|Vandals come up short|
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Almost, but not quite. That’s how it has seemed for the Idaho volleyball team lately, and Saturday evening was no different, as Idaho fell 25-23, 25-20, 27-25 to San Diego State to wrap up the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament.
The Vandals had a chance to take the first set, leading 22-18, but the Aztecs used a 7-1 run to close steal a 25-23 win and take a 1-0 lead in the match. Idaho was unable to play catch-up in a 25-20 loss in the second set, and needed a third-set win to extend the match. The Vandals trailed 20-18 before rallying for a chance to win the set with a 24-23 advantage. But San Diego State withstood the charge and responded with a 27-25 win to complete the sweep. Idaho falls to 3-4 on the season with the loss while the Aztecs improve to 3-3.
“We just need to go back and restructure some things,” Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said. “At the end of matches we’re not the one pushing the points, it’s the other team. We’ve got to bring it. That’s something we’re going to have to work on.”
Idaho junior Jessica Hastriter had 10 kills and hit .474 in the match. For the tournament, Hastriter hit .329 with 3.63 kills per set and earned all-tournament team honors.
“Jess had a good weekend,” Buchanan said. “That’s good for her. We’re definitely scoring points when she’s up there. If she continues to gain confidence she can be pretty hard to stop. For her there’s a big difference as far as what she’s bringing right now, she’s doing the right things.”
Sophomore Katelyn Peterson added 10 kills of her own to go along with five digs, two blocks and an ace. Junior Alyssa Schultz had seven kills and six blocks for the Vandals, and sophomore Meredith Coba finished with 27 assists, six digs and three blocks. Jenna Ellis had a team-high nine digs and added three assists in the match.
The Vandals hit .229 in the match while San Diego State hit .250. The Aztecs held a 59-34 advantage in digs but gave up a 10-7 edge in total blocks to the Vandals. Each team served up four aces in the match.
“We played better this game and the crazy thing is we had 19 errors to their 33 errors,” Buchanan said. “We have to swing harder and go for more kills. We knew this was going to be a tough tournament. These are the types of teams we wanted to play to make our team better.”
The Vandals return to action next weekend when they visit Boise, Idaho for the Bronco Volleyball Classic with matches against Boise State, Sacramento State and North Texas, Sept. 12-14.