Oct. 9, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. -- The No. 25 Washington State volleyball team dropped a four-set match at No. 7 Stanford Friday night before 2,540 fans at Maples Pavilion. Washington State is now14-2 overall, 3-2 in Pacific-10 Conference play as No. 7 Stanford moves to 10-4, 3-1, after the 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, 25-22 win over the Cougars.
"I thought we battled part of the time and I think we had our chances, similar to how we played at Oregon. Stanford gave us a lot of opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them. You have to give Stanford credit," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "I know we won a set but I told the team in the huddle that I think we are beyond the morale victories."
The last time WSU won a set against Stanford was Nov. 4, 2005, in Pullman when the Cougs won the opening set in a 3-1 loss. The last time WSU won a set at Stanford was Oct. 6, 2000 (3-1 loss).
Washington State had four hitters with double-figure kills led by Meagan Ganzer with 14 (.367), while Jackie Albright and Rachel Todorovich each had 12 kills with Todorovich hitting .450 and Albright also contributing 11 digs. Brittany Tillman added 10 kills (.348) and a career-high nine blocks. Renee Bordelon, who arrived in the Bay area just prior to match time after falling ill earlier in the week, had 49 assists. Oceana Bush led the Cougs with 21 digs and Kelly Hyder had 18 digs. WSU out-blocked Stanford 12 to 10.
Alix Klineman led Stanford with 20 kills and hit .354 while Cassidy Lichtman added 19 kills and 16 assists. Gabi Ailes had a match-high 22 digs and Karissa Cook provided 35 assists and 11 digs. Janet Okogbaa's seven blocks led the Cardinal. Both teams hit .219 for the match.
The first set had six lead changes and was tied nine times, including at 21-all. Stanford moved ahead on a block by Okogbaa and Klineman and two kills by Klineman. The Cougars staved off the Cardinal at set point with kills from Robbins and Albright but Klineman, the Pac-10 and national player of the week, landed an attack to end the set in Stanford's favor, 25-23. Klineman and WSU's Todorovich each had five kills with the Cougar freshman hitting .667 in the opening set.
WSU used a string of seven consecutive points early in the second set and advanced that lead with an 11-2 run to take commanding 16-10 lead. Stanford came within three twice late in this set but Ganzer and Tillman kills put WSU at set point. Todorovich and Tillman blocked a Klineman attack to end the set 25-20. WSU hit .242 and held Stanford to a .091 team hitting percentage.
After a tie score at 13-all in the third set, the Cougars hung within one or two points, finally knotting the set at 21 after an Albright kill was followed by an attack error by Klineman. The talented sophomore All-American landed the next two attacks to put the Cardinal up 23-21 and WSU took a timeout. Ganzer's kill put the Cougars down just one. Klineman's kill and Karissa Cook's ace gave the home squad the 25-22 win.
The Cardinal scored five in a row in the fourth set to go ahead 17-11. Stanford kept a comfortable lead but the Cougars rallied to close within three, down 23-20. Okogbaa's kill put Stanford serving for match but a kill by Ganzer and a block by Tillman stopped the Cardinal. Lichtman's attack ended the set 25-22, and the match 3-1.
"I think some of our mistakes were key serving errors and key digs that we didn't make, but overall, our passing kept us in the match and defensively we played pretty well," Palileo said. "At one point we out-stat-ed them in every category and that means we weren't playing the big points very well. Hopefully we can come back tomorrow and correct those errors and play big in those big points."
Saturday afternoon the Cougars travel to Berkeley to take on No. 15 California (8-6, 1-3) in a 4 p.m. match at Haas Pavilion. Cal lost to No. 3 Washington Friday night 3-0.