Portland State downs the Pilots

The Vikings volleyball team took on cross-town rival University of Portland on Tuesday night, winning a closely fought three-game match against the Pilots and increasing its lead in the all-time series, 26-13.

The contest was one of two non-Big Sky matches left this season for the Viks and was only the second win since conference play began Sept. 26. The two teams met in the preseason on Sept. 6, with the Pilots walking away the victor, 3-2.

The Vikings took the first game 32-30. The Pilots led statistically with 17 kills and a .279 hitting percentage, but couldn’t get around the play of Richell Wilson, Jessica Brodie and Stephanie Lavigne. All three had service aces in the game and Portland had none.

From there, things only got better for the Vikings. In the second game, PSU out-killed Portland 18-15 and out-hit the Pilots .316 to .205. Thanks to Portland errors, the Viks held onto the lead starting at the 14-9 mark and won the game 28-30 when Jessica Vanzant scored one of her 12 kills to end the game.

The third game was even better for the Vikings. After a grueling opening, the Vikings went on a run to make the score 15-10. The pilots caught up and tied the game at the 18-point mark but couldn’t keep the match going.

In the third game, PSU humiliated the Pilots in the kill department, scoring 17 to Portland’s 8. The Viks also out-hit the Pilots .270 to .029.

Collectively, the Vikings hit .256 and had 51 kills in the match. Wilson, who had 15 kills and seven digs, led Portland State on offense. Kathy Garbacz had 11 kills and hit .400. Vanzant had a .350 percentage to go along with her 12 kills.

Lavigne had 36 assists in the match, with three kills, a .750 hitting percentage and eight digs. The Viks were led defensively by Sarah Leenders, who had 12 digs in addition to six kills and a .200 hitting percentage.