|Vandals sweep for 700th win|
MOSCOW - The Idaho volleyball team picked up the programs 700th all-time win in style on Thursday night with a 3-0 Western Athletic Conference win over Louisiana Tech in Memorial Gym.
Idaho held the Lady Techsters (3-25, 0-16 WAC) to a -.058 hitting percentage, the lowest for an Idaho opponent this season; earned its fifth 3-0 sweep of the season, and got back to .500 overall for the first time since Aug. 30 when the team was 2-2. The Vandals improve to 13-13 on the year and 11-5 in the WAC with the win, the team's third in its last four matches. Idaho's all-time record improves to 700-560-1 (.555).
"It's great to be a part of that," Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said of the program's 700th win. "Obviously it's not just us. It's every player who has come before in Idaho history, and every coach who has come before. It's a great monument for a lot of people out there and we're just glad that we could be a part of it."
Idaho held LA Tech to a negative hitting percentage in all three sets, and out-hit the Lady Techsters .214--.058. Aiding Idaho on both offense and defense were seniors Alex Sele and Julia Church, who combined for 13 kills and seven blocks with no errors. Sele had eight kills on 13 attempts to hit .615 with four blocks, while Church had five kills on eight attempts, hitting .625, and added three blocks.
Allison (Walker) Baker had her 18th double-double of the season, finishing with 11 kills and 10 digs, hitting .207 in the match while adding four blocks. She also had two of Idaho's five aces. Junior Ashley Christman overcame a slow start to finish with eight kills, three digs and two blocks, hitting .235. Jenny Feicht had 15 assists and seven digs for Idaho, and Ryann Carter had 12 assists and six digs. Senior Janelle Chow had 11 digs and seven assists for Idaho.
After a 25-11 win in the first set, some sloppy play to begin the second left Idaho in an 11-4 hole early on. But the Vandals used a 13-4 run to take a 17-15 lead en route to a 25-21 victory. Idaho closed out the milestone win with a 25-14 victory in set three.
"We're trying to get our kids to understand that it doesn't matter who you play," Buchanan said. "They haven't won a WAC game all year, but they almost took a set off of us because we didn't take care of things. We have to be aggressive, we have to control the match, and we came out in game three and we did a good job."
The Vandals held a 5-2 advantage in aces, a 10.0-7.0 lead in blocks and a 48-41 edge in digs in the match. Louisiana Tech finished with 23 kills and 29 errors on 103 attempts to hit -.058.
The Vandals host UT Arlington at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the final home match of the year. Six seniors will be honored in a special Senior Night ceremony after the match. Idaho will then hit the road for the regular season finale at New Mexico State on Nov. 15 before heading to the WAC tournament in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 19-21. While the top seed in the WAC tournament has been wrapped up by Utah State, two wins to close out the season would guarantee Idaho at least a share of second place in the WAC for the second straight season.