Volleyball moves to 5-1 after successful tournament

WSU won against three of four teams in the Cougar Challenge Tournament


EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen

WSU sets up against the Incarnate Word Cardinals for their first game of the Cougar Challenge tournament. WSU won 3-0.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball (5-1), led by Head Coach Jen Greeny, hosted the Cougar Challenge Tournament, which ran from Thursday to Saturday. These were the first home games for the Cougars this season, after winning two on the road. The teams that competed include Incarnate Word (1-2), Quinnipiac (0-8), College of Charleston (6-2) and Baylor (4-2). 

Incarnate Word lost to WSU 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18 in a 3-0 sweep. The Cougs never trailed in the match, displaying a powerful 37 kills and 71 attacks. Junior outside hitter McKenna Woodford stood out as she committed no errors and nine kills. 

WSU played Baylor next. There were four lead changes in just the first set of the match. The game went to the fifth and final set as the game lasted more than two hours. Ultimately, WSU fell to Baylor for their first loss of the season.  

“Baylor is definitely a fantastic team and this is a team like we will see in the Pac-12 Conference. So, a lot of experience was gained tonight,” Greeny said. “But I thought the overall experience of a tight match and going five will pay dividends later on in the season.” 

EZEKIEL NELSON | The Daily Evergreen
Cougar volleyball moved to 5-1 on the season, following a successful tournament at home.

The Cougars needed just  70 minutes to sweep Quinnipiac 3-0 in their next match. WSU combined for 38 kills and a .342 hitting percentage compared to their opponent’s 28 kills and .042 hitting percentage. Quinnipiac still has yet to win a game this season. 

“It was important for us to come out playing well because we’re preparing ourselves for the Pac-12 season,” Woodford said. “We need to come into this tournament with the same mentality and be prepared to play with intensity and purpose.” 

WSU also swept the College of Charleston 3-0. Junior outside hitter Taylor Mims led the team with 11 kills, sophomore setter Ashley Brown racked up twenty assists and sophomore defensive specialist Alexis Dirige had 16 digs during the match. The Cougs were at one point ahead by thirteen points in the final set. 

“I thought offensively, we performed really well tonight, especially our pins,” Greeny said following the game. “McKenna Woodford, Taylor Mims, Casey Schoenlein and Claire Martin really did a nice job of just putting the ball away and that’s what we’ve really been looking forward to seeing.” 

Woodford and Mims were named to the All-Tournament team. The volleyball team now turns its attention toward the Fairfield University Tournament in Connecticut. The first game is scheduled to begin 9 a.m. PST  Sept. 8 against New Hampshire.