|Three matches on tap for VB|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho volleyball team will be in action on Saturday with three matches at Washington State, facing WSU at 9 a.m., future Big Sky foe Eastern Washington at 11 a.m. and Central Washington at 1 p.m. in WSU’s Bohler Gym.
Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said improving her team’s passing was a priority heading into the spring, which will allow the Vandals to take advantage of their strengths.
“Passing was first and foremost,” Buchanan said. “We’re going to have some of the best middles in the conference going into the Big Sky, but we can only capitalize on that if we’re passing. If we can pass, that will open some things up at the pins. We want to spread our offense, get our middles involved, and open the pins up.”
The Vandals have 12 players on the roster for the spring, including returning starters Terra Varney, Meredith Coba, Alyssa Schultz, Jenna Ellis and Katelyn Peterson. Ali Forde and Jessica Hastriter return after seeing significant playing time last fall, and Samantha Delmer and Michele Brown were used situationally throughout the season. Tineke Bierma is working her way back from a torn ACL near the start of last season, and middle blockers Stephanie Hagins and Torrin Crawford are coming off redshirt seasons in 2013.
“Some kids had some pretty big goals coming in,” Buchanan said. “I think when we get into next season, based on the growth that we’re making and the kids who are coming in, there’s going to be some major competition in the fall. It’s going to be good for us from a competitive standpoint, but it’s going to be different for them because they haven’t had that type of depth, so that’s going to be a challenge in itself.”
After Saturday’s competition, the Vandals will compete in four matches at Gonzaga on April 12, and have one more competition date open before the spring season wraps up.