Vandals Sweep Nevada

In front of a national television audience Wednesday night, and 1000 fans in Memorial Gym, the Vandal volleyball team swept Nevada in three sets. The victory gives Idaho a 10-16 overall record, while they are battling for third in the WAC with a record of 9-5 on the season. SAXONY BROWN recorded 10 kills and had a solid overall game, while Amanda Bowman had a team high 13 kills on the night.

As they have so often this year, the Vandal volleyball team found the friendly confines of Memorial Gym very much to their liking Wednesday night as they pounded Nevada 30-24, 30-23, 30-20 in a match that was nationally televised by CSTV.

The first game was close for a time, with Nevada posting a 6-3 lead before the Vandals, behind the serving of Amanda Bowman, ran off five straight points to take a lead they would never relinquish. In game two Brown picked up a kill on Nevada's first serve then stepped into the service area and served up four more points. The Vandals pushed the lead to 10 before eventually winning 30-23. After the intermission the Vandals gave up the first point of the game on a service error, then traded points briefly before hitting their way to a nine-point lead that eventually was stretched to the final 10-point margin.

The Vandals took the Wolf Pack completely out of their game from the beginning of the match, leading to numerous Reno errors. Coach Debbie Buchanan said the Vandals played better as a team than they had in the first meeting, which Nevada won in five games in Reno.

"I think we played better," she said. "We took them out of some things; so we gave ourselves an advantage and gave them a good disadvantage. When you play like that, then you can do some things."

Still, Buchanan felt the Vandals could have played better. "We knew that if we played well we could do some things, but I don't think our passing was as good as we thought it could have been," she said. "Offensively and defensively we did some good things…If we could fix one thing in that match it would just be our passing. Other than that, offensively we did great things. Defensively we blocked and played defense. I think we did some really good things."

Asked if she could choose standout players offensively and defensively, Buchanan was unable to come up with any real standout players in the victory. "Everyone did some great things tonight," she said. "It was a good team effort. A great team effort."

The win moved the Vandals into third place in the WAC standings, a half game ahead of the Wolf Pack. In WAC competition this season Idaho is now 9-5, Nevada is 9-6. However, the Vandals have 2 games left this season hosting conference leading Hawaii Friday and Utah State Saturday, while the Wolf Pack winds up its regular season in Boise Saturday.

With Idaho and Nevada having split their two matches this season, the Vandals need to win out to secure a third place seed in the conference tournament. If they wind up tied with Nevada for third placed, the first WAC tiebreaker involves wins over higher-seeded teams, and Nevada beat second place New Mexico State earlier this season.

"Control ‘em one match at a time," was the way Buchanan summed up the Vandals' closing week.

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