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-Flyers for Sweet 16 berth

Both teams bring momentum into match
The+2023+WSU+volleyball+team+during+the+national+anthem+before+an+NCAA+volleyball+match+against+the+Oregon+Ducks%2C+Oct.+27%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.+
BRANDON WILLMAN
The 2023 WSU volleyball team during the national anthem before an NCAA volleyball match against the Oregon Ducks, Oct. 27, in Pullman, Wash.

After taking care of business in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, a trip to the Sweet 16 is the prize for Dayton and WSU as they battle on a cold Saturday night.It will be a short rest for both programs, but that is the way things go during the postseason. 

“I think it’s awesome we took care of business,” WSU outside hitter Iman Isanovic said. “Our mentality is going to be on to the next game, on to Dayton.” 

WSU won their opening-round matchup against Grand Canyon in a sweep, 3-0 (25-12, 31-29, 25-17), while Dayton had their match against Pepperdine go the full length, but won 3-2 (26-28, 26-24, 20-25, 25-14, 15-11). 

Isanovic dominated for the Cougs against the Lopes, tallying eight kills in the first set en route to finishing with 16 kills and a hitting percentage of .375%. Right behind her, Pia Timmer had 15 kills on .303%, as a team, the Cougs hit .375%. 

A particularly dominant first set, where the Cougs hit .600%, made sure the near-3,000-person crowd knew the Cougs were there not only to host but also to win. Beating the Lopes extended WSU’s winning streak to six matches, but what matters is what is ahead of them. 

That would be Dayton. Despite struggling offensively, specifically having less-than-ideal contributions from their stars Lexie Almodovar and Taylor Russell in the opening sets, they fought through to secure the win. 

Winners of 27 straight, the first-round victory proved that despite really only knowing winning for the past few months, they know how to handle adversity under pressure.

“They’re a great team. I mean, that was a battle this evening. I think Dayton kind of found that next gear. They’re scrappy, they play good defense and they’re well coached,” WSU head coach Jen Greeny said. 

The Flyers have some dominant back-row defenders. Gaby Arroyo had 22 digs in the win over Pepperdine, and not far behind, Karissa Kaminski finished with 17 digs and 10 assists. Kaminski’s passing ability out of system has proved to be a killer backup plan when the ball cannot get to their traditional setter. 

It will surely be a battle, but with home-court advantage for WSU, every point will make a difference. 

WSU and Dayton will face off at 7 p.m. Saturday in Bohler Gym for an opportunity to make the Sweet 16.

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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.