WSU to open season at BYU Invitational

WSU to face, Duke, Rider, No. 10 BYU over the weekend



WSU volleyball holds a scrimmage for season ticket holders, Aug. 20, 2022, at Bohler Gymnasium.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

Volleyball season is swiftly approaching on the Palouse.

WSU’s goal of reaching a seventh-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance starts in Utah at the BYU Invitational on Aug. 26-27 at the Smith Fieldhouse. The goal of learning new tools is something that both Jen Greeny, WSU head coach and reigning Pac-12 Co-Coach of the Year, and her team are focused on.

“Every time you have a tournament, I think it gives you extra sets, extra matches to work on some things,” Greeny said. The focus is a little bit on ourselves this weekend and seeing how we can keep building as a team and blend a little better from the start with two weeks of practice.”

Greeny is not unfamiliar with post-season runs with two Elite Eight appearances, two Sweet 16 trips, and a member of 12 of WSU’s 16 NCAA Tournament appearances as a coach and former player for WSU volleyball.

The BYU Invitational is hosted by the BYU Cougars who are ranked No. 10 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll for the 2022-23 season.

There are four schools in the tournament: Duke University, Rider University, BYU and WSU.

WSU will be the opening act against Duke which had a 16-13 record with a 7-11 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season. This will be the first matchup for these two teams in program history.

Their record last year earned them ninth in the conference, however, Duke has made moves during the offseason that could help make noise in the ACC this year.

Duke defeated Davidson University in their opening exhibition match winning 3-1 Saturday. They added transfers Devon Chang from UCLA and Madison Bryant from Tennessee.

However, WSU has a number of transfers suiting up for the Cougars this fall with Shea Rubright (Minnesota), Molly Kipp (Baylor) and Laura Jansen (Arkansas-Little Rock).

WSU will continue competition later on the same day facing off against Rider University, who had a 19-12 overall record with a 14-4 conference record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Their record last season ranked second in the conference while making a deep run in the MAAC Championships only losing to Fairfield in the championship match. They are projected second in the conference with Morgan Romano being on the preseason All-MAAC team.

WSU also has a fair share of conference honors with middle blocker Magda Jehlarova and outside hitter Pia Timmer named to the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference team.

Jehlarova, a two-time AVCA All-American and three-time All-Pac-12 honoree, begins the season ranked fourth all-time in WSU history in solo blocks (85) and fifth in total blocks (424) while Timmer, who earned her first AVCA All-American selection in 2021, led the Cougars offensively with 3.79 kills per set and 4.38 points per set.

On Saturday, the Cougars are set to face off against No. 10 BYU. This will be the second matchup between the two Cougar teams since WSU defeated BYU 3-0 on Aug. 31, 2002.

The matchup between WSU and Duke starts at 9 a.m. Friday with Rider starting at 4 p.m. WSU will compete against BYU at 6 p.m. on Saturday. All games will be on BYUtv.