Sept. 27, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. -- Despite career-high performances from Meagan Ganzer and Cassie Robbins, the Washington State volleyball team lost its first match of the season Sunday afternoon when No. 7 Oregon defeated the Cougars 23-25, 25-18, 25-22, and 25-21, at McArthur Court in Eugene.
WSU, now 12-1 overall, 1-1 in Pacific-10 Conference action, was led by sophomore Ganzer's career-high 19 kills and .457 hitting percentage, and senior Robbins' career-high 17 kills and .387 hitting percentage. Renee Bordelon had 47 assists, Oceana Bush contributed 18 digs and Jackie Albright added 13 digs. Rachel Todorovich added 10 kills (.368) after missing some action due to a leg injury in the second set. Robbins also led the match with eight blocks.
Oregon, 11-1 overall, 1-1 in Pac-10, was led by Sonja Newcombe's 19 kills (.405) and 12 digs, Heather Meyers' 16 kills (.406), and Neticia Enesi's 14 kills (.391). Setter Nevena Djordjevic had 57 assists while Dana Stephenson had seven blocks and Katherine Fischer added five blocks. Libero Haley Jacob had two aces.
"Oregon is a balanced team and we were able to take some things away but they had quite a few players on their game today and we were just a little flat for this whole match. We were just a step slower and I don't know if it was from the day off yesterday but we were just off today," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We had a couple of bright spots today. I told Ganzer we needed a breakout game from her and I think she gave it to me but a couple other players didn't. Overall, anytime you can go on the road and take one match out of the two, I'll be happy with that for now."
The first set consisted of 14 ties and nine lead changes with no lead greater than a pair of points. With Oregon ahead 22-21, WSU took a timeout but returned to the court to get three consecutive points from kills by Albright, Todorovich and Robbins and serving for set point. Oregon took a timeout and on the next play, Meyers' kill put the Ducks within one. Robbins ended the set with her seventh kill and the Cougs took the 25-23 win. WSU hit. 317 in this set and held Oregon to a .137 hitting percentage.
The Ducks came back in the second set to take an early lead and convert it to a 25-18 win. Robbins added eight more kills but it wasn't enough to counter Oregon's outstanding .517 hitting percentage.
Oregon took a 19-14 lead and extended it to a 21-16 advantage. WSU's Ganzer landed three consecutive kills, forcing the Ducks to a timeout but they garnered a kill on the next play. Two attack errors by Stephenson and Newcombe were followed by an ace served by Faith Hutcherson to knot the set at 22 points each. After another Oregon timeout, Meyers and Newcombe closed out the set with kills and the Ducks took the third set 25-22.
After being down by two points most the set, WSU took an 18-17 lead only to have the Ducks score four straight points. WSU scored three of the next four and were down by only one point, 22-21. After an Oregon timeout, the Ducks produced a kill, a block and an ace to win the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
Washington State returns to Bohler Gym this weekend for a Friday night match against No. 21 Arizona (12-1, 1-1), and a Saturday night match versus Arizona State (11-3, 1-1).