Sept. 15, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS -- The Washington State volleyball team moved to a 10-2 record with the 23-25, 25-9, 25-14, 25-21 win over Air Force Academy (5-8) Saturday night at the Air Force Academy Invitational tournament in Colorado Springs. This was the ninth consecutive win for the Cougars this season.
Jaicee Harris led the Cougars and the match with 23 kills while hitting .383 in addition to 10 digs and four blocks. Rachel Todorovich added 15 kills, hitting .565 on the night. Ver'Leea Hardaway landed seven kills (.429) and a match-high seven blocks while Marcelina Glab contributed six kills and a six blocks. Camryn Irwin set up 47 assists and tagged five blocks as WSU out-blocked the Falcons 13.5 to 2.
Felicia Clement, Maggie Sherrill and Cami Richan combined for 34 of Air Forces' 49 kills. Hillary Keltner had 45 assists and added 10 digs as Maiya Perich led the match with 16 digs. The Falcons hit .140 for the match while WSU hit .360.
"After playing Bakersfield with such a fast tempo, Air Force has a slower tempo. I think it took us too long to adjust and we made some unforced errors in that first set," Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny said. "We settled down and served really tough and our blocking got going in that second set so that gave us some confidence going into the third. Air Force came back and made some switches in the fourth set but we were able to adjust and win the match so I'm very proud of that."
The Cougars did have a slow start in the opening set, down 21-16, but battled back to close the gap to 22-21. Each team scored once more but Clement landed her sixth kill of the set to put the Falcons serving for the win at 24-22. Harris countered with a successful attack but Ayesha Heins' slide kill gave Air Force the 25-23 win.
WSU ran out to an early lead in the second set and extended a 17-8 lead to a dominating 25-9 win. The Cougars hit .484 and held AFA to a .034 hitting percentage after hitting .300 in the opener. It was much the same in the third set as the Cougars took an 11-7 lead and ran it to a 25-14 win. Cougars hit .357 and the Falcons were stymied with a -.067 hitting percentage in the third.
The Falcons made a late surge in the fourth set, cutting WSU's lead from six to three, 23-20. Harris landed a kill but then could not land a serve to put the score at 24-21. Todorovich slammed an attack down to give the Cougars the 25-21 win and the tournament title.
"Jaicee Harris played well, especially late," Greeny said. "She was struggling with her passing a little bit early but got better as the match went along and did a tremendous job hitting tonight."
There was no all-tournament team selected by the Air Force Invite.
WSU opens Pac-12 play Tues., Sept. 18 at No. 5 Washington (9-0) with a 7 p.m. match at Alaska Airlines Arena. The match will be televised on the Pac-12 TV Networks.