Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Moscow, Idaho)
Julia Church
Battle of WAC's top two Thursday
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 10/16/2012
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MOSCOW - At the mid-way point of the Western Athletic Conference season, the Idaho volleyball team finds itself in second place in the WAC, riding a six-match win streak entering Thursday's showdown with first-place Utah State.

The Vandals (9-10, 7-2 WAC) began their current streak with a dominating 3-0 sweep of the Aggies (13-7, 8-2 WAC) in Logan, Utah on Sept. 22 when Idaho hit a season-high .352 and held the Aggies to a .096 hitting percentage. The Vandals will look to match their longest win streak since 1999 at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym.

"We have to play our game," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said about Idaho's match against Utah State. "They run a faster offense than some of the teams that we play, but in some ways they're like a clone of what we do, from a defensive standpoint. They've got a good team, they're playing strong and sitting in first place."

On Saturday, Idaho will have the chance to avenge its last loss, which came Sept. 20 at San Jose State via a 3-0 sweep. Idaho hit just .113 while SJSU hit .337 in that match. The Spartans are 9-11 on the season and 5-5 in WAC play. Saturday's match begins at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym.

"We need to play well against San Jose State," Buchanan said. "That's one that we kind of let slip through our fingers when we didn't really show up. We've got to be better. We just didn't show up, there's not one thing you can say we didn't do well, it was just one of those matches that did not go our way from our standpoint."

Idaho is approaching a couple all-time wins milestones, and has the chance to reach both this season. The Vandals have 696 all-time wins, just four shy of the program's milestone 700th win. Idaho also has 246 all-time wins in historic Memorial Gym, and with five home matches remaining in 2012, can reach the program's 250th home win this season.

Fans can follow both matches this week with free live stats at, or live web streaming (subscription fee required) with VandalXtra.

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