Sept. 5, 2008
MOSCOW, Idaho -- The Washington State volleyball team was defeated by the University of Idaho 25-21, 25-16, 25-22, in the first night of the Idaho Classic Volleyball tournament Friday at Memorial Gym.
Idaho (3-1) was led by the 13 kills of Haley Larsen while setter Kelsey James had 31 assists. Idaho out-blocked WSU 13 to 8 as Anna McKinney had a match-high 10 blocks and added seven kills. Libero Kelsey Yonker had 17 digs.
Senior Emily Rooney (Red Wing, Minn.) led the Cougs (3-1) with 12 kills and hit a team-high .500. Junior Jackie Albright (Lake Forest, Calif.) tallied six kills and Brittany Johnson (senior, Phoenix, Ariz.) came in off the bench to land four kills and four blocks. Renee Bordelon (junior, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) threw up 17 assists and Breann Nesselhuf (freahman, Swink, Colo.) added 10 assists. The passing game was the one solid component for WSU during the match as Bree Flach (freshman, Shabbona, Ill.) and Kelly Hyder (junior, Huntington Beach, Calif.) combined for 24 digs. Cougars hit .008 as a team.
"The team was determined not to let Idaho win the match but I have to change their mindset and we talked about that at intermission. We can't worry about winning, we have to worry about doing the little things right: to stay disciplined on defense, trying to establish tempo, trying to score points on the outside. Those are the little things that put you in a position to win," Cougar Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We have to continue to change mindset that if we do those things, then we put ourselves in a position to win. Then we can think about winning. Right now we're going to think about competing and putting ourselves in a position to win because we are not doing that against the good teams."
The Cougars started the first set with a 6-1 lead but then relinquished six points to the home team. WSU stayed within striking distance in the middle of the set but Idaho went ahead late in the set 21-16. A kill from Albright and blocks from Johnson, Rooney and Nesselhuf put the Cougs within three at 21-19. The Vandals hit .206 for the set and out-scored WSU, hitting .000, four to two to win the opener, 25-21.
The second set was tied at nine points each when Idaho went on a seven-zero run to take the lead. The teams traded pairs of points but the Vandals' front line stymied the Cougs for the rest of the match. Palileo substituted liberally to no avail. Idaho won the set 25-16, hit .212 and held WSU to a -.077 set hitting percentage.
WSU came out of the break with a stronger presence offensively and kept the contest close throughout the set but could not overtake the Vandals. Idaho was ahead 22-21 when a Cougar kill went long. A block by McKinney and Larsen put the home team at set and match point but the next attack went out of bounds. A triple block by the Vandals ended the set 25-22 and the match 3-0.
In the earlier match of the tournament, Eastern Washington defeated Notre Dame 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19).The tournament continues Saturday with Washington State taking on Notre Dame (2-2) at 10 a.m. and Eastern Washington at 4:30 p.m.