WSU starts home stretch with a sweep

Cougs beat down on Utes in dominating fashion 



WSU middle blocker Magda Jehlarova serves the ball during an NCAA volleyball match against Utah, Nov. 18.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

WSU volleyball (21-9, 13-6 Pac-12) began their extended home stretch with a clean sweep over the Utah Utes (15-14, 8-10) to knab their 20th win. 

The Cougs dominated in a sweep 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-18) and were successful on offense, defense and at the line for most of all three sets. 

Throughout all three sets, there were four ties and two lead changes, pointing to WSU getting early leads and holding on to them. For the Utes, their downfall early was service errors. Getting to a total of seven early in the second set, they were on pace for a historically rough outing. 

They cleaned up their serves, but the offense seemed to not travel for the team, hitting only .159 compared to WSU’s .354. 

Winning these games is more important than ever as the Cougs look to get a spot in the NCAA Tournament. With every win, it becomes closer to a guarantee that WSU will find a bid in the tourney. Being at home in Bohler is significant to keep motivation high for the team in their matches. 

“Huge, I am wondering about what the clinch is as it is really subjective. At any rate, it’s huge to be at home, looking forward to these next matches,” associate head coach Burdette Greeny said. 

Against Utah, the team did not have the most fantastic night in blocking in terms of eye-popping stat sheet numbers, but the timing of the blocks was huge to keep momentum on the side of the Cougs. Especially for Argentina Ung, who had three key blocks that helped the team win all three sets. 

WSU middle blocker Magda Jehlarova (left) and setter Argentina Ung (right) block a spike during an NCAA volleyball match against Utah, Nov. 18.

Alongside Ung, Magda Jehlarova had five blocks to lead the team and as well had big momentum maintaining blocks that had the crowd at Bohler electric. 

“We’ve been looking at our right fronts to improve, Arge has been doing the right mechanics and had a good game,” Greeny said. 

However, the key to the win for Cougs was their hitting. As a team it was strong but on an individual level, it looked even stronger. 

Pia Timmer led the way with 16 kills on .394 hitting, but she was not the only one to get in on the fun. Laura Jansen had 11 kills on .273, Katy Ryan had eight on .375, Jehlarova had seven on .286 and most surprisingly, Weronika Wojdyla had five kills on an insane .714 hitting percentage. 

WSU middle blocker Magda Jehlarova (15) and outside hitter Pia Timmer (7) attempt to block a spike from Utah middle blocker KJ Burgess during an NCAA volleyball match, Nov. 18.

“It was a really good win for us, we came out knowing we were going to have to give it our all and we did well,” Ryan said. 

Ryan had attributed her performance to the work of Ung’s sets. Ung has been the setter for the team all year and has shown vast improvements throughout the season. 

“Arge’s sets have been amazing lately, she and I have been clicking and she has looked good with everyone else,” Ryan said. 

WSU libero Karly Basham runs onto the court before an NCAA volleyball match against Utah, Nov. 18.

Against Utah, Ung tallied 42 assists and her passing was sharp. But as stated earlier, passing was not her only impact on the game. She tallied two kills, three blocks and six digs.

As a whole, the offense was clicking and the defense did more than enough to maintain their lead and provide a strong foundation. With the win, WSU is one step closer to reaching its goal of making a run into the NCAA Tournament and at least making the Elite Eight.