In the last home match of the 2011 season, the Seattle University volleyball team fell to Portland State, 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-17), Thursday night at the Connolly Center.
Playing the final home match of their collegiate careers, the Redhawk seniors led the way, with Cristin Richards (Tumwater, Wash.) collecting 12 kills and five digs, Megan Augustavo (Shoreline, Wash.) earning 23 assists and eight digs, and Jordan Keller (Mukilteo, Wash.) extending her school record in career total blocks with five blocks to go along with four kills. Allie Hoskins (Colorado Springs, Colo.) led the backline with 11 defensive digs in the match.
"It was a good crowd and it was fun, but I wish we could have won the match," Augustavo said after the contest. "It has been a good four years with these girls. Hopefully we can come together as a team for the last two matches and finish the year strong."
Portland State (15-12) opened the match by scoring five of the first seven points before a service ace by Karina Miastkowska (Northbrook, Ill.) and a kill from Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) pulled Seattle U to within one at 7-6. The Vikings proceeded to go on an 11-2 scoring run to pull out to an 18-8 advantage. The Redhawks scored the next four points, but did not get much closer, as Aubrey Mitchell closed out the first set with a kill for Portland State.
Kills from Leigh-Ann Haataja and Megan Ellis as well as block from Katie O'Brien and Aubrey Mitchell allowed the Vikings to open an early 6-1 lead in the second set. Two kills and a service ace by Ellis as well as three kills from Kaeli Patton helped Portland State establish an 11-3 scoring run that finished off the second set and gave the Vikings a 2-0 match lead.
Three kills by Richards and a service ace from Keller gave Seattle U a 10-8 lead in the third set, but the Vikings rattled off five unanswered points, led by a kill and two block assists by Haataja, to go ahead, 13-10. Back-to-back kills from Richards pulled the Redhawks to within three at 20-17, but Portland State scored the final five points of the match, thanks in part to two kills and a block assist by Haataja.
"There are things that we can do better that we did not do tonight," head coach Shannon Ellis said. "It was pretty tough to run our offense because our passing was not very good. We have a hard time fighting back after losing momentum. Portland State played very consistently tonight. Their hitters did what they were supposed to do, and they served the ball well."
It was a balanced offense for Portland State, with Ellis finishing with eight kills, two service aces, and 11 digs, while Haataja went 7-for-9 in attack attempts without an error to go along with five block assists. Mitchell also earned seven kills along with seven total blocks, Garyn Schlatter had another solid all-around match with 23 assists, six kills, two service aces, and two block assists, and Nicole Bateham led everyone with 13 defensive digs.
Seattle University (5-20) will have two weeks to prepare for its final road trip of the 2011 season, traveling to Northern California to face Pacific Friday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. and Saint Mary's Saturday, Nov. 26, at 3 p.m. Currently at 1,444 career kills, Richards will need at least 18 kills in the final two matches to become Seattle U's all-time kills leader.