Sept. 6, 2008
MOSCOW, Idaho -- The Washington State volleyball team dropped a 3-1 match to Eastern Washington Saturday afternoon in the final Cougar contest at the Idaho Classic Volleyball tournament at Memorial Gym. EWU's winning set scores were 25-27, 25-20, 25-16, 26-24.
WSU is now 3-3 while Eastern Washington moved to 3-3 before taking on host Idaho in the championship match of the tournament. Emily Rooney, WSU senior from Red Wing, Minn., was named to the all-tournament team.
Cassie Robbins (junior, Yakima, Wash.) led the Cougs with 10 kills (.412) while Brittany Johnson (senior, Phoenix, Ariz.) and Brittany Tillman (sophomore, Tacoma, Wash.) combined for 17 kills. Tillman led the team with seven blocks and Bree Flach (freshman, Shabbona, Ill.) contributed 15 digs. Breann Nesselhuf (freshman, Swink, Colo.) had 27 assists and Renee Bordelon (junior, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) added 12 assists.
EWU's Hayley Hills had a match-high 17 kills while Alysha Cook added 10 kills. JaNae Mortensen led the match with 18 digs and Hills chipped in another 15 digs. Setter Ashley Hamilton had 46 assists and Amy VanderWel had four aces and 10 digs. Alison Reinstein led the match with eight blocks.
Washington State battled back and forth with the Eagles in the first set, taking a 23-21 lead. EWU tied the match at 23 and again at 24 and 25. Back-to-back kills by Jackie Albright gave WSU the 27-25 set win. WSU hit .324 as a team to EWU's .184.
Eastern came back strong in the second set, taking a lead that extended to seven points late in the set. The Cougs closed the gap behind the serving of Meagan Ganzer (freshman, Black Diamond, Wash.) but could not come closer than the 20-25 final score.
The third set was tied at 10-all when EWU out-scored the Cougs 12 to 2, going up 21-12. The Eagles hit .321 for this set and held the Cougars to a -.027 hitting percentage as EWU grabbed a 25-16 win.
Washington State again had to battle back in the fourth set, down by five points, 20-15. WSU went on a 7 to 2 run to tie the set at 22. The squads traded points, tying again at 23 and 24 points. A kill by Jacque Brown placed the Eags serving for match point and a miss-handled set by a Tillman gave EWU the 26-24 win.
"There are things that we are trying to work on as far as transition," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "We show glimpses of it but we are just not consistently doing it. It puts us in a tough position when we don't do it based on the talent that we have right now. I think over the course of the last two weeks I don't know if we have improved as much as I would have liked. I think there are still a lot of things that we have to work on and continue to try and get better at."
Washington State hosts Gonzaga for a non-league contest Wed., Sept. 10, and then welcomes No. 22 Wichita State, Montana State and Northwestern for the Cougar Challenge tournament, Sept. 12-13. All home matches will be played on Saneholtz Court in Bohler Gym.