|Vandals dismantle Kansas City|
PHOENIX, Ariz. – It was a fun night to be an Idaho volleyball fan as the Vandals bulldozed Kansas City 25-19, 25-14, 25-15 in the Western Athletic Conference quarterfinals to reach the semis for the third consecutive season.
It was the sixth straight win for Idaho, which improved to 19-10 on the season with the victory. Kansas City ends its season at 15-14 overall.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EHvzXchRfZg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
“It’s huge for us,” Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said of the win. “We’ve definitely been on a little bit of a momentum swing and we’re getting more and more confidence with this younger team. We had some specific goals tonight, making sure that we came out a lot stronger. We just played UMKC on the road two weeks ago and we were a little bit flat, so we wanted to come out and execute some things better than the last time we played them.”
The Vandals seemingly executed everything at a high level, hitting .299 in the match while holding the ‘Roos to a .041 clip. The hitting percentage discrepancy can be partially attributed to Idaho’s 10-2 advantage in blocks. Idaho also owned a 51-44 lead in digs and a 5-4 edge in service aces.
Sophomore Katelyn Peterson had a team-high 11 kills and hit .286 in the match, and added four digs, three aces and two blocks. Junior Alyssa Schultz had six kills and four blocks for the Vandals while hitting .429, and junior Jessica Hastriter added seven kills of her own. Taylor Wilkinson had six kills and hit a team-best .444 in the match, and added two blocks. Terra Varney and Jenna Ellis each had 13 digs in the match. Meredith Coba tallied 33 assists and was two digs shy of her sixth double-double of the season, finishing with eight. Samantha Delmer had eight digs for Idaho as well, setting a new career high.
“We came out tonight wanting to win in three and we wanted to spread our offense, which we did,” Schultz said after the match. “We wanted to fly around and play with more passion than we did in the regular season. This is what it all comes down to so we went out and fought hard and came out with a 3-0 win.”
Idaho’s 19 wins this season match the 2003 and 2008 teams for the most since the program’s 25-win campaign in 1996. The fourth-seeded Vandals will face top-seed New Mexico State on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. (PT) in a rematch of last year’s WAC championship match, when NM State took a four-set victory over Idaho.
“They’re going to be a lot tougher opponent. They’re a lot bigger and more physical,” Schultz said of facing New Mexico State. “We just have to be ready for longer rallies, bigger plays, and get our mind set for a different type of team, but I have no doubt that we can come out and win.”
For live stats and a live web stream of Tuesday’s match, visit www.WACSports.com.