Vandal Volleyball Beats San Jose State

Fielding one of the youngest Vandal volleyball teams in recent memory (ERIN CURTIS is one of just 4 seniors on the 15-player roster), the team struggled through a brutal non-conference schedule in which Idaho's typically strong team went an uncharacteristic 1-10. However, the youngsters have regrouped and are currently 4-1 in WAC competition (5-11 overall) with Saturday's win over San Jose State.

After dropping the first game to visiting San Jose State 22-30, the Idaho Vandals came back to sweep the next three games 35-33, 30-27 and 30-17 to run their WAC record to 4-1. It was also their fourth straight home victory this season.

The Spartans, looking for their first conference win of the season, went right at the Vandals leading most of the way using strong blocking and hitting to post the eight-point win.

In the second game the Spartans led by five (22-17) and were three points away from taking the game leading 27-74 before Idaho scrambled back to tie the game at 28 on a kill byBrown. From there the game was tied five times and there were six lead changes, the first five favoring the Spartans until Larsen logged a kill to give the Vandals a 34-33 lead and the trio of Erin Curtis, Larsen, and Sarah Loney stuffed a spike attempt by the Spartans to pull out the victory. Gave three was also close, but the Vandals claimed a three-point win and then dominated the fourth game to cement the win.

Both teams played strongly at the net. The Spartans' Jennifer Senftleben, a 6-1 junior, had a strong first game for San Jose forcing Vandal coach Debbie Buchanan to make som change. "After the loss in game one, we were trying to adjust and do some different things, we weren't getting the ball outside enough," Buchanan said. "We made some good adjustments after that game and it paid off for us…We were trying to move our attack away from [Senftleben] she was just doing such a great job blocking."

Haley Larsen had a standout game at the neet for the Vandals with 23 kills and 5 block assists. Saxony Brown was outstanding in all aspects contributing 11 kills, 19 assists, five digs, two aces and six block assists.

Idaho improves to 4-11 on the year. The Spartans are now 10-8 (1-4 WAC). The Vandals will be on the road for the rest of October including matches at Eastern Washington, Utah State, and Nevada next week. They will not play a match at Memorial Gym until they host Louisiana Tech and new Mexico State November 2 and 4 to begin round two of WAC action. In that second round the Vandals will be at home for five of their eight matches.

Seniors Amanda Bowman (3) and Stacy Sode (18), and sophomore Kelsey James (11) take aim against San Jose State.

Vandal volleyball in action.

Redshirt freshman SARAH CONWELL (8) helped Idaho defeat San Jose State.

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