Volleyball sweeps third straight series

Sophomore outside hitter Pia Timmer led Cougars to six straight wins; WSU is at top of Pac-12 standings



The Cougar volleyball team huddles up one last time before the start of the first set in the matchup against Cal Feb. 26 in Bohler Gym.

KAT MCKINNEY-ROLEY, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s volleyball team swept the Oregon State Beavers in a two-game series to mark their third series sweep and sixth win in a row.

The first match of the two was on Friday, in which the Cougars were able to hold off OSU 3-1. The only set Oregon State was able to win was the third, which finished with an end score of 25-22.

Sophomore outside hitter Pia Timmer was everywhere for the Cougars in their opening match. Timmer led the Cougars with a career-high of 18 kills while also totaling three blocks, three assists and eight digs.

Timmer currently leads the team with 154 kills on the season. The next closest player is sophomore Magda Jehlarova with 100.

Senior Penny Tusa added an ace and eight digs to her season total, while redshirt sophomore setter Hannah Pukis continued to stay hot offensively with another 41 assists in match one.

Tusa is currently ranked second in the Pac-12 in service aces per set with 0.47. Her 22 total service aces are also second in the conference.

Freshman outside hitter Kateryna Tkachenko led the Beavers in kills, while freshman outside hitter Mychael Vernon was the only Beaver of the day to get a pair of aces.

Overall, the Cougs had 62 kills, two aces, five blocks, 51 assists and 49 digs in their first win against the Beavers.

In their second match on Sunday, the Cougs improved their season record to 10-2. The team won the first set 25-17, the second set 25-20, and the third 25-20 in another dominant performance. This was the fourth time this season WSU was able to win their match in three straight sets.

In each set, the Cougs jumped out to an early five-or-more point lead, which proved to be the deciding factor in each. The Beavers made a couple of errors which WSU immediately took advantage of.

Pukis had another strong offensive with 24 assists, five kills, four blocks and two aces. Pukis also posted a .500 average on 10 swings. Pukis’ season total of 431 assists is first on the team and fifth in the Pac-12.

Sophomore opposite Alexcis Lusby led the Cougs with nine kills, followed by Timmer adding eight to her weekend total of 26. Overall, WSU posted 37 kills in the match against the Beavers.

By the end of the match, the Cougars had 31 assists and digs, six aces, 37 kills and 13 blocks in their win.

Vernon led the Beavers with 11 kills and senior defensive specialist Grace Massey led with one ace and nine digs.

WSU now sits atop the Pac-12 in the current standings and is ranked the 16th best team in the nation, according to the AVCA coaches poll. The Cougars’ six-game win streak is also the highest in the conference, with Arizona State being the next closest at three.

The Cougars seem to be just fine after their delays due to COVID-19 protocol. The team missed four games already this season, two against Stanford and the others against USC.

The volleyball team’s next scheduled matchup is against the No. 8 Washington Huskies at 6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The match can be live-streamed on the Pac-12 website.