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 heads to Texas for two Top 25 matches

No. 18 Baylor, No. 6 Texas on schedule
Magda Jehlárová sneaks an attack past her defender, Sept. 7.

After beating a top 10 opponent in Bohler in front of a massive crowd, the Cougs volleyball team heads down to Texas to take on two more ranked teams in No. 18 Baylor and No. 6 Texas. With their only loss coming on the road against a now No. 2 Louisville team, WSU looks to prove they can play and win in hostile environments against good teams. 

No. 11 WSU volleyball (8-1, 0-0 Pac-12) and No. 18 Baylor (4-3) is early in the week, a 5 p.m. Wednesday first serve in Waco, Texas. It’s the Cougs’ first time back in Waco since 2021, a loss in a sweep to the Bears in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

The Bears and Cougs have faced three other times, once more in Waco in 2016 and once in Pullman in 2017, with Baylor taking down WSU in both matches in five sets. The only WSU win came in a 1993 meeting on a neutral site. Looking for their first win over the program on their home court, the nearly top 10-ranked Cougs are in their best position. 

Baylor’s losses this year came from Wisconsin, now ranked No. 1, Rice, a then-No. 18 ranked squad and SMU. They are certainly beatable, but the teams are no slouches to take down the Bears in 2023. 

After taking on Baylor, the Cougs move across the state to take on the No. 6 Texas Longhorns (4-2). After being upset to start the year by Long Beach State, the Longhorn’s only other loss came against a top-five-ranked Stanford team. 

Texas took down Rice in a sweep and Minnesota in four, so their wins have been strong. Before taking on the Cougs, they have a Thursday tune-up against No. 19 Ohio State, setting the tone for the Cougs match. 

Set for their 10th match of the year, the Cougs are getting fully warmed up. Their team offense has been consistent and electric despite the small hiccup against Louisville, with the defense especially picking up recently.

Magda Jehlárová leads the WSU defense, ranking second in the Pac-12 in blocks per set at 1.48. In the past week, she was nominated for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row after averaging 2.80 kills/set and 1.20 blocks/set last week.

After breaking the all-time total block record in WSU program history, she also moved up to second all-time in career solo blocks at 124. Her defense and timely hitting has been a huge part of the Cougs 6-0 start to the year at home 

Iman Isanovic and Pia Timmer have been a deadly duo on the outsides, especially breaking out against BYU, wherein both players tallied at least 20 kills. 

A Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week nomination after averaging a team-leading 4.00 kills/set at a .395 clip, Isanovic has kept her production up since coming over from Arizona State. She is the active leader in career kills in the Conference, at 1,498. 

Argentina Ung has kept the offense in sync in her second year as the full-time setter for WSU, ranking second in the Pac-12 with 10.95 assists per set. As a team, they rank 24th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-12 with 13.10 assists/set as a team. 

Attacking has been the strong suit for the Cougs offense, as the teams .345% is third in the NCAA and second in the Pac-12. 

The Cougs will showcase that strong offense and warming–up defense first at 5 p.m. Wednesday against Baylor in Waco, Texas, and then again at 5 p.m. Friday against Texas in Austin, Texas.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
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 the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.