Oct. 1, 2011
PULLMAN - The Washington State volleyball team battled well throughout the match but could not overtake No. 15 Oregon as the Ducks took a 3-1 win before 736 fans at Bohler Gym Saturday night. Oregon moved to a record of 12-2 overall, 5-1 in Pac-12 with set scores of 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, and 25-22, dropping WSU's record to 10-6 overall, 2-4 in conference action.
UO's Alaina Bergsma led the match with 27 kills (.371) while Katherine Fischer, Ariana Williams, and Liz Brenner combined for 31 kills. Lauren Plum had 54 assists and Haley Jacob led the match with 19 digs. Fischer led the4 match with three aces.
Meagan Ganzers' 26 kills and 12 digs led the Cougars and Marcelina Glab chipped in 10 kills (.348). The Cougars' setter, Camryn Irwin, a transfer from UO, had 46 assists. Jaicee Harris, Rachel Todorovich, and Jordan Levenseller combined for 34 more digs. WSU out-blocked the Ducks 13 to seven with Stephanie Haggins tagging seven blocks, Todorovich adding four blocks and Ganzer and Glab adding three more blocks each.
"I was proud of the team's fight tonight," Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny said. "The first set loss was a heartbreaker and they could have just rolled over but they didn't. They fought back and took set two after being down. And we were right there again in set three and had set point and just couldn't finish it out. We still have a long ways to go but I am proud of the way they fought and never quit."
WSU held onto a slight lead through most of the first set only to see Oregon come back and tie the score at 23 and took a 24-23 lead on a WSU attack error. The Ducks won on a tipped ball from Fischer and won the set 25-23 while hitting only .108. Ganzer had six kills and Hagins had four blocks in the opener. WSU hit .097 but the Cougars had seven team blocks to the Ducks' three.
In the second set the Cougars and Ducks stayed close with the score being tied 10 times with the final knot at 19 points. WSU scored the next four straight points on kills from Ganzer and Irwin combined with two missed attacked by Oregon. Brenner and Bergsma landed back-to-back attacks to close the gap to two points, 23-21, and WSU took a timeout. Oregon scored again with an ace from Ashen to bring the score to 23-22. After watching the first set slip away, the lone Cougar senior, Ganzer, took over with a slam to the back row and then landed a tip a midcourt to give WSU the 25-22 win.
The third set was another close contest with Oregon taking a 21-19 lead when Harris sent a shot midcourt to put the Cougars back in contention. Oregon scored twice more and WSU was down 23-21 but battled back and Ganzer's slam tied the set at 23. WSU took the 24-23 lead when Bergsma's attack hit the antenna but a huge kill from Milica Krstojevic knotted the set again. Ganzer's final two attacks of the set go long and the Ducks win 26-24.
The Cougars were still not out of the match and the fourth set was tied at 15-all before the Ducks outscored the home team 10 to seven for the 25-22 win.
"I couldn't be more proud of my team. It seemed like they were really with me on this one," Irwin said. "I have never seen a team be so relentless and that is something we have struggled with a little bit. Every single game we have been getting better and not giving up and in this game we never gave up."
Washington State hosts conference newcomers Utah and Colorado next Friday and Saturday nights in Bohler Gym.