|Vandals fall in WAC semi's|
LAS VEGAS - The Idaho volleyball team put up a tough fight, even threatening to become the first Western Athletic Conference team to take a set from No. 3 Hawai'i this season. But in the end, the Rainbow Wahine were just too much for the Vandals, eliminating Idaho from the WAC tournament with a 25-11; 25-21 and 25-16 semifinal victory.
Hawai'i advances to the WAC finals and improves to 28-1 on the season with the win, while Idaho ends its season with a 14-15 overall record. It was Idaho's third trip to the WAC semifinals in its six seasons in the conference.
"Before the match we had a game plan in place of what we thought we had to do," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said. "Really, we were playing a great team that doesn't make a lot of errors and plays at a high level. That's why they're third in the country."
The Vandals were led by 12 kills and 10 digs from Alicia Milo, while Allison Walker had 11 kills in the match. Jenny Feicht tallied 26 assists and Cassie Hamilton led Idaho with 17 digs. Ashley Christman and Rylee Walker each came off the bench and contributed three kills for the Vandals.
Idaho hit .150 as a team for the match, but UH hit .381 and held a 51-33 advantage in kills and a 58-48 edge in digs. UH out-blocked the Vandals 5.0-2.0 in the match.
"We have to keep our errors to a minimum and I think at times we just had too many errors, and that's the difference," Buchanan said. "We had plays where we battled with them, but we just made too many errors."
The Vandals had their best chance to steal a set in set number two, as Idaho battled to tie the match at 20-20. But UH finished with authority to seal a 25-21 set victory and pull ahead 2-0 in the match.
"I thought we passed better, it thought we were getting better swings and serving tougher," Buchanan said of the second game. "That's the challenge when you play a good team like that is you can't let lots of runs go, and I thought we did a better job of that in the second game."
Hawai'i will meet No. 3 seed Utah State in the WAC championship match on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. That match will be broadcast on national TV on ESPN-U.