Oct. 31, 2009
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The No. 21 Washington State volleyball team lost for the second straight night, falling 18-25, 25-21, 11-25, 21-25 to No. 18 Arizona Saturday night at the McKale Center. Both teams have identical records of 16-6 overall, 5-6 in Pacific-10 Conference play.
"This was an overall ugly, ugly match and I think (Arizona) Coach Rubio would agree," Cougar Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "Not a lot of clean plays and not a lot of good plays, just a lot of points scored off opponent errors. I would still have liked to win this match. This is something on the road you fight as a team, and we have to come out and play better. We didn't do a good job of representing WSU or our work ethic and that we are ready for competition at this level. We are struggling with confidence right now and we have to go back to work and turn this thing around. Road trips can do this to you but right now I think it is more the level of competition we're playing against. When we lose we don't compete and that is what frustrates me."
Tiffany Owens and Whitney Dosty each had 15 kills to lead Arizona. Paige Weber had 41 assists, 11 digs and two aces. Dosty also had 11 digs and Alanna Resch led the team with 12 digs. Jacy Norton led the match with six blocks in the match. The Wildcats hit .250 for the match.
WSU's Cassie Robbins had 14 kills, the only Cougar in double-digits, and hit .500 in the four sets. Rachel Todorovich and Brittany Tillman each had eight kills with Todorovich leading the team with four blocks. Renee Bordelon had 37 assists and Oceana Bush had 15 digs. Annie Adams started in the front row for Jackie Albright and had three kills and two blocks. WSU hit .131 for the match.
Arizona broke an eight-all tie early in the first set with a seven to two run. The Wildcats established a seven-point lead and kept it, winning the opener 25-18. Tillman (.375) and Robbins (.800) each had four kills for the Cougs in this set while Owens had five kills for Arizona. The home Cats hit .387 in this set.
WSU laced four consecutive points but after trading scores, gave up four consecutive points to knot the second set at 12. The Cougars had an eight to four run to go ahead 20-16. After losing a point on a block, WSU tallied four straight to serve for set, 24-17. The Wildcats were not about to slink away, and stopped WSU on the next three serves but Albright moved to the front row for the first time in this match and put away an attack for the 25-20 Cougar win. Robbins's seven kills were instrumental in the Cougs winning this set. WSU had a .275 hitting percentage while Arizona hit only .086 in this set.
The Cougars fell apart in the third set as the Wildcats took a 20-8 lead and converted to a 25-11 win and a two-one lead in the match. Arizona hit .308 in this set and WSU hit -.167.
WSU took the early 9-7 lead in the fourth set but fell behind 19-13. The Cougars battled back to close the gap to 22-19, and held off Arizona twice at match point. But it was not to be as the Wildcats held on to win 25-21. Arizona hit .250 in this set and WSU hit .152.
"We started with a different lineup to increase the energy and intensity with some changes and we started off pretty good but it came down to some of the changes the players weren't used to it even though we practiced it," Palileo said. "But it was good to see some of the different players and seeing what they can do in a Pac-10 level play."
WSU is home next weekend to take on No. 14 California (13-8, 6-5) and No. 4 Stanford (15-6, 8-3) in Bohler Gym.