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    Wildcats Fall to Washington State, 3-0, in Cougar Challenge Finale

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore Sabel Moffett registered 40 kills over the two-day Challenge, picking up all-tournament honors.
    Sophomore Sabel Moffett registered 40 kills over the two-day Challenge, picking up all-tournament honors.

    Sept. 13, 2008

    NU vs. Washington State Box Get Acrobat Reader

    2008 Northwestern Volleyball Statistics Get Acrobat Reader

    Box Score

    PULLMAN, Wash. -- Northwestern's trip to the Pacific Northwest had a rough ending as the Wildcats fell to host Washington State 20-25, 16-25, 20-25 in the finale of the Cougar Challenge at Bohler Gymnasium. NU falls to 4-4 on the season while the Cougars improve to 5-4.

    Washington State struck quickly on its home court, jumping out to a 14-8 advantage in the first set. An 8-2 run by the `Cats knotted things up at 16 but Northwestern couldn't get over the hump as the Cougars took the opening set 25-20. Sophomore Sabel Moffett (Temecula, Calif./Chapparal) paced the Wildcats with nine kills, junior Kate Nobilio (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg) registered seven digs and sophomore Elyse Glab (Chicago, Ill./Resurrection) added nine assists.

    The momentum continued into the second set for Washington State, staking an early 11-6 lead on the `Cats. NU closed the gap to three at 14-11, but that was as close as they could get, falling 25-16. Moffett again was the top offensive threat for the Wildcats with five kills, complimented by three from freshman Alexandra Ayers (Playa del Rey, Calif./Marymount). Glab dished out 12 assists while Nobilio registered six digs.

    Set three was more of the same for the Cougars, racing out to a 9-2 lead. Northwestern mounted one last rally on the evening, getting to within three at 18-15. But riding the support of the hometown crowd, Washington State clinched the match with a 25-20 victory in the closing set.

    Moffett again lead the Wildcats in kills with 12 and adding three blocks, finishing the Challenge with 40 kills en route to being named to the all-tournament team. Sophomore Brittani Gray (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) finished with eight kills of her own while Ayers and sophomore Naomi Johnson (Bloomington, Minn./Kennedy) each tallied five. Nobilio had another stellar outing for the `Cats, registering 19 digs while Glab had 33 assists in defeat.

    Earlier in the day, the Wildcats looked as if they were going to notch their biggest victory of the season, pouncing out to a 2-0 lead on 18th-ranked Wichita State. But the Shockers rallied to take the final three games to defeat NU in five. It overshadowed a career-high 19 kills from Moffett as well as 15 kills and five service aces for Gray.

    Northwestern returns home for the first matches of the season at Welsh-Ryan Arena, hosting the 27th annual Wildcat Classic this Friday and Saturday. The `Cats face off against Georgetown and Virginia on Friday, Sept. 19, before their highly anticipated showdown with fifth-ranked UCLA on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 4 p.m.