Volleyball Loses Season-Opener in Five Games
Sept. 3, 2004
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The Washington State volleyball team lost the season-opener and the Brian Heffernan coaching era will have to play another day to get the first-year coach his initial career win. UNLV defeated the WSU 30-17, 30-12, 30-32, 22-30, 15-11 Friday afternoon at Cox Pavilion on the University of Nevada Las Vegas campus.
UNLV's Brittani Lumsden led all players with 28 kills (.274) and Maria Aladjova added 26 kills (.364). Setter Marisa Okamoto had 76 assists while Jada Walker and Michelle Banks had 14 digs each. Lumsden added five service aces and Mariana Pencheva led the team with three blocks.
WSU was led by the 15 kills of Jen Barcus (.323) while Jennifer Todd and Kelly Rosin added 14 kills each. Todd led all players with six blocks and Rosin added five blocks. Stacey Holbrook had the match-high 15 digs. Freshman setter Nicole Martin had 47 assists.
"We started out really, really nervous and playing really tight. I'd never seen them in practice that way," Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "But I'm just so proud of the way they finished the match. Although we didn't win, I thought they gave a great effort after two games down and not even being close. They could have gone three and out very easily. I'm very, very proud of our athletes tonight."
UNLV was playing without the services of senior setter and school career assists record-holder Nicki King and sophomore middle blocker Lauren Miramontes who sat out this match because of an NCAA eligibility ruling.
The Rebels jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game one with three service aces from Lumsden. Aladjova led UNLV to a .444 hitting percentage as she tagged nine kills and hit .615.
UNLV outscored the Cougars seven to one at the end of the second game to wrap up a 30-12 win. WSU hit -.079 in this game while UNLV hit .368.
The third game was a tight contest with a total of ten ties. WSU was ahead 28-25 when the Cougars ran out of subs (only 12 allowed per game). UNLV struck back with three consecutive points including a kill from Banks, an ace from Ashley Flahaven and an errant hit from Todd, to tie the game at 28. Banks then shanked an attack but Todd served long so the game was knotted again at 29. April Lott and Barcus combined on a block followed by Rosin's attack going long to tie the game at 30. Kills from Liz Spear and Lott brought the game to a 32-30 win for WSU.
The Cougars used the momentum of the third game to propel themselves to a 30-22 fourth game win. WSU hit .471 with 17 kills and only one error in 34 attacks, and held the Rebels to a .087 hitting percentage. Barcus had six kills while Rosin and Todd contributed four kills each and the Cougars had eight blocks in the game.
UNLV took a 10-5 lead but WSU fought back to within to at 12-10. Aladjova landed a tip followed by a kill from Barcus for a 13-11 score. A long serve by Rosin and an attack error by Lott gave the host Rebels the 15-11 fifth game win and new head coach Allison Keeley the season-opening victory.
UNLV (1-0) 30 30 30 22 15 Washington State (0-1) 17 12 32 30 11 STATISTICS: KILLS - UNLV 81 (Lumsden 28), WSU 58 (Barcus 15) HITTING PERCENTAGE - UNLV .283, WSU .199 ASSISTS - UNLV 77 (Okamoto 76), WSU 50 (Martin 47) DIGS - UNLV 76 (Banks, Walker 14 each), WSU 58 (Holbrook 15) BLOCKS - UNLV 5 (Pencheva 3), WSU 10 (Todd 6) SERVICE ACES - UNLV 9 (Lumsden 5), WSU 3 (Martin, Barcus, M. Camp 1 each) Attendance: 150.
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