Game 1: Idaho vs Cal Poly
The first game of the University of Portland volleyball tournament ended in a loss for Idaho, as Cal Poly won 3-1 (14-25, 26-24, 19-25, 20-25), putting the Vandals at 1-6 this season.
Although the Vandals had a higher attack percentage in the game deciding fourth set, their overall percentage was .204 to the Mustangs’ .246.
As a result of a competitive second set, the first team to score 25 points was unable to win because the margin was only a single point. Thus, the first team to win by two points, wins the set. After a service ace from senior outside hitter Tineke Bierma, the Vandals were ahead of the Mustangs 24-23, only needing another point to win the set. However, a kill by Cal Poly’s Raeann Greisen tied it all up at 24 apiece, forcing the set to go over 25 points.
But it didn’t stop Idaho, as the next two plays consists of back-to-back blocks, with freshmen hitter DeVonne Ryter involved in both of them. Idaho’s set winning points prevented the Mustangs from sweeping the Vandals.
After losing the third set, Idaho continued to fight back and gained momentum after scoring seven unanswered points, reducing Cal Poly’s 15-7 lead down to 15-14. But the Mustangs responded by scoring six out of the next seven points and eventually winning the match.
Bierma, a fifth year senior, earned a career best 12 kills, her first 10 plus kill in a single game since joining Idaho in 2013. Fellow outside hitter Katelyn Peterson also earned 12 kills against the Mustangs.
Game 2: Idaho vs Portland
It was another difficult loss for Idaho, as it dropped a match to the tournament host Portland Pilots, 3-0 (22-25, 14-25, 23-25) at the Chiles Center.
Service errors continued to be an issue this weekend after Idaho committed a total of 10 errors this morning — which was lower than yesterday’s 17 against Cal Poly.
The second set proved to be the Pilots strongest. as they won by 11 points. After the Vandals tied the set at seven apiece, Portland scored nine unanswered points to with multiple blocks by Pilots’ Makayla Lindburg and Hannah Troutman. During this run, Emily Liger scored three aces and after Idaho’s brief run to catch Portland, Liger scored three of the last four points at the end of the second set to put Portland up 2-0 in the match.
In the final set, Idaho put up a fight to stop Portland’s chance of sweeping. In the middle of the set, Portland led 15-10, but a service error from Monica Gajda started Idaho’s run of seven-straight points that would put it in 16-15 lead. In this run, outside hitter Katelyn Peterson earned three of her team leading 10 kills.
As the set drew to a close, attack errors and a set of kills by Hannah Troutman ended Idaho’s chance from keeping the match going into the fourth set and would lose by two points. It’s the Vandals’ fifth match which they’ve been swept this season and puts their record at 1-7.
Game 3: Idaho vs St. Francis
After two-straight loses, Idaho prevailed over St. Francis in a 3-0 sweep at the Chiles Center to wrap up its run at the University of Portland tournament.
A key factor to the Vandals’ second victory was the team’s .383 attack percentage to St. Francis’ .179 in three sets.
Redshirt freshmen Kaela Straw led the Vandals with 13 kills and secured a .611 hitting percentage, both career best.
St. Francis, however, challenged Idaho in the opening set and led 11-6 early in the set. A service error by St. Francis’ sophomore Maggie Niu started the Vandals’ momentum to let them gain ground on the Terriers. It wasn’t until both teams had 15 points after a kill by Straw that Idaho took the lead and would go on to win the set, 25-18.
In the final set, the Vandals won by ten points over the Terriers as a set of kills and attack errors from St. Francis put Idaho in good position to earn their second victory this season.
With the Vandals completing another tournament, they have one remaining until Big Sky Conference play begins. Its final tournament starts this Friday at Tennessee State University in Cookeville, Tennessee.
Idaho will play two games Sept. 18 — first it plays Western Carolina at 10:30 a.m., then a 3 p.m. match against Towson.The Vandals will face Tennessee State the following day at 7 a.m.