The Western Washington University volleyball team won the first two sets, but could not hold on as it fell, 26-28, 17-25, 25-19, 25-14, 15-11, to eighth-ranked Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Central Washington University Wildcat Volleyball Invitational in Ellensburg.
It was the first loss of the season for No. 12 WWU, which began the season with wins in its first three matches at the three-day tourney. The loss to followed four-set wins over No.16 Sonoma State and No.11 UC San Diego and a sweep of Cal State Stanislaus.
CSUSB, which improved to 3-1, was led by the 27 kills of Alexandra Torline, 29 digs of Arielle McCullough, 63 assists of Hannah Liserra and seven blocks of Brenna McIntosh. All the totals were match highs.
“We got satisfied after we won the first two games, which killed our momentum,” said Diane Flick, who missed on her first opportunity to win her 300th career match as coach of the Vikings. “But this is a good opportunity for us to learn something, and hopefully we will listen to the cues and get better from it.”
Outside hitters Rachel Roeder and Kelsey Moore each had career-high kill totals in leading the Vikings. Roeder had 24 kills with just three errors in 45 attempts for a .467 hitting percentage, and Moore added 20 kills with five errors in 50 attempts.
Libero Samantha Hutchinson had 28 digs for the Vikings.
WWU held a 24-21 lead in the first set, only to have the Coyotes tie it at 24-all. But Moore came up big with three kills to lift WWU. There were 11 ties and three lead changes in the stanza.
WWU broke away after a 3-3 tie in the second set, but CSUSB never trailed in taking the third set.
The Vikings were tied at 13-13 in the fourth set, but scored just one of the last 13 points. The fifth set was knotted at 5-5 when CSUSB broke it open with three straight points, two on kills by Torline.
WWU makes its home opener at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9, against Hawaii Pacific in a match that will be played at Squalicum High School.