Nov. 18, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State University volleyball team put up a great fight but went down in defeat Friday night as Oregon State took a 30-22, 28-30, 30-26, 30-28 win in the Cougars final home game at Bohler Gym.
The Beavers move to a 10-12 overall, 6-10 Pac-10 record while WSU drops to 9-21 overall, 2-15 in conference play.
OSU's Kristin Murray led all players with 18 kills followed by Brittany Cahoon's 15 kills and Karah Rhodes' 14 kills. Katelyn Healy and Kristy Mortensen each had 10 digs. Abby Windell led the Beavs with seven blocks while Desma Stovall had 45 assists.
WSU had four players with double-figure kills with freshmen Brittany Johnson and Jalen Pendon leading the way with 15 and 14 kills respectively. Natalia Owens added 13 kills and a match-high eight blocks and Jen Barcus contributed 11 kills and seven blocks. Maureen Perez had 55 assists and Stephanie Weishaar had 17 digs.
This is the second night Pendon, the Cougars' libero for the first 28 matches of the season, played in the front row as a left-side hitter.
"This past week we lost a player in Te'Ara Epps and Kelly Rosin had not been putting up big numbers on the left so we thought we'd give it a shot and see what Jalen could do up there," Heffernan said. "Jalen came here as an outside hitter but she can't jump a lot during the course of her career so we felt since this was the last week of the season that she could go in and contribute to the team more than she usually does. We tried it and were fortunate that she was able to go out there and put some points on the floor."
Each game after the first was close and could have gone to either team. In the fourth game, WSU was ahead 28-26 but OSU knotted the game after a Cougar blocking error and a kill by Murray. After Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan called a timeout, the Beavs scored the final two points on an attack error by Johnson and another Murray kill.
"The last time we played the two Oregon schools we really weren't in the match and the controlled the match the whole way," Heffernan said. "This weekend, we really did a nice job in both matches and really played only one really poor game the whole weekend and that was the first game tonight. We were in the rest of the games and competing with those teams. The big difference was a reduction in service errors and a better serve-receive game on our side of the net. The chemistry of the group is improving and they are playing better as a team. We are reducing our errors. The biggest difference is having two left-side hitters last night and tonight hitting in positive numbers in Brittany and Jalen. At this level you need a left-side hitter who can go up and terminate the ball."
"I think this outside hitting for me is just a one-time thing because of the condition that my knee is in right now so I plan on being a defensive libero-type player for the next four years," Pendon said. "(my knee) is a little sore since I haven't been jumping on it at all this year."
Washington State travels to Seattle next Friday for its final volleyball match against No. 3 Washington (25-1, 16-1), set for 7:30 p.m. at the Bank of America Arena which will also be televised live on Fox Sports Northwest.
Oregon State (10-12, 6-10) def. Washington State (9-21, 2-15) 30-22, 28-30, 30-26, 30-28
KILLS - WSU 62 (Johnson 15), OSU 69 (Murray 18)
HITTING PERCENTAGE - WSU .188, OSU .222
ASSISTS - WSU 57 (Perez 55), OSU 63 (Stovall 45)
DIGS - WSU 52 (Weishaar 17), OSU 57 (Healy, Mortensen 10 each)
BLOCKS - WSU 16 (Owens 8), OSU 15 (Windell 7)
SERVICE ACES - WSU 3 (Pendon, Lott, Weishaar 1 each), OSU 5 (Rhoades, Healy 2 each)