Freshman Kyra Holt powered the Washington State University volleyball team to three wins and a tournament victory this past weekend in West Point, N.Y. at the Black Knights Invitational.
The Cougars (3-0) followed a sweep of Alabama (2-1) on Saturday morning with a 3-2 victory over Seton Hall (1-2) that same afternoon and a 3-1 victory over host Army (0-3) on Sunday morning.
Holt was named tournament MVP after recording 49 kills with a .398 hitting percentage over the Cougars’ three games.
“It’s fantastic for a freshman to come out and perform as she has,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said in a press release. “She struggled at times, but every player is going to do that. I’m really proud of the way she came out and competed. It’s really great for the future of Cougar volleyball.”
Junior Ver’Leea Hardaway and senior Camryn Irwin were both named to the All-Tournament Team along with Holt. Hardaway tallied 32 kills on a .344 hitting percentage, while Irwin distributed 131 assists and landed three service aces.
The opening match of the season for WSU was a 3-0 sweep of Alabama with set scores of 25-17, 25-22 and 25-19.
Against Alabama, Holt and junior Jaicee Harris (cq) combined for over half of WSU’s kills, with Holt also contributing three of the Cougars’ eight service aces.
A late finish between Seton Hall and Army early on Saturday left the Cougars with less than two down hours between playing Alabama and Seton Hall.
Despite the short turnaround, the Cougs pulled out a 3-2 victory over Seton Hall with set scores of 25-21, 25-27, 16-25, 25-16 and 15-6.
“We had six communication errors in that tough 27-25 second set loss and that happens sometimes with new players playing for a long time in a set,” Greeny said in a press release. “And then in the third set it was like we were in a coma but we were able to come back and respond. The returning players were not going to give up.”
Greeny said she was really proud of Hardaway and Marcelina Glab because of their impressive numbers in sets four and five.
The Cougars finished up the weekend with a 3-1 win over host Army to seal up the tournament title. Set scores in the final match were 25-19, 16-25, 25-18 and 25-12.
Holt and Harris both recorded double doubles in the match, with Holt tallying 21 kills and 14 digs while Harris contributed 10 kills and 17 digs.
“I think this was a great tournament. We were challenged a little bit and played really well at times and struggled at times as well,” Greeny said in a press release. “It was great to play someone else this weekend and see some other systems and be able to make adjustments during the match. To come out 3-0, I’m very happy about that.”
Next up for the Cougs is a return to Pullman to host the Cougar Challenge Tournament on Sept. 6 and 7. In attendance will be Eastern Washington, Montana, South Dakota and Texas Tech.