Cougs Sweep UC Irvine in Season Opener
Aug. 27, 2010
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State Cougars volleyball team opened the 2010 season by sweeping UC Irvine Friday night in the second match of the Nike Cougar Invitational tournament before 1,056 fans in Bohler Gym. WSU won the match with set scores of 25-23, 25-15, and 25-19. This was the 19th time in the past 20 years that the Cougars have won their season-opening match and the sixth consecutive first match win.
"It was really tough going into this match as far as not knowing how good we were going to be," Cougar Head Coach Andrew Palileo said. "Going into this season I felt we had good players in place but it was a matter of if Conley (Kipp) could step in and play and if Alex (Diemer) could get in there and how well Vanessa (Murray) played. I thought all three played well tonight. Alex has not played a lot in the last couple years and I thought she did a good job running the offense. We have to get a little bit more aggressive and force a little more to our middles to keep our outsides from getting double and triple-teamed out there. Tonight was a lot better than I thought it might be."
WSU junior Meagan Ganzer and sophomore Rachel Todorovich had double-doubles, leading the match with 12 kills each while Ganzer added 12 digs and Todorovich had 10 digs and hit .429 for the match. Senior Brittany Tillman led the match with five blocks while the Cougar setter, junior Alex Diemer, had 28 assists and three blocks. Sophomore Oceana Bush had 12 digs.
UC Irvine was led by Larissa Nordyke's 11 kills with Kristin Winkler adding 12 digs and Kari Pestolesi contributing 11 digs. Setters Marissa Alvarez and Mary Carls combined for 22 assist.
WSU out-hit the Anteaters .240 to .038 and out-blocked the visitors 8 to 3.
"I have a new mindset this year. Instead of being afraid of balls being tipped my way or dumped my way or anything loose that wasn't hard-driven or off-speed I was afraid of before and I didn't know how to handle it. But now I'm excited to be on the floor and be the first one to go get it," Ganzer said. "Two years of playing at this level under my belt has really helped me adapt and it is a maturity thing knowing it is my job and I can't expect someone else to do it."
In the opening match of the tournament, Idaho defeated Weber State with set scores of 25-27, 25-16, 25-18, and 25-22. Freshman Allison Walker led the Vandals with 23 kills and hit .391. Alicia Milo added 15 kills and Cassie Hamilton had a match-high 26 digs. Weber State's Bethany Wray and Emily Jones each had 15 kills.
The Saturday Nike Cougar Invitational tournament schedule is: Washington State vs. Weber State (10 a.m.), UC Irvine vs. Idaho (Noon), UC Irvine vs. Weber State (4:30 p.m.), and WSU vs. Idaho (7 p.m.). All matches are in Bohler Gym.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS