Dec. 5, 2008

Courtesy of Portland St. Athletics

SEATTLE, Wash. – Portland State's magical season came to end on Friday afternoon as the Vikings were swept by No. 5 Washington in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship.

The Vikings were making their first appearance in the Division I tourney after winning the Big Sky Championship last weekend in Portland. But they couldn't carry over their stellar play from the previous week and hit just .020 in the match.

Portland State finishes the season at 20-9, its fourth straight 20-win season.

Washington (25-4) advances to play Santa Clara tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the second round.

"I'm obviously very disappointed," said PSU second-year Head Coach Michael Seemann. "We knew obviously Washington was a very good team but we felt at least we wanted to rely on the things that got us which was a very balanced passing attack and good defense as well as a fairly balanced transition attack. I thought in all of those areas we broke down at one point or another during the match."

The Huskies opened the match up on fire, hitting .500 and committing just one attack error in 28 attempts in set one.

Washington led 7-1 before the Vikings finally started to get in a rhythm. Portland State scored six of the next 10 points and a kill by Jennifer Oney brought them to within four at 11-7.

The Huskies ran away with the set from there, though, closing on a 14-4 run.

In the second set, Portland State was able to keep things close early, trailing just 8-5 at one point. The Vikings were down by four, 12-8, before Washington began to pull away. The Huskies used a 7-1 run to take a 10 point lead at 19-9, and the Vikings couldn't recover.

PSU opened the third set with some momentum and led 6-5 after a kill by Marija Vojnovic. Washington answered right back, though, with a 6-1 run to go up 11-7.

Vojnovic then had another kill to bring the Vikings to within three, but it was all Washington from there as the Huskies finished by scoring 14 of the final 20 points.

Vojnovic led the Vikings with eight kills and also chipped in eight digs, while senior Jalen Pendon-Thomas collected 16 digs in her final match as a Viking.

The match was had extra-special meaning for Pendon-Thomas, who grew up 30 minutes south of Seattle in Tacoma.

"It's a great opportunity to come to your hometown and show what you've learned over the four years that you've been in college and playing volleyball," said Pendon-Thomas. "It was amazing to play in my hometown and in front of my family. It was very special for me."

Pendon-Thomas finished the season with 501 digs, the second-highest single-season total in PSU history.

Washington hit .284 and was led by Kindra Carlson and Jill Collymore, who each had eight kills.

MATCH NOTES:
PSU only allowed an opponent to hit higher than .250 three times this season. Washington did it twice as they hit .273 back on Sept. 5 against PSU ... The Vikings finished with zero team blocks for the first time this year ... Nique Fradella had 20 assists for the Viks.