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

Pia Timmer: living WSU great

Outside earned fourth All-Pac-12 honor Tuesday, first Cougs to 1,500 kills/ 1,000 digs in career
Pia Timmer has the spotlight on her as she runs out during player introductions vs. the Oregon Ducks, Oct. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

Pia Timmer came to WSU in the 2019 recruiting class, the same class as a fellow decorated program great in Magda Jehlárová. Since then, the two have become best friends and have rewritten the history books for the Cougs. 

The 2023 season has been no different. Timmer made the All-Pac-12 First Team for the fourth time, became the first player in program history to reach 1,500 kills and 1,000 digs in a career and is at the offensive forefront of the No. 4 seeded WSU Cougars that are gearing up to host Grand Canyon University for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Friday.

To get here, Timmer had a long path. She said she started playing when she was 5, as her mother got her into the sport and had played, so she had grown up around the sport.

Before coming to WSU, she played in Germany’s second division, playing for her hometown club for 5–6 years. She said that Burdette Greeny, WSU associate head coach and recruiting coordinator, first reached out over Facebook after the German Championships in 2018, but she did not immediately respond.

“I didn’t really reply for like three months or something because I didn’t know who he was or what he wanted for me,” she said. 

Even once she started responding and looking into coming to the United States to continue her collegiate career, it was not the easiest decision.

“I’ve never lived away from [my parents] for a long time. So it was definitely a really big decision and a big step to take,” she said. “I just thought it’d be really cool to be able to connect college and volleyball and get a degree while doing what I love.” 

She quickly became a vital part of the team, playing in a current career-high 121 sets, earning All-Pac-12 All-Freshman Team honors. Every season since, she has become a vital part of the offense and improved her game. 

Over the past five years, she said her technical skills have improved immensely. She said she thinks of herself as a very well-rounded player in her talents but is still always looking to improve, whether that is in passing, digging or anything else she can improve on. 

Early in her time at WSU, she also began living with two of the other international players of her recruiting class, Jehlárová and Weronika Wojdyla, quickly becoming best friends and an inseparable trio. 

“[Coming to WSU has been] one of the best decisions that I’ve made in my life,” Timmer said in 2021. “I’m really happy here and it’s a lot of fun.” 

She and Jehlárová have become an elite tandem, with Timmer becoming a four-time All-Pac-12 First Team member and Jehlárová becoming a five-time member. In every full season, she has tallied over 300 kills, breaking the 400 mark for the first time in 2022 and sitting just 13 shy of 400 as the team enters the NCAA Tournament this season.

“They’ve been so important to me the whole time of being here. I really can’t imagine what I would do without him here. They’re just so important to me,” Jehlárová said about Timmer and Wojdyla.

Timmer had the same feeling.

“We’ve always had the same humor and we’ve always been pretty similar when it comes to personalities,” she said about Jehlárová. “She reminds me of what it’s like to have a great teammate and what it’s like to play with friends.” 

Playing alongside her best friends, Timmer has been a statistical darling. In 2023, she has put up 387 kills on 3.39 kills per set, hitting a career-best .241%, adding 36 service aces, 244 digs and 46 blocks. 

Her career totals have increased to 1,921 points 1,670 kills, hitting .217% with an additional 149 service aces, 1,004 digs, 175 blocks and 106 assists. 

Her kill total ranks her third all-time in program history, if the season ended today, she would finish fifth all-time in kills per set at 3.35, she is one service ace away from tying the program record of 150 set by Penny Tusa, her 1,921 points are the second-most since 2001 and finally, her 138 matches played are two away from third all-time, behind Jehlárová and teammate Julia Norville.

This season has been good for her statistically, but she said it has also brought back some of her favorite memories as a Coug.

She said that traveling to Texas and getting to silence the thousands of fans rooting against them with every point scored was super fun. It was “such a cool feeling.

Outside of volleyball, her favorite WSU memory has involved her best friends. Herself, Jehlárová and Wojdyla decided to take a trip down the West Coast during the pandemic. 

“We took a road trip down the Oregon coast. All the way down to LA,” Timmer said. “It was just so pretty and I just felt so carefree. It was so fun.” 

While the program will miss her, Timmer has already made an impact that will go beyond her playing days. She has stepped up as a leader and mentor for both the young players as well her fellow veterans. 

“I love watching her and she’s like a role model for me. I’ve learned a lot from her,” Wojdyla said. 

As the No. 4-seeded Cougs get ready to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in their home Bohler Gym, Timmer said she has high expectations for herself and her team. 

“I think if we would end our season in the second round, I wouldn’t feel very accomplished because I just want to get further than that,” Timmer said.

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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.