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

Volleyball not only dancing in — but hosting — NCAA Tournament

Cougs get No. 4 seed
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BRANDON WILLMAN
Karly Basham (left) and Jasmine Martin (right) react as the WSU volleyball team earns a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Volleyball tournament, Nov. 26, in Pullman, Wash.

For the eighth consecutive season, the WSU volleyball team headed by Jen Greeny and her staff earned a bid in the NCAA volleyball tournament. However, 2023 is a little different. In earning a No. 4 seed, the Cougs will host the first two rounds of the tournament, with Dayton, Pepperdine and Grand Canyon coming to the Palouse. 

“Really proud of this team, we worked hard for this,” Greeny said. 

The last time the Cougs hosted the tournament, something they have done seven times in program history was in 2018, when the team advanced to the Sweet 16. 

WSU will face Grand Canyon (23-7) in the first round, then the winner of that match will play the day after against the winner of Dayton (31-2) and Pepperdine (19-8). 

Hosting is a huge advantage, as adding additional home matches is no guarantee as the season progresses. This season, the Cougs finished 12-4 in Bohler Gym, 10-3 on the road and 2-0 in neutral-site matches. Two of their home loses, Oregon and Stanford, came at the hands of two other hosting teams. One came from a team that was just on the cusp of making the tournament in UCLA and their fourth loss came from Oregon State, the only non-tournament caliber team. 

“Being in Bohler Gym is really important, proud of this team and proud of what we’ve done to try to get to the sunshine in Tampa,” Greeny said. 

This year’s team has a lot of experience in the NCAA Tournament. Since joining the team in 2019, Jehlárová and Pia Timmer have made it to the dance in every season, but they hope this year they can go even further. 

Entering the tournament, the Cougs are on a five-match winning streak, starting with their five-set win over another tournament team, USC. Since then, they beat Colorado, Utah, and tournament teams Arizona State and UW to close the regular season.

Against teams that made the NCAA Tournament, the Cougs went 7-5 in 2023, with wins over BYU, Texas, Arizona State, Oregon, Wright State, Baylor and USC. 

In the Cougs portion of the bracket, the No. 1 seed is Pittsburgh, meaning if everything goes according to seeding, they will travel to Pitt after the first two rounds. While chaos can happen, it is best served when away from the Cougs. 

“We’re not hoping for chaos with us, but we are hoping for chaos everywhere else,” associate head coach Burdette Greeny said. 

Four nights of rest sit between WSU volleyball and their NCAA Tournament run, but the season all comes down to this. The Cougs first match is set for 7 p.m. Friday as they host Grand Canyon in Bohler Gym.

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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 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.