Sept. 4, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team overcame its inexperience to win its first four matches of the 1999 season and claim the championship of the Les Schwab Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tournament at Beasley Coliseum Saturday. WSU defeated San Jose State three games to one before a crowd of 1,006.
You couldn't beat this match for interest, let alone sentimentality. It was a battle of unbeaten teams, pitting former college roommates (San Jose State coach Craig Choate and WSU assistant coach Mashallah Farokhmanesh), plus it was Cougar coach Cindy Fredrick's birthday and her 200th win at WSU.
WSU's Joy Sperry (Wallace, Idaho) was named the tournament MVP and was joined by Missy Blackshire (Spokane, Wash.) and LaToya Harris (Portland, Ore.) on the all-tournament team.
Blackshire led the Cougs with 23 kills and 12 digs, hitting .400. Sperry had 20 kills with two service aces, nine digs and three blocks. Harris added 13 kills and three blocks. San Jose State was led by the 26 kills, 13 digs and five blocks of all-tournament selection Joslynn Gallop.
In the championship match, WSU claimed the first game 15-8 with a .563 hitting percentage but San Jose State hit an outstanding .440 in the loss. Down 11-5 in the second game, the Cougars battled back to tie at 12 and go ahead 14-12. On the third attempt at game point, Blackshire got the kill and the 15-13 win.
After the break, the Cougs were nearly flat-lined while the Spartans were fired up and ran to the 15-4 game three win. The fourth game found the Cougars ready to play and win the game 15-9 and the match 3-1.
LaToya Harris had five blocks while Kortney Jamtaas (Orinda, Calif.) scored four aces and Melissa Wright (Muncie, Ind.) had 68 assists.
Earlier in the day, the Cougs downed Gonzaga in three, 15-3, 15-8, 15-10, Creighton swept Boise State 15-10, 15-8, 16-14, and San Jose State needed four games to escape Creighton, 7-15, 15-10, 15-4, 15-10. Boise State broke out of the loss column with a 15-6, 15-9, 15-11 win over Gonzaga.
Against the Zags, WSU's Joy Sperry (Wallace, Idaho) had a game-high 17 kills and eight digs. Cougar freshman LaToya Harris (Portland, Ore.) contributed 12 kills and four blocks. GU freshman Britt Whiting had 12 kills and 12 digs to lead the Bulldogs. WSU out-blocked Gonzaga six to one.
1999 Les Schwab Cougar Challenge Volleyball Tournament
Beasley Coliseum, Washington State University, Pullman, Wash.
Second Day Results:
Creighton (2-1) d. Boise State (0-3) 3-0
Game Scores: 15-10, 15-8, 16-14
STATISTICS: KILLS: Meek (BSU) 15, Keolanui (CU) 11, Swanson (CU) 11. ASSISTS: Mullin (BSU) 22, Reyes (CU) 34. DIGS: Elson (BSU) 15, Reyes (CU) 11, Swanson (CU) 11. BLOCKS: Mullin (BSU) 2, Walsh (CU) 5. SERVICE ACES: Shepard (BSU) 2, Koochi (CU) 2. Attendance: 119.
Washington State (3-0) d. Gonzaga (1-3) 3-0
Game Scores: 15-3, 15-8, 15-10
STATISTICS: KILLS: Sperry (WSU) 17, Whiting (GU) 12. ASSISTS: Wright (WSU) 41, Holly (GU) 35. DIGS: Blackshire (WSU) 8, Sperry (WSU) 8, Whiting (GU) 12. BLOCKS: L. Harris (WSU) 4, Whiting (GU) 1, Hosek (GU) 1. SERVICE ACES: Blackshire (WSU) 4, Whiting (GU) 2. Attendance: 331.
San Jose State (4-0) d. Creighton (2-2) 3-1
Game Scores: 7-15, 15-10, 15-4, 15-10
STATISTICS: KILLS: Blair (SJS) 20, Swanson (CU) 15. ASSISTS: Sarkees (SJS) 49, Reyes (CU) 42. DIGS: Walker (SJS) 18, Swanson (CU) 12, Moran (CU) 12. BLOCKS: Gallop (SJS) 5, Walsh (CU) 6. SERVICE ACES: Gallop (SJS) 3, Moran (CU) 3. Attendance: 97.
Boise State (1-3) d. Gonzaga (1-4) 3-0
Game Scores: 15-6, 15-9, 15-11
STATISTICS: KILLS: Whiting (GU) 10, Brinkerhoff (BSU) 15. ASSISTS: Holly (GU) 33, Mullin (BSU) 36. DIGS: Holly (GU) 9, Elson (BSU) 15. BLOCKS: Whiting (GU) 5, Meek (BSU) 3. SERVICE ACES: Whiting (GU) 2, Brinkerhoff (BSU) 2. Attendance: 139.
Washington State (4-0) d. San Jose State (4-1) 3-1
Game Scores: 15-8, 15-13, 4-15, 15-9
STATISTICS: KILLS: Blackshire (WSU)23, Gallop (SJS) 26. ASSISTS: Wright (WSU) 68, Sarkees (SJS) 69. DIGS: Blackshire (WSU) 12, Walker (SJS) 14. BLOCKS: L. Harris (WSU) 5, Gallop (SJS) 5. SERVICE ACES: Jamtaas (WSU) 4, Gallop (SJS) 3. Attendance: 1,006.
FINAL TOURNAMENT STANDINGS: 1. Washington State 4-0 2. San Jose State 3-1 3. Creighton 2-2 4. Boise State 1-3 5. Gonzaga 0-4
Kailey Reyes, Creighton, Melissa Walsh, Creighton, Michelle Sarkees, San Jose State, Joslynn Gallop, San Jose State, Missy Blackshire, Washington State, LaToya Harris, Washington State, and MVP - Joy Sperry, Washington State.