Team culture makes WSU home away from home for Argentina Ung 

Is ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber the best hype-up song? 



WSU middle blocker Magda Jehlarova (15) and setter Argentina Ung (12) celebrate after a point during an NCAA women’s volleyball match against California Baptist, Sept. 1, at Bohler Gymnasium.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

Great expectations and unfamiliar surroundings are the themes of Argentina Ung’s volleyball career, and being at WSU is no different. However, neither of these holds her back from being one of the best setters in the conference. 

Ung is a junior setter for the WSU volleyball team that hails from Sonora, Mexico. After playing intermittently in the previous two seasons, outside of her comfortable position, she has become the star setter for the team.

Her new workload comes off the back of Hannah Pukis, former WSU starting setter transferring to Oregon, something that Ung has said puts pressure on her, but she is glad to have the opportunity to start.  

“Obviously it’s very exciting for me to get the chance to set for this team. Hannah is a very good setter and those are big shoes to fill. It’s just fun to be setting for this team, they are all great players,” she said. 

So far she has made the most of her newfound role, tallying 9.53 assists per set with 791 total assists, numbers that are nothing to scoff at. In 2022, she has eight double-doubles and even almost tallied a triple-double against USC. 

Her play may be attributed to her stellar pre-game rituals and work ethic in practice. Her song choice is top-notch and she follows superstition.

Arge is someone who comes into practice and works really hard. Last year even in practice she wasn’t setting so this year she has worked extremely hard to get into the groove,” head coach Jen Greeny said. 

“I usually listen to ‘Baby’ by Justin Bieber and then I put all my stuff on in the same order, first my right leg then my left leg,” she said. 

The team’s expectations did not waver when Pukis entered the transfer portal, and Ung was excited to get more involved in the action. 

“Obviously a lot of pressure being a new team, seeing the success [WSU] has had before. Maintaining that same level of play is [difficult], but I am very happy with what we have done,” she said. 

Ung grew up playing various sports, but as she was growing up, she began to realize that volleyball was her calling. 

“I started playing volleyball at nine. By the age of 15 I used to see USC players and knew I wanted to do that and keep playing volleyball, when I started playing with the national team, I knew it was a great opportunity for me to play at the college level,” she said. 

During the summer off-season from WSU, Ung plays on the Mexican national team. It is something that gets her vital reps and is also something she thoroughly enjoys. Despite this, the culture of the team is different from the Cougs. 

“For the national team I only play in the summer, so there isn’t as much team chemistry as there is here. It’s fun to play with them but it’s not the same since you only see them during summer,” she said. 

Earlier this year, in a feature of herself, senior libero Karly Basham described the 2022 WSU team as the most tight-knit team she has ever been a part of, and that sentiment is shared with Arge. 

Arge is the nickname that everyone on the team refers to her as, from the players to the coaching staff to even Chris Paige, WSU Athletics sports information director. It is a simple name but it is the name that holds weight in the WSU locker room. 

“It makes me feel a lot less pressure to be perfect, they are my best friends and I know they will be honest with me. When they see that I might get stressed they talk to me and make me feel better,” she said.

Alongside the difference between the national team and the collegiate team, the culture in Pullman is far different than the one from her home country, something that when she is able to celebrate her culture she embraces and loves it. 

“Whenever I see Mexican people or people that speak Spanish it just makes me so happy. Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant I go on and on talking Spanish, it’s like home,” she said. 

While it may not be home, WSU has been the main location of Ung’s life over the past three years, and her favorite thing about it is being able to play volleyball with her best friends.

“My favorite thing [about WSU] is my teammates and the staff,” she said.