Oct. 31, 2012
PULLMAN -- Ver'Leea Hardaway's 15 kills and five blocks led the Washington State volleyball team (11-14, 1-12 Pac-12) to a 25-21, 25-9, 25-19 win over Colorado (14-11, 4-9) Wednesday night in Bohler Gym. This is the first conference win for the Cougars this season.
"This win feels amazing because all of our hard work has definitely paid off and we've fought and kept up with so many good teams from Stanford to Cal to USC and so finally just to have this win shows that all of our hard work is paying off," Hardaway said. "I think we came out with more of a vengeance this time. We knew we had been working on this in practice now it's just time for us to put it together and just get our minds right and focus on what we had to go out there and do."
Hardaway, a sophomore middle blocker from Mission Viejo, Calif., did not have an error in 26 attacks in the match for a .577 hitting percentage. Marcelina Glab tallied 11 kills, hit .562 on the night and had three blocks. Stephanie Logan added eight kills, hit .500 and added four blocks as the Cougars out-blocked the Buffaloes 8.5 to 3. Setter Camryn Irwin set up 31 assists, libero Kate Sommer led the match with 19 digs, and Shawna Lum had a pair of aces.
Colorado's Alexis Austin had 10 kills and setter Nicole Edelman had seven kills and a .700 hitting percentage in addition to her 19 assists the three blocks. Chelsey Keoho had 13 digs and Nikki Lindow added seven kills and two blocks. WSU hit .359 on the night and held Colorado to a .108 hitting percentage.
When asked what the difference was from playing Colorado earlier in the month, Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny said, "I think just being at home is a different environment. It is tough to play at Colorado and we had trouble with our passing. Tonight we definitely didn't have a lot of trouble with our passing and we were able to run the middle so Ver'Leea and Marc had great nights so I think that was really the difference."
WSU jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first set and extended to a 22-14 advantage. Cougar errors let the Buffs back in the set at 23-19 but a kill from Hardaway and Colorado errors gave the Cougars the 25-21 win. Hardaway had six kills on nine attacks with zero errors for a .667 hitting percentage in the opener and WSU hit .275 and held Colorado to a .067 hitting percentage.
Cougars carried the momentum of the first set win into the second set and moved an 11-4 lead into a commanding 25-9 win behind the play of Hardaway who tallied five kills and still no errors in the set.
Colorado came out of the break and played with more intensity, coming within one of the Cougars at 16-15 but WSU played steady and allowed the Buffs to make their own mistakes, including three of their six service errors. WSU won with a score of 25-19.
"We've had great matches this year where we have played really, really well and we just weren't able to kind of get over that hump," Greeny said. "Hopefully this is a little bit of a confidence booster for this team. They've just really needed to know how to finish a game and they did that tonight really well. So hopefully we can take that confidence into Friday."
Washington State hosts Utah (12-13, 3-9) Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in Bohler Gym.