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 ranked No. 7 in latest AVCA poll

Cougs best ranking since 2016
Burdette+Greeny+commands+the+attention+of+his+team+during+match+against+Towson%2C+Sept.+7.+
BRANDON WILLMAN
Burdette Greeny commands the attention of his team during match against Towson, Sept. 7.

Coming into last week on the outside looking in at the top 10 of the AVCA NCAA volleyball rankings, the Cougs had two prove-it matches on the road in Texas. Against then-No. 18 Baylor and No. 6 Texas in a hostile environment, the Cougs dropped twp sets and proved their stake as one of the nation’s best. 

In the most recent AVCA poll, the Cougs ranked No. 7 in the nation and as the third team from the Pac-12 behind Oregon (No. 6) and Stanford (No. 4). Breaching the top 10 for the first time since 2016 and the 32nd week in program history they find themselves as one of the best.

Furthermore, it is the 181st week that the Cougs are at least ranked, the 20th best among all Power 5 programs and a sign of consistency between coaching eras. 

While their next match against Washington features an unranked Husky team, they are the 32nd team in the AVCA poll and are no slouch.  

How they got to No. 7:  

Starting their season, WSU traveled on the road to Louisville, Kentucky, to take on Wright State, Louisville and Troy. Sweeping both Wright State and Troy, the Cougs only loss of the weekend and season to this point came to the then- No. 4 ranked Cardinal, who rose up to No. 2 in the ranking before the most recent ranking. 

Louisville is now 9-1 with their lone loss coming to the No. 4 ranked Stanford squad in a five-set thriller, proving that the only loss for the Cougs in 2023 has been to a team they could see deep in the NCAA Tournament. 

Starting the season off strong with a tough loss against a top-five opponent is not a bad start, but the Cougs would like to have taken at least one set against Lousiville on their home court. 

After the 2-1 start on the road, the Cougs had six straight at home, two separate three-team mini-tournaments. First Northwestern State, Drake and Tulsa came through Bohler Gym and the Cougs took care of business in three straight wins, dropping a single set in the process.

In the second set of matches, UC Irvine, Towson and then-No. 8 BYU came to town and again, the Cougs only dropped a single set en route to a 6-0, 18-2 set start to their season in Bohler. 

At home, the Cougs have hit above .300 in five of their six matches and above .400 in two, proving they play their best in front of their own fans. 

To close out conference play, the Cougs had their recent trip against Baylor and Texas. Coming right after their win against a top-10 team in BYU, WSU looked poised to continue their great season. With the two four-set victories on the road, the Cougs now stand at 3-1 against top 25 teams and have three straight ranked wins and two consecutive victories over top 10 teams. 

Sitting at 10-1 on the season, WSU ranks No. 21 in assists per set (12.89) in the nation, No. 4 in hitting percentage (.316) and No. 14 in kills per set (14.16). 

Looking ahead at Pac-12 action, other than the three top 10 teams, the Pac-12 has no team currently ranked within the top 25, so theoretically, the matches will be walks in the park or intense matches that may come down to home-court advantage in Conference play. 

The Cougs continue their season at 7 p.m. Thursday against UW at home in Bohler Gym before taking on Arizona at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN
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.