Vandal Volleyball sweeps Fresno State

The Vandal volleyball squad got Homecoming 2006 off to a roaring start Thursday night sweeping Fresno State 30-25, 30-25, 30-22 before an appreciative crowd of 797 at Memorial Gym.

The young Vandal volleyball team got off to a rough start in non-conference action this fall playing a particularly tough schedule, but have quickly matured since WAC competition started. The win moves the Vandals to 3-1 in WAC action and keeps them undefeated at home this season. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-4 in conference play.

The second game of the match proved to be the most competitive and also featured an amazing play by the Vandals in the midst of a 10-point scoring run. The score had been tied three times in the early going and the Bulldogs held two-point leads five different occasions before the Vandals took a 12-10 lead behind the serving of Stacy Sode. A few minutes later Bowman scored on a block to make is 13-11 Vandals putting Saxony Brown at the service line for Idaho.

Brown served 10 unanswered points for the Vandals who dominated play at the net. Erin Curtis, Amanda Bowman, and Kelsey James all scored points during the Vandal run, but the highlight came when, with the Vandals leading 21-11, Fresno sent a hard shot towards the middle of the Idaho defense. Sode dug it out, but the force of the shot carried the ball high into the rafters, over the net and out of bounds past the 10-foot line on the Fresno side of the court. Rather than giving up, Kelsey James followed the ball across the court and out of bounds on the Fresno side of the net. She bumped it back to the Vandal side of the net where Brown passed the ball back to the Bulldogs keeping the rally alive. As the crowd stood and cheered, the Vandals won that point and went on to the sweep.

The Vandals dominated play at the net outblocking the Bulldogs 19-9 and held a 52-42 edge in digs. Brown was a statistical leader for Idaho with eight kills, eight digs and a service ace.

"Any win is great, and it's great to get it in three, coach Debbie Buchanan said after the match. "One thing we did tonight was block a lot of balls, especially in games two and three….We wanted to go out and win big," she continued. "We played that way early developing big leads, but we let them come back…We wanted to win badly.

"We want to play a whole game without letting up," she added, "which is what we are struggling to do."

The Vandals put their perfect home court record on the line Saturday when they host San Jose State at 7 p.m.





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