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WCC Women's Volleyball Recaps 8-29

Aug. 29, 2006

Washington State 3, Portland 0
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Pilots dropped their volleyball season opener in three games to the Washington State Cougars on Tuesday night at the Chiles Center. The Cougars topped Portland 30-22, 30-17, 30-16 to improve to 4-1 on the season. Portland opens at 0-1.

"Washington State is very well coached and plays a difficult style of volleyball," head coach Doug Sparks said. "They are very fast, probably faster than any team we'll face this season, so it was a good first match. The difference was our immaturity in taking care of the ball and we must improve in that area to be successful."

Portland came out of the gates clicking in the first game and took a 10-7 lead on a kill by junior setter Kara Pein (pictured). The Cougs battled back and eventually took the lead for good at 14-13.

The second game belonged to the Cougars who built their biggest lead of the match at 20-9. Portland countered with kills from freshman Maria Clemens, juniors Kelly Whitehouse and Nicole Thometz and senior Jennifer Sheedy. A service ace from Tara West clinched the game for Wazzu.

Portland battled in the third game, tying it at 18-18 on a kill by sophomore K.C. Fox. Washington State outscored the Pilots 12-8 the rest of the way to seal the win.

"It's tough opening against a team that already has four matches under its belt," said Sparks "We just need more time playing together and our improvement will show soon."

Fox, Sheedy and Thometz led the Pilot attack with eight kills each. Kelly Rosin had a game-high 13 kills for Washington State.

The announced attendance of 491 is the fourth largest crowd in UP volleyball history.

The Pilots next take the floor at the Wildcat Classic in Davidson, N.C. next weekend. Portland faces Liberty on Thursday, August 31 at 2:30 p.m. The Pilots then play Ohio on Friday at 9:30 a.m. and Morehead State on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

Nebraska 3, San Diego 0
LINCOLN, Neb. - The 20th-ranked University of San Diego women's volleyball team was swept, 3-0 (18-30, 25-30, 29-31), by the No. 1 ranked University of Nebraska (1-0) Tuesday evening at the Nebraska Coliseum.

Kristen Carlson had a double-double for the Toreros with her match-best 13 kills and also had 12 digs. Christie Dawson chipped in with nine kills and Jessica Nyrop had a team-best 26 assists.

Nebraska had a team attack percentage of .192 with Jordan Larson matching Carlson's match-best 13 kills and Sarah Pavin was the only other player in double digit kills with 12.

In the first game, the Toreros (3-1) had a case of nerves hit them as they fell behind early with the Nebraska lead reaching 11 at 20-9, but USD settled down and launched a monster comeback outscoring the Cornhuskers 8-2 to pull to within five.

The two teams then traded points back and forth, but the momentum swung back to Nebraska after the two questionable calls that cost USD two valuable points. The first call that went against USD was an apparent kill by Carlson, who had a nicely placed ball on what appeared to be the inside of the court. But the official called the ball out, much to the dislike of the Toreros players and coaching staff, giving Nebraska a 24-18 edge. Then Nebraska had an apparent attack error as the ball was clearly out of bounds and it appeared as though no USD player had touched the ball, however the officials claimed a Torero player did touch the ball, thus moving the score to 26-18. The Cornhuskers then scored the final six points of the game to win.

In the second game, the Toreros kept things close throughout the match. NU took their biggest lead at 12-7, but USD began to chip away at the lead and brought the score even at 14-14. The two teams then sea sawed back and forth for momentum with Nebraska taking a 23-19 lead. The Toreros then dug in and tied the score at 23 all before Nebraska outscored USD 7-2 to claim the second game.

Game three was a nail bitter as the Toreros were able to stay with the Cornhuskers throughout the game and even tied the match up late at 29-29, but USD just could come no closer as NU took the next two points to claim the three-game sweep over USD.

The Toreros will return to the court on Thursday as they open play in the UC Irvine Nike Invitational against the host Anteaters at 7 p.m. inside the Bren Events Center on the campus of UC Irvine.