Portland State volleyball showed signs of improvement this weekend, splitting its Big Sky matches against Idaho State and Weber State and ending a five-game home stand on a good note.
The Vikings took on the Idaho State Bengals on Halloween, losing a closely fought four-game match (30-22, 32-34, 30-27 and 30-28.)
The Viks started out strong in the first game, dominating until the 22-16 mark, when things turned. The Bengals rallied to score 14 consecutive points and took the win with 18 kills and a match-high .366 hitting percentage. PSU was held to 13 kills and a match-low .150 hitting percentage.
The second game went better for the Viks. They led at the 20-16 mark and made it to game point first (29-27) but couldn’t close it out. Four points and two Bengal errors later, though, the Vikings took the game 34-32.
The Bengals out-killed the Viks 25-16, but the difference in hitting percentage was negligible, PSU with .239 and ISU with .236. The real difference was in errors, with the Viks recording five and the Bengals 12.
Games three and four were closer. Game three was tied up at the 27-point mark, but the Bengals won due to Viking errors. Game four was a close fight for both teams, but the Bengals pulled away at the 22-point mark to win the game and match.
Collectively, the Viks recorded 66 kills and a modest .215 hitting percentage. The only real disparity between the teams was in team blocks, with the Bengals collecting 11 and the Vikings only six.
Things turned around for Portland State when they took on the Weber State Wildcats on Saturday night.
After a come-from-behind win in the first game (25-30), the Viks played a strong second game, winning by 10 points (20-30.) At one point, the Vikings lead 20-9. PSU had 22 kills and held Weber State to nine in the game.
Game three was a closer match, with each team claiming the next point. After nine tied scores and seven lead changes, the Vikings pulled away to win the game (22-30.) Collectively, the Viks had 55 kills in the match with a .294 hitting percentage.
The Vikings were led offensively in the matches by Richell Wilson, who had 39 kills and a .268 hitting percentage at the end of the weekend.
Wilson also recorded her fourth 20-plus-kills match (27 against the Bengals) and her 10th double-double of the season against Weber state (12 kills and 16 digs.) Also making significant contributions in both matches was Jessica Vanzant, who had 22 kills in total and a .219 percentage.