Aug. 24, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash.- The University of Northern Colorado (0-1) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead before seeing the Portland Pilots (1-0) fight back to take the last three games to win the first match of the season for both teams (30-25, 30-27, 26-30, 28-30, 15-17) on the first day of the Baden Cougar Challenge on Friday, Aug. 24 in Pullman, Washington.
Senior Dulcie Stone led the Bears with a career-high 23 kills on a .327 hitting percentage (23-6-52). Stone also totaled two service aces, eight digs and five blocks. Junior setter Lauren Carter recorded a double-double with a match-high 58 helpers and 12 digs. Sophomore Kenzie Shreeve notched 14 kills and three blocks. Fellow sophomore Allison Raguse reached double figures with 11 kills to go along with six blocks. Senior co-captain Abby Mayne tallied 21 digs while sophomore Breanna VanDerMost chipped in 15 digs.
Maria Clemens led the Pilots with 14 kills. She was one of five Portland players with 10+ kills in the match.
The Bears won much of the statistical battle, as they outhit the Pilots .213 (69-29-188) to .161 (67-36-193) and outdug them 65 to 57, but were done in by 22 service errors and seven reception mistakes.
In the first game, NC jumped out to a 21-13 lead on a kill from sophomore Taylor Smith. The Pilots fought back and pulled to 23-20. Northern Colorado then rallied and finished the game on 7-5 run to win the first game.
The Bears trailed for much of the second game until a block assist from Smith and Shreeve gave them the lead for good at 27-26.
The Pilots took each of the next two games to tie things up at two and set up a pivotal fifth game. A kill from freshman Jaclyn Bruns gave the Bears an early 5-3 lead, only to see Portland tie the game up at six on an attack error. The Pilots went on a 7-3 run and opened up a 13-10 lead. The Bears continued to fight though and tied the game up again, this time at 14 all. Facing match point, Raguse came through with a huge kill for NC to tie matters up once again at 15's. Unfortunately that was as much as the Bears could muster as a kill from Kara Pein and a block assist from Penn and Ashley Grayson on consecutive plays ended the match.
The Bears will continue its play in the tournament with a match against South Dakota State on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.