to be the league champions in the 2009 preseason poll...poll order shows California (80), Stanford (74), UCLA (62), USC (60), Oregon (48), Arizona (42), Arizona State (34), Oregon State (31) and WSU (19)...the Pac-10 coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own teams (point system is 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2), have successfully predicted the league champion 13 of the last 20 years.

MARCIA SANEHOLTZ COURT AT BOHLER GYM COUGARS HOME: The Cougars' home court is called Marcia Saneholtz Court at Bohler Gym in honor of the 28-year administrative veteran of Cougar Athletics who retired Oct. 1, 2007...Sr. Associate Athletics Director/SWA is a long-time proponent of gender equity and a champion for all sports at WSU as well as in the Pac-10 and the nation...NACWAA president (1992-93), on the board of directors (1987-94), and named 1997 Administrator of the Year...also NAGWS Pathfinder Award in 2001 and WSU Woman of Distinction in 2003...she will be added to the Inland Empire Scroll of Honor in Fall 2009.

TUNE IN FOR COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON RADIO: Cougar volleyball fans can listen to all the road contests during the 2009 season LIVE in the Palouse on KQQQ-AM radio (1150 on the AM dial), or Border 104 (KHTR, 104.3 on the FM dial)...veteran area broadcaster Steve Grubbs is the voice of Cougar volleyball for the fifth season...these road matches are also available for listening on the internet by purchasing a subscription through the Cougars All-Access button on the wsucougars.com website.

COUGAR VOLLEYBALL ON TELEVISION: The Pacific-10 Conference will once again have LIVE broadcasts of conference volleyball matches on the FOX Sports Network throughout the 2009 season...WSU is scheduled to have one match televised this season, the Nov. 21 match at Washington...ALSO, the Oct. 10 match at California will be broadcast by Comcast SportsNet West, which covers most of Northern California from Fresno to the Oregon border.

HYDER TO BUILD ON SCHOOL DIGS RECORD: Kelly Hyder (senior, Huntington Beach, Calif.) owns the WSU career digs record with 1,439 digs (92 matches, 307 sets, 4.69 digs per set average)...Hyder owns WSU single-season record with 565 digs during the 2006 season and her 2007 total of 524 digs is second-best in single-season standings...she is the seventh Cougar in school history to reach 1,000 digs in a career.

CLIMBING INTO SCHOOL RECORDS:

Career Digs
1.  Kelly Hyder (2006-08)	1439
2.  Shannon Wyckoff (1994-97)	1254

Career Assists 1. Keri Killebrew (1990-92) 4553 9. Melissa Wright (2000) 1237 10. Corina Beyer (2006) 1175 Renee Bordelon (2008-09) 820

MEET THE 2009 COUGARS: #6 Annie Adams (OH, 6-3, Rs-SO, Crosby, Minn.) - Transferred from South Dakota State...2008 redshirt season...begins 2009 season with right foot in boot after suffering a sprain in practice. #2 Jackie Albright (OH, 6-1, SR, Lake Forest, Calif.) - In 2008 led team with 2.57 kills per set and 2.84 points per set...2.69 dps is second-best on team...double-figure kills in 13 matches...career totals are 649 kills, 38 aces, 661 digs, 84 blocks, 725.5 points. #16 Renee Bordelon (S, 5-10, SR, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) - Transferred from North Idaho College in 2008...named to Cougar Challenge all-tournament team...was setter in 84 of WSU's 103 sets...averaged 9.76 assists per set, 9th best in Pac-10 this season...also tallied 26 kills, 137 digs, 10 aces and 32 blocks...earned a scholarship at the end of the season. #1 Oceana Bush (DS/L, 5-5, FR, Spokane, Wash.) - Highly touted high school player from Lewis & Clark. #3 Alex Diemer (S, 5-8, SO, Rocklin, Calif.) - Transferred from Boise State in January 2009. #9 Meagan Ganzer (OH, 6-3, SO, Black Diamond, Wash.) - Played in 74 sets with 126 kills, 2 aces, 25 digs and 31 blocks. #18 Liz Haskey (DS/L, 5-2, FR, Puyallup, Wash.) - Newcomer from Puyallup High. #5 Faith Hutcherson (DS, 5-3, JR, Redmond, Wash.) - Played back row action in 10 sets and had 8 digs. #8 Kelly Hyder (DS/L, 5-9, SR, Huntington Beach, Calif.) - Named to Boise State Bronco Invite and Cougar Challenge all-tournament teams...tallied 350 digs for a 3.72 dps average - 9th best in Pac-10 this week...17 matches with double-figure digs this season...WSU career digs record-holder with 1,439 digs...seventh player in school history to reach 1,000 digs (2007)...18th player in Pac-10 history to reach 1400 digs in a career. #4 Silver Keck (DS, 5-5, JR, Clinton, Wash.) - Joined team in Spring 2009...previously played at Edmonds CC. #19 Conley Kipp (MB, 6-4, FR, Newport Beach, Calif.) - High touted middle blocker from Sothern California. #12 Cassie Robbins (MB, 6-3, JR, Yakima, Wash.) - Suffered stress fracture in right foot mid-season...saw action in 51 sets and landed 115 kills with .322 hitting percentage which is best on team. #10 Kimika Rozier (OH, 5-10, SO, Murrieta, Calif.) - Had minor surgical knee surgery in mid-August 2008 and spent time rehabbing...saw first action of season in third set at USC 10/10...played in 6 sets. #21 Brittany Tillman (MB, 6-1, JR, Tacoma, Wash.) - Tallied 225 kills and was team leader in kills in Pac-10 matches with 163 (.264)...totaled 96 blocks with 0.96 bps to lead team...came on strong at end of 2008. #7 Rachel Todorovich (RS, 6-2, FR, Walla Walla, Wash.) - High school setter who has found a spot as a left-handed right side hitter. #14 Tangerine Wiggs (OH, 6-2, Rs-FR, Seattle, Wash.) - 2008 redshirt season.

Washington State Cougars Volleyball
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