Volleyball Makes No. 4 USC Earn 3-1 Win
Oct. 18, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State volleyball team dropped a match to No. 4 University of Southern California but not before making the Women of Troy earn the win in four games Thursday night on Marcia Saneholtz Court at Bohler Gym.
The Cougars, 9-13 overall, 0-8 in Pac-10 play, won the second game decisively and looked strong in the first and third games. USC's depth proved more than the home team could handle as the visitors moved to a 17-2 overall record, 6-2 in league play, with the 30-25, 20-30, 30-24, 30-18 win.
"The first three games we were very competitive and it felt like we were in control, not necessarily in control of the match but in control of our own selves and that was a real positive for our team and for our coaching staff," Cougar Head Coach Brian Heffernan said. "The streaks of points are still an issue for us and we call it in coach-talk stopping the bleeding; finding a way to score a point or side-out or put them in trouble and that would still be the biggest point of emphasis for us. I thought that in all areas we were good tonight."
Senior Tara West had 15 kills, hit .500, and had six blocks on the night to lead WSU. Brittany Johnson added 11 kills and four blocks. Maureen Perez had another solid contribution with 41 assists, 13 digs, two aces and four blocks. Cassie Robbins added four blocks and Jackie Albright tagged 12 digs. Kelly Hyder also had 13 digs and Stephanie Weishaar tagged another pair of service aces.
USC's Asia Kaczor led the match with 23 kills, hit .488, grabbed 13 digs and had two blocks. Jessica Gysin also had a double-double night with 16 kills and 15 digs and Zoe Garrett just missed with 10 kills and 9 blocks. Geena Urango dug up the match-high 19 digs, Alli Hillgren had two aces and 16 digs, while Taylor Carico had 60 assists and seven blocks.
Washington State stopped USC twice at game point in the opener before falling 30-25. WSU used the momentum to come on strong in the second game. The Cougs were never behind in the second set with ties at 10 and 11 points only. WSU hit .379 and held USC to .171 for the 30-20 Cougar win. After the break, WSU was still playing tough, staying within striking distance and tying up the game at 19 points and again at 21-all. USC laced three kills together before the Cougs responded with a pair of their own. The visitors again scored a trio of points before WSU grabbed a point on an SC service error. The game ended on a pair of Cougar attack errors and USC taking the 30-24 win. The fourth game was dominated by the Women of Troy as they hit .375 and held WSU to .022 for the 30-18 win.
On her return as the Cougars' kills leader in the match, West said, "It feels really great to be able to contribute a little bit more and hopefully I can keep playing consistently like this. I think the difference between those (first three games) and game four at the end was just the fact that we started really slow were not able to get back into it. We made too many service errors and dug a big hole for ourselves. But in the first couple of games I thought we did a real good job of sticking with them."
Washington State completes the first half of the Pac-10 Conference schedule when it hosts No. 7 UCLA (15-4, 5-3) Friday night at Bohler Gym. The Bruins lost at No. 5 Washington Thursday night 3-0.
No. 4 USC (17-2, 6-2) def. Washington State (9-13, 0-8) 30-25, 30-30, 30-24, 30-18 KILLS - USC 71 (Kaczor 23), WSU 53 (West 15) HITTING PERCENTAGE - USC .280, WSU .170 ASSISTS - USC 65 (Carico 60), WSU 48 (Perez 41) DIGS - USC 74 (Urango 19), WSU 60 (Hyder 13, Perez 13) BLOCKS - USC 11 (Garrett 9), WSU 12 (West 6) SERVICE ACES - USC 6 (Urango 2, Hillgren 2), WSU 6 (Weishaar 2, Perez 2) Attendance: 537.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS