Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
Jenna Ellis
Vandals pounce Grand Canyon
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 09/30/2013
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MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho volleyball team got its sixth win in its last eight matches Monday night with a 3-0 sweep of Western Athletic Conference challenger Grand Canyon.

Idaho won 26-24, 25-18, 25-23 for its third sweep of 2013, and improves to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in the WAC with the win. Grand Canyon falls to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in the WAC.

Idaho junior Jessica Hastriter led the Vandals with 15 kills and six digs while hitting .333 in the match. Alyssa Schultz, Taylor Wilkinson and Katelyn Peterson each added seven kills for the Vandals and Ashley Christman finished with six.

“That’s what we’ve been working on in practice this entire season,” sophomore setter Meredith Coba said of Idaho’s distribution. “All of our hitters are awesome and they can put the ball down so it’s awesome being a setter and being able to distribute the ball equally so they can take care of it. That makes it fun and easy for me.”

Coba finished with 38 assists, seven digs and two blocks in the match, and set Idaho to a .300 hitting percentage, while sophomore libero Jenna Ellis had a match-high 13 digs. The Vandals improve to 6-0 in 2013 when hitting .250 or better.

“Our distribution was good and we passed well enough at times to spread it out,” Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said after the match.

With a 2-0 lead in the match, the Vandals trailed 14-8 in the third set. But a 6-1 run pulled Idaho within one at 14-15, then after two straight GCU points Idaho was able to tie the match at 18-18. Grand Canyon pulled ahead again at 21-18 but the Vandals went on a 6-0 run to take a 24-21 lead and were able to close out the match with a 25-23 win.

“The kids made some good adjustments and hung in there,” Buchanan said. “We were able to come back in game three, which shows we can handle some adversity. Sometimes I think we get too up-tight. It’s another game, we were up two games, we just need to relax and go play. Then we went on a nice run there and were able to finish it off.”

Idaho held Grand Canyon to a .211 hitting percentage and gave up a slim 45-44 edge in digs. The Vandals had a 4-2 advantage in blocks and each team had three service aces, including two from Christman for Idaho.

The Vandals return to action with two more matches this week as they travel to face Texas-Pan American on Oct. 3 and New Mexico State on Oct. 5.

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