Volleyball ends regular season against Wildcats

Cougars play Arizona in two-match homestand; Tusa to be honored at Senior Night



The WSU volleyball team meets at center court to join in a team huddle after their win over the Arizona Wildcats on Oct. 18, 2019 in Bohler Gym.

KAT MCKINNEY-ROLEY, Evergreen reporter

The WSU volleyball team is set to host the Arizona Wildcats this Thursday and Saturday in their final games of the regular season.

The Cougars currently sit in first place in the conference, and if all goes right this weekend, have the opportunity to win the Pac-12 regular season title.

WSU is currently 15th in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll and currently has a 10-3 record on the season. In their last match, WSU lost to Utah 3-0 which ended their six-game winning streak. Despite what happens this week against the Wildcats, the Cougars are expected to make the NCAA tournament starting on April 14.

“We started out the season and played some tough competition, especially with such a young group,” head coach Jen Greeny said. “We do have a good record.”

Sophomore middle blocker Magda Jehlarova currently leads the Pac-12 in hitting percentage with a 0.450 overall on the season. Jehlarova is also fourth in the Pac- 12 for blocks per set with a 1.23. Redshirt sophomore setter Hannah Pukis is fifth in the Pac-12 for assists per set with a 9.2.

The volleyball team has struggled with COVID-19 issues all season long, as they had to cancel their previous three matches before their last against Utah. WSU has had to cancel seven matches in total.

“I thought that even with the stop and start and the cancellations with Stanford and USC that we were getting back into our rhythm and had played pretty well, especially with the second match against Oregon State,” Greeny said.

Their second match against Arizona on Saturday also marks senior night. Although this is a rather young team, the sole senior Penny Tusa will most likely play her last regular season game in the crimson and gray.

Tusa recently hit her 100th career service ace and currently has 104 digs on the season. In her four-year career with the Cougars, Tusa has so far racked up 325 kills, 966 digs and 473 points.

In their last match against Utah, the Cougars had 38 kills, a hitting average of .139, 33 assists, two aces and seven blocks. The statistic that hurt WSU and led to their demise was their 22 errors.

Leading the Cougars last week was freshman setter Argentina Ung with 10 kills and two blocks and freshman middle blocker Jasmine Martin with a block and nine kills. Ung and Martin both got their first starts in a Cougar uniform on Sunday.

Arizona is currently 9-10 on the season and lost their last match against USC 3-2 last Friday. The second match against the Trojans on Sunday was cancelled due to COVID-19 developments.

Leading the Wildcats against the Trojans was freshman outside hitter Sofia Maldonado with 17 kills while senior outside hitter Paige Whipple followed with 16 kills of her own. Junior middle blocker Zyonna Fellows also had 14 kills on the match.

Maldonado also led the Wildcats with two aces, while junior middle blocker Merle Weidt also led the Wildcats with six blocks on the day. Freshman setter Emery Herman had 56 assists while sophomore defensive specialist Kamaile Hiapo had 20 digs.

Don’t miss the Cougars take on the Wildcats at 6:00 p.m. Thursday and 12 p.m. Saturday. The matches can be live streamed through the Pac-12 website and the live statistics can be followed on StatBroadcast.