The Idaho volleyball team jumpstarted the 2017 season over the weekend at the Oregon State Classic in Corvallis.
The Vandals were unable to return home with any victories, however, as they dropped three consecutive matches to Oregon State, Kansas State and the University of the Pacific.
Idaho started with a match against the home court Beavers, a contest in which Idaho could not seem to shake off the cobwebs from the offseason. The Vandals made 21 errors in the defeat compared to just seven from OSU.
Junior outside hitter Sarah Sharp recorded a team-high nine kills on the match and junior outside hitter Kaela Straw added eight more. Junior setter Haylee Mathis had 28 assists to start the season.
In a quick turnaround, Idaho performed well against Kansas State Saturday morning, a team receiving votes on the NCAA top-25 volleyball poll.
Sharp led all players in kills for the match with 14 to go along with three aces, but the commendable play was not enough to stifle the Wildcats, who took the match 3-0.
Junior middle blocker Reece Carman came away with a team-high five blocks to contribute to 14 total. Idaho was unable to put together its first win of the season but the team did manage to take a few leads and string together runs against one of the nation’s more formidable teams.
The Vandals lost all three matches to the Tigers of Pacific, but were able to increase their hitting percentage considerably, hitting .314 compared to the below .200 in the last two matches.
Idaho committed just six errors in the match, but extended runs by Pacific led to the loss.
Sharp was named to the all-tournament team following the match. She recorded another eight kills against Pacific to push her weekend total to 31, about 3.44 per set.
Mathis added 23 assists on the match and Carman, Straw and senior middle blocker Torrin Crawford each had five kills.
The Vandals look to continue fine-tuning their play against DePaul University 4 p.m. Aug. 31 in Chicago for the UIC Tournament.
Colton Clark can be reached at email@example.com