David Hawbaker / The Daily Evergreen
The WSU volleyball team played its first home match of the season at the Cougar Challenge tournament over the weekend. The Cougars took care of business in the home tournament, sweeping all three of their matches, placing five players on the all-tournament team and winning the tournament championship.
WSU (4-2) opened up the tournament with a 25-16, 25-9, 25-9 sweep of Alabama State on Friday morning. The Cougars hit .516 in the opener while holding Alabama State to a -.053 hitting percentage.
The Cougars used a balanced offensive attack to complete the sweep of Alabama State, sharing the kills between Marcelina Glab (9), Rachel Todorovich (8), Jaicee Harris (7) and Ver’Leea Hardaway (6).
Following the first sweep, the Cougars played Seattle University later the same night when they swept the Redhawks 25-8, 25-13 and 25-16.
The team then hit .474 in the sweep while holding the Redhawks to a .000 hitting percentage and out-blocking them 12-1.
Sophomore Harris led WSU in kills with 16, but was assisted with eight kills from Glab, six from Todorovich and Hardaway, four from Camryn Irwin and three from Stephanie Logan. Irwin also recorded 26 assists, and freshman Kate Sommer led the team with 15 digs.
WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said the victory stemmed from aggressive play and better serving.
"I think it started with our serving, that we were working on getting really aggressive with our serves and when we can do that, it definitely takes the other team out of their offense," Greeny said.
Greeny said the team capitalized on the predictability of their opponents.
"We thought our outside hitters had way too many sets last week, so we really worked a lot this last week on distribution and getting the middles the ball," Greeny said. "Camryn moved her hitters around, and I thought Marcelina did a great job just of being unpredictable and that's where we need to be."
WSU wrapped up the Cougar Challenge on Saturday night with a sweep of Weber State, their third sweep in two days, which moved the Cougars record on the season to 4-2. WSU beat Weber State with set scores of 25-21, 25-14 and 25-16.
Again, the Cougars dominated by outhitting Weber State .346 to .090 and out-blocking 6-4. The big contributors in kills during the final match were Harris (10), Glab (9), Todorovich (8) and Hardaway (6).
"Coming off a tough weekend last weekend I think we definitely responded as a group,” Greeny said."We put in some new things and really talked about spreading our offense more and Camryn did a great job with that. We did a really good job with our overall hitting this weekend."
Following the final match of the tournament, WSU players Harris, Glab, Irwin, Todorovich and Sommer were named to the all-tournament list, joined by Audrey Biggs from Weber State and Sarah Jaeckel from Seattle University.
Next up for WSU will be a trip to Reno, Nev., to compete in the Wolf Pack Invitational starting Sept. 7.