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

Cougs survive thriller with Sun Devils; Magda Jehlárová breaks NCAA record

WSU holds onto 3-2 win
Iman Isanovic and Magda Jehlárová team up for a block, Oct. 13, in Pullman, Wash.

WSU volleyball held a 14-11 lead. The only player on either roster who was a part of the Arizona State team that last beat WSU in 2019 was Iman Isanovic, and she now plays for the Cougs. It seemed like a foregone conclusion the Cougs would win. 

But it was never meant to be an easy ending. 

No. 11 WSU (23-7, 13-6 Pac-12) hosted No. 18 Arizona State (25-6, 13-6) for their final regular season match in Bohler of 2023. Arizona State got the first two points before Cougs rattled off a 4-0 start at the beginning of the first set, with a later 5-0 run giving WSU a 14-6 lead they did not relinquish. 

As a team, WSU hit .360% in the first set, adding 10 blocks and a block in their 25-18 set win. In the second set, the two terms had opposite results, with the Sun Devils evening things up with a 25-17 set win where they hit .565% and went the entire set without an attack error. 

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Out of the break, WSU hit .429% and had two total blocks in another dominant 25-18 set win, taking a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth set. 

While sets one through three were pure offensive back-and-forth showings, sets four and five were quite the opposite. The Cougs had seven attack errors in the fourth set, hitting just .192% as a team, but having their best single-set blocking performance with three as a team. On the other side, Arizona State had seven errors of their own, hitting .111% with three blocks themselves.

Neither team dominated in the set, but the Sun Devils rose victorious, a close 25-23 set win to force a fifth and final set. 

Again, a 2-0 lead was built by ASU. WSU then tied it up 2-2. It was back and forth until the Sun Devils built a 9-7 lead. Needing to defend home court, WSU went on a 5-0 run with two straight Isanovic kills, an attack error, another kill by Isanovic then a block from the transfer. The run, spearheaded by Isanovic against her own team, gave them motivation to build a 14-11 lead. 

With Isanovic at the line with all of her individual momentum in the world, it appeared to be over. But Arizona State got two straight points to make it 14-13. Then, after a timeout by WSU, Magda Jehlárová got her 10th kill of the match to secure the 3-2 (25-18, 17-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-13) win for the Cougs to give them their 23rd win of the season. 

Not only was the win a feel-good moment, but Jehlárová set a new record in her performance. Beyond getting 10 kills on an ultra-efficient hitting percentage of .600%, she had three digs and three blocks. 

With her third block, she reached 752 total blocks for her college career. That mark has her stand alone as the all-time leader in career blocks in the NCAA rally-scoring era (since 2001). The only record left standing with her name yet to be next to No. 1 is the Pac-12 record, and she is just five away from standing alone at the top of that record. 

Both WSU and ASU came in as top 15 nationally in hitting percentage, and neither team disappointed. It going the distance was no surprise as the two teams statistically looked very even. The Sun Devils hit .289% and WSU hit .288%. WSU had 13 aces, ASU had 10, ASU had 48 digs, the Cougs had 47 and finally, WSU unblocked the Sun Devils 7–6. 

Along with Jehlárová, two other Cougs reached double-digit kills. Isanovic led the team with 13 kills against her former team and Katy Ryan finished with exactly 10. Pia Timmer and Lana Radakovic nearly joined the double-digit kills, as both finished with nine kills against ASU. 

With one more kill, Timmer would have gotten yet another double-double, as she had 10 digs, four assists, five service aces and three blocks in one of her most versatile performances of 2023. With her five service aces, she got to 146 for her career, moving her to second all-time in program history.

Argentina Ung had a strong performance in spreading the ball, finishing with 40 assists, four kills, 14 digs and two blocks on the night. 

WSU has just one remaining match on their regular season schedule. At 7 p.m. Friday, WSU and UW will battle it out for the second time this season in the Boeing Apple Cup, this time coming in Seattle.

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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.