Unlucky number 7 — Volleyball’s losing streak at seven after Hawaii trip
Things went from tough to tougher for the Idaho volleyball team this weekend when the Vandals dropped three more matches to UCLA, Hawaii and San Diego State, bringing the team’s losing streak to seven games.
The Vandals (2-8) knew coming into the weekend’s tournament at Hawaii that the competition was going to be fierce with two of their opponents, UCLA and Hawaii, who are both ranked in the nation’s Top 10. Idaho had confidence going in, but that didn’t translate into wins.
The Vandals started the tournament with a 3-0 loss to No. 3 UCLA on Friday night. The Bruins were too powerful for Idaho and made quick work of the Vandals, beating them 25-16, 25-13, 25-13. The Bruins hit a staggering .525, proving why they’re one of the best in the nation.
Idaho returned on Saturday to take on former WAC rival No. 9 Hawaii. The powerful Wahine also made short work of the Vandals, beating them decisively 25-11, 25-14, 25-16. Junior Allison (Walker) Baker led the Vandals with a team-high 10 kills, but only hit .031. Idaho wasn’t able to get any sort of rhythm going against the Wahine and lost their 19th consecutive match against them. The Vandals are winless in all matches against Hawaii.
Things got a little easier for the Vandals when they faced San Diego State to finish the tournament, but it still resulted in an Idaho loss. The Vandals hit .250 as a team, their highest percentage of the year, and pushed the Aztecs to five sets, but it wasn’t enough to come out with the win.
After being down 2-1, the Vandals showed some fight, winning the fourth set to force a fifth. Idaho played the Aztecs close, but fell short in the fifth 15-12 for their seventh straight loss.
Idaho’s focus will now shift to conference play. The Vandals will open up the WAC season this Thursday at home against Denver (6-3). It will be Denver’s first conference match as a member of the WAC and will be its first meeting with Idaho.
The Vandals will then return to Memorial Gym on Saturday to face New Mexico State. The Aggies were picked to finish first in the WAC in the preseason poll and have 6-3 record coming in. The Vandals and Aggies have been pretty even with each other in recent years with the Aggies holding a slight 14-13 series lead over the Vandals.
Kevin Bingaman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org