Sept. 12, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team defeated Cal State Northridge 25-14, 25-19, 25-22, Saturday night in the final match of the Nike Cougar Challenge tournament in Bohler Gym to remain undefeated this season. The Cougars won a total of 10 matches in the 2008 season.
Senior Jackie Albright and sophomore Meagan Ganzer combined for 29 kills to lead Washington State (10-0). Senior Cassie Robbins had five blocks and freshman Oceana Bush had a match-high 20 digs and senior Kelly Hyder added 10 digs. Senior setter Renee Bordelon had 38 assists and 12 digs. WSU hit .339 as a team.
Cal State Northridge (3-6) was led by Angela Hupp's 11 kills while Britney Graff added 10 kills and a team-high 14 digs. Lynda Morales had five blocks and Brittany Williams contributed four more. Setter Sam Orlandini had 41 assists.
"I think our passing was really the indication of how we played tonight. We passed pretty well and pretty consistent and we were able to use our middles early on," Cougar Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "I thought we would have success on the outside because we struggled with it last night and I knew they would want us to try that again. We tried to emphasize early the outsides and use the middles as decoys tonight. I think that opened up some holes and I wanted the outsides to get some confidence early on."
WSU took the lead in the first set and never looked back on the way to a 25-14 win. Albright had seven kills in the opener and hit .538 and Ganzer had five kills and hit .444, as the Cougars hit .421 and kept the Matadors to a .030 hitting percentage.
The teams played closer at the beginning of the second set but WSU kept a healthy margin and finished with the 25-19 win.
CSUN was ahead late in the third set 21-19 when Ganzer slammed a ball down the right side. An errant ball gave the Matadors another point and the Cougs' Tangerine Wiggs batted back a ball at the net to close the gap to 22-21. Robbins followed with a roll-shot down the net and then teamed up with Albright for a big block on the left side to advance the score to 23-22, in the Cougars' favor. Hupp hit the next ball into the net and put WSU serving for the set and the match. Albright's tip gave WSU the 25-22 win and preserved the undefeated season.
"I'm just trying to really step up and lead the team and do something good this year," Cougar senior and tri-captain Renee Bordelon said. "My personal goal is to try and get as many hitters in double-digits as I can but at the beginning of a match I really try and spread it out and get a feel for who is having a good night. I'm trying to keep balanced and to whoever is having a good night."
Washington State travels to Spokane Tuesday night to play Gonzaga (3-6) at the Martin Center, and then will begin the Pac-10 season at Oregon State Sept. 25.