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Weekend Volleyball recap: California dreamin’

3 Sep

Argonaut | File photo

The Vandals hit the state of California dreaming of wins, and were left completely blanked. Not the kind of momentum the Vandal ladies were looking for before facing powerhouses UCLA and Hawaii next weekend at the Hawaii Volleyball Tournament.

Here is our write-up from the Argonaut.

Kevin Bingaman


After a solid start to the season at home the Vandal volleyball team stubled in its first road trip of the season, dropping three straight over the weekend.

The Vandals came into the weekend  with a 2-1 record and the momentum of beating rival Washington State, but that was shortlived when the Vandals fell to Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, Northeastern and Cal State Northridge. Continue reading

Idaho close in on second

11 Nov

Kevin Bingaman/Argonaut

Photo courtesy: Spencer Farrin/Idaho athletic media relations

Vandal volleyball boosted its chance for a second place finish in the WAC with a 3-1 victory over Fresno State Thursday.

The win completes the Vandals’ season sweep over the Bulldogs and brings their recent win count to eight of the last 10 matches. The Vandals are still behind New Mexico State for second in the conference as the Aggies won their match 3-0 at San Jose State Thursday. Second place in the conference and a first round bye in the WAC tournament will come down to Saturday’s games.

The Vandals take on Nevada, who they beat earlier in the year, while the Aggies face No. 6 Hawaii, which is unbeaten in conference play this season. Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said she likes her team’s focus.

“They’re locked in,” Buchanan said. “They’ve got goals right now and obviously they want this to happen. We’re in the position to do it, but we can’t overlook the fact that Nevada is a good team, they’re at home and they’re doing some good things right now. ”

Idaho took the first set of the night, but fell in the second. Then came back to win the next two and take the match, but every set was decided by five points or less. Buchanan said her team’s performance at pivotal points was key.

“We got better as the match went on,” Buchanan said. “We didn’t start out the match passing particularly well, but we made key plays when we needed them for sure. We definitely kept them out of system the last couple games and they couldn’t run what they wanted to.”

Buchanan said the team is still committing more errors than she would like, but has the ability to fight back from a point deficit,

“We’re still making our errors, but I feel like they’re locking in and making adjustments better than we did early on,” Buchanan said. “That’s the difference right now. When things get tight or even when we’re down they’re working their way back and they’re fighting through it.”

Senior Alicia Milo and sophomore Allison Walker  had solid performances for Idaho. Walker totaled 17 kills while Milo was right behind her with 15.

“We were able to clamp down some at times,” Buchanan said. “Typically we’ve been blocking pretty well. We served a little tougher and kept them out of system to where they could only set the outside or the back row a lot of times, and then we were able to transition and get our middles involved and as a team we just played better as the match went on.”

The big question coming into the last stretch of the season was could Idaho play well enough on the road, after struggling through most of the season, to keep its high position. So far the Vandals have done just that and are one win away from possibly clinching a coveted second place berth in the tournament.

Vandals sweep Techsters

27 Oct

Photo courtesy of Zach Edwards

Story by Kevin Bingaman


The Vandal volleyball team continued to dominate at home Thursday night when they beat La. Tech in straight sets.

The Vandals (12-11, 6-4 WAC) completed the season sweep over La. Tech (9-17, 0-9 WAC) with the win and snapped a two-match losing streak. La. Tech continued to struggle, remaining winless in conference play. Idaho coach Debbie Buchanan said it was an important win for her team.

“This was a huge win for us for a lot of reasons,” Buchanan said. “We want to solidify our spot in the WAC. We felt like we backed off this weekend. We struggled against San Jose State. That’s a loss that we think will hurt us.”

The Bulldogs hung in with Idaho through all three sets, keeping things close throughout the match, but each time Idaho was able to overcome La. Tech’s surges. Junior setter Ryann Carter said it wasn’t the best team performance, but a win is a win.

“I thought we could have done some things different,” Carter said. “I don’t think it’s bad, we did what we know we can do. We need to bring it even harder on Saturday.”

As well as Idaho has played at home, the road has continued to cause issues for the Vandals this season. The Vandals are currently third in the WAC and will have to find a way to get things done on the road if they want to keep that high position at their last three away matches.

With the win, Buchanan became Idaho’s all-time wins leader with 175, passing Tom Hilbert for the most. Buchanan said it’s an honor to have accomplished the feat.

“It’s an honor,” Buchanan said. “It’s really about the program and the kids. It’s a great honor along the way. It’s not anything like ‘oh I have to reach this,’ but it’s an honor.”

The Vandals will be back in Memorial Gym for their last home match of the season this Saturday when they play New Mexico State. The Aggies are currently second in the WAC. Carter said it’s going to be a highly emotional match that the team badly wants to win.

“At the beginning there’s going to be a lot of emotion,” Carter said. “I consider them (New Mexico State) one of our bigger rivals. They’re a tough team so we want it.

Good morning Vandal Nation: Oct. 19, 2011

19 Oct

It’s bye week here in Moscow, and despite the sorrows we’re still feeling from Saturday’s heartbreaking loss; soccer, volleyball and tennis have given us reason to keep faith in the Mighty Vandals.






Volleyball unable to finish in Las Cruces

30 Sep

Theo Lawson

Photo by Zach Edwards

Despite winning a decisive second set, the Idaho volleyball team came up short Thursday night in Las Cruces against WAC foe New Mexico State. The Vandals dropped the first set 18-25, dominated in the second 25-14 but were unable to finish in the third and fourth losing 22-25 and 23-25.

Idaho, now 1-2 in the WAC and 6-9 overall, were led by two double-double performances, one from sophomore Allison Walker, who had 14 kills and 10 digs and the other coming from Jenny Feicht, who had 32 assists and 10 digs.

A dramatic third set saw six ties and four-lead changes. After the hosts allowed the Vandals four consecutive points, and the score sat at 24-23, NMSU were able to close out the set victory. Idaho competed in the fourth set and closed another gap to come within one point once again, but at 23-22, the Aggies would clinch the final two points and second WAC win of the season.

“This one is on us,” coach Debbie Buchanan said. “We outplayed New Mexico State in a lot of ways. We just committed too many errors. The one game  we won we only gave up five errors, but we’ve got to be better and we need to have a higher expectation. We’ve played at a high level for the last three months. Hopefully we learned something from this and we get better. There’s no way that we’re going to win when our outsides have 32 kills but 24 errors. That’s not going to win matches.”

The Vandals close out their two-game roadtrip Saturday in Ruston, La., when they square off with another WAC opponent, Louisiana Tech. The match starts at 12:00 P.T.



Photo Gallery: Vandal Volleyball falls to Cal Poly

10 Sep

The University of Idaho volleyball team fell to Cal Poly in their home opener and Argonaut photographer Kate Kucharzyk provides us a visual look at the game for those who couldn’t make it. Kudos to Kate for sharing them with us.

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Good Morning Vandal Nation: Nov. 24, 2009

24 Nov

It’s a snow-covered morning here in Moscow. Yesterday was our recovery day from the Fargo trip, but we’ve got a lot in store for you today, including a preview of tonight’s Idaho/Sacramento State hoops game and video interviews with Vandal players.

Last night ended the Vandals’ volleyball season on a disappointing note, as Idaho was upset by Boise State in the opening round of the WAC Volleyball Tournament, 3-1.

This evening, Idaho opens its home hoops season against the Hornets at 7 p.m. in Memorial Gym. We’ll have Vandal Nation Live courtside coverage starting at 6:30.

Now for the links!


  • Utah State is finally at home, taking on the Idaho State Bengals and looking to get their season back on track after road losses to Utah and Northeastern. For the serious take, Shawn Harrison of the Logan Herald-Journal has a game preview. For the irreverent take, there’s The Refraction.