Nov. 17, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team (17-10) broke a six-match losing streak with a 25-20, 25-13, 25-21 non-conference win over Eastern Washington (17-10) Tuesday night at Bohler Gym.
WSU freshman Rachel Todorovich was the only player in double-figure kills as the Walla Walla native landed 13, equaling her season-high, and hit an outstanding .480 for the match. Todorovich was playing against her older sister, Sara, a middle blocker for EWU.
"It was a lot of fun and I got pumped when I finally closed in on a block on her," WSU's Rachel Todorovich said of playing facing her sister. "It means a lot to me personally as well as my family. My parents had a dilemma on what to do with the shirts, so one of our faces is on one side and the other on the other. I think we played good but I feel we could pick it up for our upcoming game against UW. There are a lot of things we can always improve on and it's just a matter of coming together as a team."
Cougar junior Brittany Tillman had nine kills and hit .600 for the night while sophomore Meagan Ganzer added six kills and a match-high five blocks. Renee Bordelon had 41 assists, and Oceana Bush and Jackie Albright contributed 13 digs each. WSU hit .261 for the match and held EWU to a .088 hitting percentage. The Cougars out-blocked the Eagles eight to two.
EWU's Haley Hills led her team with nine kills and 13 digs. Chenoa Covaire added eight kills and two blocks. JaNae Mortensen has 12 digs. Setter Ashley Hamilton had 24 assists and Amanda Yausie had three aces. Sara Todorovich had seven kills on the night.
"If you look back, a win is a win and it was an important game for us," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We needed this as to the enormity of what we are trying to accomplish this year. Anytime you can another "W" to the end of the season like this it always helps your chances."
Tillman and Ganzer each had four kills in the first set as the Cougars hit .310 and kept EWU at .176. WSU held a seven-point lead at 21-14 until Eagles' Alysha Cook laced an attack and Yausie landed three consecutive aces to put the visitors within three. After a WSU timeout, Tillman, Albright and Ganzer went on the attack to give the Cougars the 25-20 win.
WSU scored the first eight points to start the second set and six of the last seven points to take a 25-13 win. WSU's Todorovich landed five attacks in this set as WSU hit .312 as a team and the Eagles had a .000 hitting percentage.
The Cougars watched a 17-11 lead disappear in the third set as five attack errors by the home team put the Eagles in contention. A kill by EWU and another WSU error left the Cougs ahead by a mere point, 19-18. Robbins and Albright landed back-to-back attacks to extend the lead to 21-18. Another Cougar error was followed by a kill by WSU's Todorovich and EWU took a timeout with the home team ahead by the score of 22-19. Covaire's kill out of the huddle put the Eags within one again. Successful attacks by WSU's Todorovich and Albright put the Cougs serving for match. Jacque Brown stopped the first match point but Albright's attack preserved the 25-21 WSU win.
"I think we are still struggling with some of the things during the second half of the Pac-10 season," Palileo said. "If you look into the first set when we when we were up, we gave three easy aces away and that has been happening to us at the end of games. A lot of our efficiency on handling easy balls, the free balls, the down balls and the driven balls, that efficiency is not high enough."
The Cougars travel to No. 4 Washington (21-4, 11-4) for a Saturday, Nov. 21, contest in Seattle.