It was a battle for the Gem State.
Idaho (3-8) and Idaho State (8-3) went head to head Thursday in the Memorial Gym. The Vandals came out with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-18).
Idaho head coach Debbie Buchanan said the win was huge for the team.
“We have so much potential but can we finish and put it away and I thought we definitely did that Thursday,” Buchanan said. “We were able to finish it in four sets and really showed that we had some control of the game. Our serving was a little bit tougher and overall competed a little bit better.”
Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Sharp led the team with 17 kills and two aces.
Sharp said the game was a team effort.
“It was really nice to come out and actually do what we always talked about doing in practice and seeing what we’re working on come into a game,” Sharp said. “Everyone was super pumped and energized the whole time.”
Sophomore outside hitter Kaela Straw earned 15 kills.
Idaho’s offense fell into stride in set two after sophomore outside hitter Haylee Mathis earned two kills.
An ace and a block by Sharp fired up the crowd as Idaho pulled away from Idaho State and won set two 25-21.
Idaho’s hitting percentage started at 0.04 in set one and rose to a match-high 0.40 in set two.
Idaho won 26-24 after two straight kills by Sharp.
A kill by junior outside hitter Becca Mau and an ace by junior outside hitter Klaree Hobart sealed the deal for the Vandals.
Idaho State served the ball and Hobart passed it. Mathis set up the play for Sharp, who hit the ball in the middle of Bengal territory and earned the winning point.
The Vandals take on Eastern Washington 7 p.m. Friday in Cheney.
“To finally win at home is good especially towards the end of the season because we’re finally getting that urgency back,” Straw said. “If we can come out like we did Thursday against Eastern Washington, we’re going to have a lot of success.”
Luis Torres can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @TheLTFiles