Sept. 2, 2009
Portland, Ore. – The Oregon State volleyball team (3-1) posted a season-high 12 blocks, led by three players with four each, as the Beavers swept Portland (1-3) at the Chiles Center on Wednesday evening.
Set scores were 25-16, 25-21, 25-23.
Every player earned some playing time, giving the new players more time on the court. Freshman Alyssa O'Neil (West Linn, Ore.) even earned experience at libero in the third set, finishing the match with a career-high 14 digs.
“Tonight was an opportunity for us to play everyone, and I thought Tami and Ashley both did a very good job,” head coach Tars Liskevych said. “We also had great hitting, led by Bree, Rachel and Lexie. And I though Alyssa did a great job as libero in the third set. It's tough to be in sync with a different lineup, but we have to do that this time of year.”
Outblocking the Pilots is an understatement, as Portland was unable to successfully find the floor on a block. Seniors Bree Knitter (Fallbrook, Calif.) and Rachel Rourke (Queensland, Australia) and freshman Ashley Eneliko (Seattle, Wash.) all had four blocks each with Rourke earning a pair of solos. And the Beavers hit .308, nearly doubling the Pilots, terminating the ball 43 times.
Offensively, Knitter was errorless on the attack, hitting a match-high .636 with seven kills on 11 attempts. Rourke blasted a match-high 15 kills, while senior Lexie Rathgeber (White Rock, British Columbia) followed up with six kills, and junior Jill Sawatzky (St. Andrews, Manitoba) added eight.
Oregon State came out strong in the first set, making great defensive plays to control the set from the first rallies. Rourke and Knitter both paced the Beaver offense with four kills each, while senior Camilla Ah-Hoy (Laie, Hawai'i) tallied a pair of aces. As a team, Oregon State posted four blocks, led by Ah-Hoy and Rathgeber's two each.
Rathgeber wrapped up set two for the Beavers, recording the three final kills for the Beavers. Portland took the first three rallies before the two teams exchanged points. But Oregon State took the final lead at the 11-10 mark with a Rathgeber kills. Rourke led the Beavers with six kills in the set, but Rathgeber wasn't far behind with five.
Eneliko made some noise, earning playing time in the third set and finding the floor four times – once on a kill and three times on blocks. The two teams traded sideout points throughout with the Beavers holding the lead from 8-7 before the Pilots threatened, taking the lead back at 23-22.
Portland's Jessica Clemens paced the Pilots' offense with nine kills, while libero Jessica Baty dug a match-high 17 balls.
Oregon State returns home to host the Active Ankle Challenge facing Seattle first on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in legendary Gill Coliseum. Fans that bring their ticket stub from the Portland State football game to any session of the tournament will receive $2 admission.
Oregon State Notes – Senior Camilla Ah-Hoy tied her career high for service aces with two in the first set … Freshman Megan McBride set a new career high for assists with three … Senior Rachel Rourke set a new season high for aces with two … Freshman Alyssa O'Neil set a new career high for digs with 14 … Junior Jill Sawatzky set a new season high for digs with 13 … Oregon State has now won the last 25 meetings.
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