|Vandals win in five set thriller|
MOSCOW - The Idaho volleyball team was down several times, but never out, and in the end, the Vandals battled to a thrilling five-set victory over Washington State to wrap up the Idaho Volleyball Invitational on Saturday night.
Idaho won the match 25-19, 21-25, 20-25, 28-26 and 15-13 to improve to 2-1 in 2012, while Washington State fell to 1-2.
The Vandals faced match point twice in the fourth set, trailing 25-24 and 26-25 before clawing back to win 28-26 to force a decisive fifth set. There, the Vandals trailed 8-6 before rattling off four straight points to pull ahead 10-8. The Vandals went ahead 14-11 before clinching the 15-13 match-clinching win.
"I told them after the game that I'm so proud of what they were able to do tonight," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said. "We didn't give up. A few years ago we would have rolled. They didn't give up, they fought. We were down in game five and they came back and rallied. They have that belief which is good, now we just have to work on the skill side to go along with that."
Idaho junior Allison (Walker) Baker and sophomore Alyssa Schultz earned all-tournament team honors for their efforts, and Idaho, going 2-1 in the event, earned a second-place finish. Baker finished Saturday's match against WSU with 28 kills and 14 digs, her third double-double of the tournament, while hitting .284 with five total blocks. Schultz had 11 kills and six blocks against the Cougars and hit .321.
"They deserved it," Buchanan said of the all-tournament honors. "Allison struggled a little bit trying to do too much the first night, but she's a big part of our offense. She passes, she plays defense, she's blocking and making the big swings when we need it. Alyssa has just been steady all weekend offensively and led us in blocking. If I could have added one more it would have been Janelle Chow, I think she had the best weekend of her career so far. We wouldn't have gotten that win without her."
Chow had 17 digs Saturday night and averaged 4.71 digs per set for the tournament. Junior Ashley Christman has 12 kills and three blocks Saturday night, and hit .231. Alex Sele and Taylor Wilkinson each had three kills and hit .286 in the middle for the Vandals against the Cougars. Ryann Carter had 58 assists and 12 digs, and set the Vandals to a .217 hitting percentage. Jenna Ellis had 10 digs and Katelyn Peterson had eight kills and three digs.
Washington State hit .211 in the match, and had 60 assists, 79 digs and 12.5 total blocks. Idaho finished with 63 assists, 69 digs and 12.0 total blocks. The win is Idaho's second straight against WSU. The Vandals swept the Cougars 3-0 in 2010.
The Vandals return to action Aug. 30 when they visit Cal Poly, before taking on UC Santa Barbara and Northeastern at the UCSB Fall Invitational Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.