Timmer prepares for next season after breakout year

Timmer ready for next season after injury



WSU outside hitter Pia Timmer (7) serves the ball, Nov. 5, 2021, in Pullman.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball concluded the 2021 season strong, finishing sixth in the Pac-12, going 13-7 in conference play and 20-12 overall. They participated in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament this past season and opened play by sweeping Northern Colorado in straight sets. The Cougs then faced the Baylor Bears two days later and fought hard, but were defeated in straight sets to end the season.

One of the major storylines of the season for the Cougars was star junior outside hitter Pia Timmer, whose season was cut short due to sustaining a knee against Cal in November. However, nothing about the injury should take away from the dominance of Timmer who is excited for next season. 

This season, Timmer dominated her position and was one of the leading scorers in the nation for both kills and points. She played in 27 of 32 games, with the five missed due to her knee injury. Although she missed those games, she was still the second-leading scorer for the Cougars on the season.

Timmer had a hitting percentage of .225% on 941 attempts for a total of 349 kills. She also scored a total of 403 points on the year, only four behind middle blocker Magda Jehlarova. Timmer added 36 aces to her stat line this season, placing her just outside of the national top-50 for service aces. 

“I think overall, we did very well, I’m happy with the outcome, but as an athlete, you always want more,” Timmer said when asked about reflecting on the past season.

Timmer also said that it was fun to play two seasons in one calendar year, because of the pandemic, which forced teams to play a season in Spring 2021 and then a full regular season and playoffs during the traditional fall season.

During the offseason,  Timmer says she likes to take the training slow and then ramp up the intensity when it gets closer to the season.

“We have workouts like cardio and strength training every morning at like 6 a.m., but it’s nice to get it done in the morning,” Timmer said. “Individual practices split up into four groups working on ball control, and serving and receiving … in February we will start with team practices.”

This offseason, Timmer wants to improve everything about her game. Timmer wants to focus on roll shots and tipping the ball to the open spots on the court. She was happy that she improved her attacking this season and upped her offensive game which helped her achieve a season-high 31 kills against University Of Washington in a five-set thriller. Her second high of the season was 22 kills, achieved against the UCLA Bruins in October.

Timmer prepares for a gameday by focusing on non-sport related activities.

“Get a good breakfast in, get my hair done, get my nails done, get a goodnight sleep,” Timmer said.

Timmer had to deal with major adversity this season, suffering a knee injury against Cal during the latter part of the season. In the second round of the NCAA Championships against Baylor, Timmer came in to play back row for only a few rotations when her team needed her, but ultimately the knee injury ended her season.

“When something like that hits it’s just not cool to deal with,” Timmer said.

However, Timmer knows that her teammates have her back always and will be there to support her whenever she needs it. 

Timmer was born in Emlichheim, Germany, in May 2001. She attended high school in Germany at Lise-Meitner Gymnasium where she received two MVP medals and a second-place finish at the U-20 Championship in Germany. In total, Timmer has earned 23 MVP medals.

Timmer’s international experience gives her a unique perspective when comparing her experiences overseas to her experiences at WSU.

“There’s actually different rules,” Timmer said.

The Germany native says the ball is different in international play than when she is at WSU. Timmer also explained that international volleyballs float more and are harder to pass than when she plays collegiately. 

When asked about advice to give to up-and-coming volleyball athletes, Timmer gave her take.

“Try and have a positive mindset the whole time, that was the most important for me,” Timmer said.

Timmer has one major goal to accomplish next season.

“I really want to win a Pac-12 Championship,” Timmer said.

The Cougars have never won a Pac-12 Championship and have never finished in the top-3 in the Pac-12 conference. The Cougs’ highest finish has been fourth place, which they achieved twice. 

The 2021 season was Timmer’s highest kill season. This season was also Timmer’s highest ace season, and highest hitting percentage season thus far with potentially two seasons left in her collegiate career. 

With two seasons left and WSU volleyball gaining traction in the national sphere, Timmer’s hopes of winning a Pac-12 title are more realistic than ever.