Sept. 25, 2009
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Led by the 18 kills from senior Jackie Albright, the Washington State volleyball team swept by Oregon State 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, Friday night before 1,581 fans at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. WSU remains undefeated on the season, 12-0, equaling the best start since 1997 when WSU started the season 16-0 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
This match also marked the first time Washington State opened Pacific-10 Conference play with a win since 2003 when the Cougs defeated No. 16 Arizona, 3-1 in Pullman. The last time WSU opened Pac-10 play with a road win was in 1997, a 3-2 win over Oregon State in Corvallis.
"It was very business-like tonight and I thought our players played with a lot of composure especially with the large crowd," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We have been working really hard and we have committed to everyone going in the same direction. I'm really proud of our team. We played like a team tonight, especially defensively. We feed off of good passing, and we feed off of our defensive digs and defensive transition and I thought we did that really well tonight. It was a good balanced night."
In addition to Albright's 18 kills (.333), WSU had nine kills from Brittany Tillman (.533) and seven kills from Meagan Ganzer. Renee Bordelon had 38 assists while Kelly Hyder and Oceana Bush combined for 35 digs. Cassie Robbins had four blocks. WSU did not have a service ace in the match, the first time since 2007 the Cougs have been skunked in aces.
Oregon State (9-4, 0-1) was led by Rachel Rourke's 14 kills and Jill Sawatzky added eight kills. Rouke, Lexie Rathgeber and Kiersten Sambrailo each had four blocks. Camilla Ah-Hoy had 27 assists and Betsy Davitch led the Beavers with 13 digs. Alyssa O'Neil had two or OSU's three aces.
WSU broke the first set open early and maintained a five-point lead for most of the set. The Beavers closed to within three at 22-19, but the Cougars closed out with a 25-19 win. Albright had five kills (.455) and Tillman added four kills (.500) as WSU hit .379 for the set. Rourke led OSU with seven kills and Sawatzky had six kills.
The Cougs roared out to a 15-7 second set lead only to have OSU score five unanswered points. With WSU up 21-17, the Beavs scored three straight to close the gap to one point. WSU freshman Todorovich landed back-to-back kills to go ahead 23-20 only to be countered by OSU's pair of points. Albright's kill placed WSU at set point, 24-22 but Sawatzky's kill put the Beavs back in the hunt. Albright's tip ended the set in the visitor's favor 25-23.
WSU took care of business in the third set with a decisive 25-16 win. The Cougars held the Beavers to a .000 hitting percentage as WSU hit .278.
Washington State plays No. 7 Oregon (10-1) Sunday at 1 p.m. at McArthur Court in Eugene. No. 3 Washington swept UO Friday night in Eugene.