Oct. 3, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Youth prevailed for the Washington State volleyball team as sophomore Meagan Ganzer had 20 kills and freshman Oceana Bush had a school record 39 digs to lead the Cougars to a 3-2 win over Arizona State Saturday night before 1,079 fans in Bohler Gym.
Washington State (14-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-10) defeated Arizona State (11-5, 1-3) by set scores of 25-19, 24-26, 13-25, 25-17, and 15-10.
Adding to Ganzer's 20 kills, WSU's Cassie Robbins had 14 kills (.353) and eight blocks, Jackie Albright had 13 kills and 19 digs, and Brittany Tillman had 11 kills (.350). Bush's 39 digs wiped out the school record of 35 digs set by Jalen Pendon in 2005, ironically, also against Arizona State. Kelly Hyder added 12 digs and Renee Bordelon had 53 assists, 10 digs and four blocks.
ASU's Sarah Reaves led the match with 26 kills and had 14 digs while Sofie Schlagintweit contributed 10 kills and 22 digs. Sarah Johnson led the Sun Devils with 25 digs and three aces while Paige Mittelstaedt had a match-high 10 blocks.
"We started out pretty strong and then Arizona State did a good job defensively," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "They were forcing us to take that extra swing and we didn't do a good job of it, especially in that second set. The third set was about our passing and we didn't recover very well. We got a little loose and were playing individual defense instead of team defense and Renee's setting wasn't as consistent. We didn't like our match-ups, Sarah Reaves against Rachel Todorovich so we rotated around to place Renee against her and Renee did a good job of slowing the ball down. The fourth set we came together and the fifth we just tried to stay aggressive and swing hard. Fifth games are a sprint and we tried to make sure we stayed aggressive."
Ganzer scored six kills in the first set to lead the Cougars to a 25-19 win. WSU went on a five-point run early in the set and did not look back. ASU hit .114 in the opener.
The Sun Devils raced out to a 20-12 lead in the second set when the Cougars mounted a charge and tallied eight consecutive points to tie the set. The teams traded points in pairs for a 22-all tie. Ganzer's cross court attack went wide but she followed up with a tip to knot the set at 23. Schlagintweit and Tillman traded scores and the set was tied at 24. Schlagintweit's kill put ASU serving for set and a block by Mittelstaedt and Reaves gave the visitors the 26-24 win. Reaves contributed seven kills in the set.
ASU had four service aces in the third set and Reaves added six kills with a .556 hitting percentage as the Sun Devils dominated the Cougars for the 25-13 win. ASU hit .346 in the set and held WSU to a .097.
WSU found some momentum to start the fourth set with a 14-6 lead and kept a healthy lead for the 25-17 win. Ganzer had five kills in this set and WSU hit .385.
"As a team we knew we were not going to give up the fourth set. We knew we were going to get dug but we had to come back with swing after swing and be persistent," Ganzer said. "I calmed down and focused more because what we had been doing wasn't working. We came together as a team. Renee (Bordelon) did really well setting and we had some great digs and played together better."
The fifth set started with WSU taking a 5-2 lead. Arizona State battle back but could not close the Cougars' three-point lead. The crimson-clad home team took the 15-10 win and the match. Albright's ace gave WSU the win for the second straight match.
Bush, who played outside hitter in high school, is obviously finding success in the back row. "I'm getting used to it. With the support of Kelly Hyder and Faith Hutcherson and the other players who play back row, it is easier because they communicate with me and reassure me when the ball is coming. Communication is always a plus."
Next weekend the Cougars travel to the San Francisco Bay area to play No. 11 Stanford (9-4, 2-1) Friday night, and No. 9 California (8-5, 1-2) Saturday afternoon.