Nov. 28, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Five Cougars had double-figure kills Friday night as the Washington State volleyball team won its second Pacific-10 Conference match of the season defeating Arizona State 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20, before 401 fans at Bohler Gym.
Sophomore Brittany Tillman led the Cougs, 9-19 overall, 2-15 in league play, with 14 kills (.375) and six blocks. Emily Rooney, Jackie Albright and Meagan Ganzer each added 13 kills with Rooney hitting an outstanding .600 (1 error on 20 attacks) on the night. Ganzer, a freshman, also contributed four blocks while Albright had 12 digs. Renee Bordelon came in as the setter after the opening set and had 41 assists. Freshman Bree Flach was the libero and for the entire match and had 18 digs and senior Amy Small added 11 digs. Rooney and Kelly Hyder each had one ace.
The Cougars hit .317 for the match and out-blocked the Sun Devils 11 to five.
"We had a lot to play for. We still had two home matches and we only won one (Pac-10 match) last year, so for us to come out and try to win these two this weekend, to me that is a lot to play for," WSU Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "You know we were just trying to focus and trying to continue to play as well as we had been against U of W and Oregon State; just trying to carry the momentum. I thought we had more to lose actually than they did. The way we came out and played tonight, as far as offensively, and then picking it up defensively, I thought was pretty good."
Arizona State, 13-17 overall and 4-13 in Pac-10 action, was led by Margie Giordano with a match-high 21 kills. Sarah Reaves added and kills and 14 digs and Marina Mercer had 51 assists. Sonja Markanovich and Sara Todorovich each had three blocks. Sarah Johnson had a match-high 20 digs.
Early in the first set ASU extended its 9-8 lead to 15-9. WSU scored the next three points but gave up four tallies after that to fall behind 20-12. The Cougs made a run late in the contest, out-scoring the Sun Devils five to one to bring the score to 24-19. Todorovich landed her sixth kill to give the visitors the 25-20 win. Tillman had five kills and four blocks in this opening set.
The second set was well-contested until the end, with six tie scores and two lead changes. With ASU ahead 15-13, WSU out-scored the Sun Devils 10 to three to take a 23-18 lead. Markanovich's tip and an ace from Mercer were the last points for ASU. WSU closed out the set with kills from Johnson and Rooney and took the set 25-20. Reaves landed six kills for ASU while WSU's Albright had five and Rooney four kills in this set. Cougars hit .342 in this set and held ASU to .136.
Washington State came out of the break on fire. The Cougs were never behind in this set and kept the Sun Devils from mounting a charge late in the set. Ganzer was a prominent part of this win as the freshman found her groove early and contributed six kills and a block. WSU hit .357 while ASU hit .211.
The Cougars roared out to a 16-10 lead when the Sun Devils took their second and final timeout. WSU extended its lead to 23-18 when ASU landed two points behind kills from Markanovich and Giordano. After a WSU timeout, ASU committed a pair of attack errors giving WSU the 25-20 set win and the Cougars treated the post-holiday crowd to a victory.
Ganzer said the win was a team effort. "Everybody played so well. Renee did amazing and made me look so good; she made everybody look good," Ganzer said. "Everybody was supporting everybody and this was the first game we really did not doubt ourselves, we just went out and took what we knew and what we've been working on so hard and took that and said, `Yes we are going to win.' (We) changed our mindset from `Oh I don't know' to `Yes, we are winning and we can take this match.' We played as a team and we all looked great."
"We're getting better and I told the team that you can see on tape that we are getting better," Palileo said. "Now it's just a matter of getting over that hump of when things get tight, our mindset needs to change from okay, what are we going to do to win this thing to okay, this is what we are going to do, we're going to win this thing."
Washington State hosts Arizona Saturday night in Bohler Gym for the final volleyball match of the 2008 season for the Cougs. The Wildcats, 16-13 overall, 6-11 in Pac-10, were 3-1 losers at No. 5 Washington Friday night.