|Vandals sweep Wolf Pack|
PULLMAN, Wash. – The non-conference portion of Idaho’s volleyball schedule ended the same way it began, with a 3-0 victory as the Vandals dismissed former Western Athletic Conference foe Nevada 25-21, 25-17, 25-23 on Friday afternoon.
Outside hitter Katelyn Peterson led the Vandals with 13 kills and a .407 hitting percentage to go along with seven digs. Middle blocker Alyssa Schultz added 10 kills and four blocks for the Vandals, who improved to 7-5 on the season and fellow middle Taylor Wilkinson matched her career-high hitting percentage of .667 with eight kills and no errors on 11 attempts. Meredith Coba distributed the ball well and finished with 30 assists, eight digs and a career-high three aces.
“Coba did a nice job of finding them,” Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said of the production the Vandals got out of the middle from Schultz and Wilkinson. “At the beginning they were really committing with our middles but as the match went on and we started getting our pins more involved and then went back to our middles, we had more openings. Coba did a nice job of being able to balance that out.”
Ashley Christman also had a career-high three aces in the match, and added four kills, two digs and two blocks. The Vandals out-hit Nevada .294-.212, and had a 4-3 advantage in blocks while giving up three aces. Idaho’s .294 hitting percentage in the match was more than 30 points higher than its season average, just one night after hitting a season-low .175 in a three-set loss to Washington State.
“We played a little steadier, we were a little bit more controlled and played more of our style of volleyball today, and we didn’t have as many errors,” Buchanan said of Friday’s performance compared to Thursday’s. “The kids never gave up, and I thought that was one of the things we did a little bit last night is we just didn’t fight through. Today I thought we played all the way through the whole match.”
Friday was Idaho’s second three-set sweep of 2013, the other one coming in the season-opener against Montana State.
Idaho opens WAC play next week with three homes conference matches in a five-day stretch. The Vandals host Utah Valley on Sept. 26, Bakersfield on Sept. 28 and Grand Canyon on Sept. 30. All three of those matches begin at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym.
“We thought our record would be a little different, but as far as the things that we’re doing and the outcome, we’re getting better every week and that’s what we want,” Buchanan said of Idaho’s non-conference season. “We still have some things to work on if we’re going to win a championship in our conference.”