Sour Apples in Seattle as Cougar volleyball swept by UW

Cougs beat by Huskies, hit an abysmal .146


JESSICA HARJA | Daily Evergreen File

Junior outside hitter McKenna Woodford leaps to return the ball to UW during their match on Sept. 20. 2017

BRANDON WILLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Nobody wants to lose the Apple Cup in any sport. WSU and University of Washington desire the bragging rights to be seen as the superior school in the Evergreen State. After winning the previous four matches, WSU volleyball (8-4) has now lost two straight to No. 18 UW as they lost the first meeting of the 2022 season  3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-22).

For the once nation-leading Cougs in hit percentage, the offensive woes continued as WSU would hit an abysmal .146. This was especially noticeable compared to the Husky’s hit percentage of .412. 

No Coug looked especially good. Katy Ryan would tally seven kills, but only managed a .143 hit percentage. Assist leader Argentina Ung fell into a different role on the day, attacking 16 times and getting six kills on those attacks. Ung would add 14 assists, her lowest total on the season. 

Karly Basham would tally three kills and add 11 digs. Her three kills would equal the amount that the entire Husky team would tally, but it was not enough to sway any set in the Coug’s favor. 

UW would lead in every major statistical category except for aces as the Cougs would manage five to the Huskies three. 

Errors were the catalyst to the loss for WSU, as they would commit 14 errors on attacks and nine service errors. 

The best set that WSU would have would be the third and final set. They would start extremely strong, opening with a 4-0 lead and having a later lead at 8-3. After that, it was all Husky momentum, through an eight-point run they never looked back. 

WSU is now 0-1 in conference play and is on a three-game skid. However, all three of those matches have been against ranked opponents. This means, WSU is 8-0 this season against unranked opponents and a disappointing 0-4 against ranked opponents.

If WSU can figure out a couple of things, they could look much better. The offense has looked strong against weak opponents but weak against strong opponents. They struggle with an offensive identity once their opponents begin scoring consistently, as evident by Ung’s complete shift in the role against the Huskies.

Another major factor in the Cougs’ dilemma has been injuries, causing several players to adapt to new play styles with missing key players. If the team can streamline a consistent play style, they should look much better going forward. 

At the moment, they are a good, not great, team. 

They will try to combat the losing streak as they head to Los Angeles to play USC on Saturday to turn the season around.