The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU volleyball overcomes slow start to sweep UC Irvine

Cougs win fourth-straight home match to start 2023
Cougs starting lineup gets ready to take on UC Irvine, Sept. 6.

A sluggish start was no problem for the WSU volleyball team,who highlighted their match Wednesday with an 8-0 run in the second set and an 11-0 run in the third set to dominate their opposition. Gearing up for two big matches against Towson and BYU, Wazzu looks ready. 

No. 13 WSU volleyball (6-1, 0-0 Pac-12), took down UC Irvine (2-5) in a sweep Wednesday night 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-12) to improve their home record to 4-0 to begin the new season. 

Despite being down as many as four points as late as a 16-20 deficit in the first set, the Cougs got three straight and then five straight to take control and win the set. From then on, it was relatively smooth sailing. 

During the match, Magda Jehlárová picked up career kill No. 1,000, putting her in an elite club of extremely productive hitters in WSU history. Pia Timmer finished with a team-leading 11 kills on the match while hitting .474, adding five digs and one block defensively in her strong performance. 

The Cougs gave up just one more total point in the final two sets than they did in the first, controlling the tempo and pace of both sets with tremendous runs to take down UC Irvine.

Late in the third set, fans saw a great hustle play wherein Julia Norville traveled nearly 20 feet to make a play on the ball to keep the point alive. Even though it came late, that gave WSU a 20-6 lead in the set but showed that no matter the score, WSU plays through every point with the same intensity. 

Setter Argentina Ung, in the midst of her second full season in the position for WSU, tallied 40 assists and four kills in her strong performance. That brings her assists per set total to 10.82 on the season, fourth-best in the Pac-12.

“My mentality is a whole different thing from last year. I used to overthink but this year I know that my teammates trust me and my coaches trust me,” Ung said. 

Norville, who had the fantastic point-saving hustle play, was the one to serve during the 11-0 run during the third set, while ending the match with 10 digs defensively. 

Julia Norville gets ready to receive a serve vs. UC Irvine, Sept. 6.

“First of all, Julia has a fantastic serve. She was moving it around and then by then our defense locked in and our hitters were putting the ball away,” head coach Jen Greeny said. 

The Cougs hit .458 as a team while limiting UC Irving to hitting .130 total and .000 in the final two sets. Impressively, the Cougs out-dug the Anteaters 42-25 and committed nine errors to their opposition’s 17. 

Following the win, WSU returns at 8 p.m. Thursday to take on Towson (6-2) in Bohler Gym. Towson will play BYU (6-0) at 1:30 p.m. earlier in the day before taking on WSU. Then at 7 p.m. Friday, the Cougs take on BYU (7-0) to end the homestand. 

“Towson is good. They’re a really really strong team. We’re going to have to keep getting better and always continue to get better,” Greeny said.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be EIC starting in summer 2023 and enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.