|Vandals win five-set thriller|
MOSCOW --After opening up with two dominating wins in the first two sets, the Idaho volleyball team would need three more to close out Texas State in a 3-2 Western Athletic Conference win Thursday night in Memorial Gym.
The Vandals won 25-14 and 25-13 in the first two sets to pull ahead 2-0, but the Bobcats won 25-23 and 25-21 to force a fifth set. Idaho jumped out to a 9-2 lead in that final set before winning 15-8. The Vandals improve to 5-10 on the season and 3-2 in WAC play with the win, while Texas State falls to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in the WAC.
"I think Texas State came out and did some better things, they really worked us cross-court and we didn't adjust," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said of the third and fourth sets. "We have to make sure that we don't get down. We got down pretty quick in game three. I don't think we did a great job in the middle of the match, but then we bounced back at the end."
While outside hitter Allison (Walker) Baker led the Vandals with 19 kills, Idaho got a huge offensive boost from its middles. Sophomore Alyssa Schultz finished with 13 kills and hit .500 while senior Alex Sele had 10 kills and hit .600 in the match. Schultz added six blocks and Sele had two. Freshman outside hitter Katelyn Peterson had 14 kills for the Vandals and hit .263 in the match.
Julia Church had five kills, seven digs, three blocks and two aces for Idaho, and didn't have an error, hitting .417. Jenny Feicht managed a majority of the setting duties for Idaho, which lately has been running a 6-2 rotation with Feicht and Ryann Carter setting. Feicht had 41 assists and seven digs in the match, and helped Idaho to a .301 hitting percentage, its second highest of the season. Janelle Chow led Idaho with 20 digs in the match, Jenna Ellis had eight and Baker finished with 12, marking her 10th double-double of the season.
"We're doing some great things," Buchanan said. "We're a different team in the last week and a half. We saw that in the Utah State match and we saw it in the first two games tonight. We're starting to see a level of enthusiasm and energy and motivation, and a higher level of play where it looks like we've got a bit of a personality about us. I don't think we had that towards the beginning of the year."
Idaho out-hit the Bobcats .301-.170, and held a 66-62 advantage in digs. The Vandals also out-blocked Texas State 10.0-7.0. Each team had five service aces.
Redshirt-freshman Meredith Coba came on to set the third set for Idaho, her first primary setting action of her young career, and she finished with 10 assists and two blocks, setting Idaho to a .205 hitting percentage in the set.
The match was the seventh five-setter for Idaho this season, and the Vandals are now 2-5 in five-set matches in 2012.
The Vandals return to action to host UTSA as WAC play continues on Saturday. That match begins at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym.