Volleyball takes down No. 25 Colorado, loses to No. 17 Utah

Two ranked Pac-12 teams visited Pullman, one left with a win


JESSICA HARJA | The Daily Evergreen

Cougar athletes raise their arms in the air to prevent the ball from crossing the net in a game against No. 17 Utah on Sunday.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball defeated No. 25 Colorado 3-1 on Friday night in Bohler Gym. The Cougs played without junior outside hitter McKenna Woodford due to injury. This was the Cougars’ first win against a ranked opponent of the season.

“Playing without McKenna was a big hole to fill, for sure,” junior outside hitter Taylor Mims said. “[Despite] having people thrown into new positions, I think we faced adversity and came out with the win.”

Mims had a career night, finishing with 24 kills. Senior opposite Casey Schoenlein, who took Woodford’s place, had 13 kills, and served the match-winning ace. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jocelyn Urias led the match with seven blocks.

Head Coach Jen Greeny spoke highly of freshman setter Penny Tusa, who had three kills and 29 assists in the match.

“[Tusa played] pretty great for a freshman … she’s such an athlete and she would do anything for this team,” Greeny said, “that’s just the kind of player and kid that she is.”

WSU volleyball (13-5, 2-4) lost to No. 17 Utah (14-3, 5-1) by a score of 1-3 in Bohler Gym. The Cougars dropped the first two sets before picking up the third 25-21. They ultimately lost the match in the fourth set.

Utah and WSU traded points early. Tied at 11-11, the Utes took a brief lead before the Cougs evened it up again at 16-16. Utah finished with the first set victory, winning 21-25.

Trailing the Utes by four points in the second set, WSU scored three of the next four points to pull within two. However, Utah extended the lead to 20-14. The Cougs made a late push to cut into the Utes’ lead, but it was too late as they lost the second set as well.

“I thought our passing wasn’t great, wasn’t consistent today, and therefore we were pretty predictable in our offense,” Greeny said. “Against a great team like Utah, we have to be more consistent in that area.”

Utah trailed 12-10 in the third set, and three straight points from WSU gave the Cougs a commanding lead. The Utes didn’t give up easily though, rallying late to keep the score close. Eventually, the Cougars prevailed, winning their only set of the competition.

Tied 21-21 in the fourth and final set, Utah scored four straight points to secure the match win.

Mims led the Cougars in kills while picking up six blocks. Urias had, and led, the match with eight blocks, which tied her career-high. Junior middle blocker Ella Lajos and Schoenlein each contributed nine kills. Sophomore setter Ashley Brown and Tusa combined for 41 assists.

Utah had a record night as senior outside hitter Adora Anae became Utah’s all-time leader in kills during Sunday’s match. Anae finished with 20 kills to bring her career total up to 1,635.

Woodford sat out due to an injury.

“It’s a work in progress. We definitely need to get a little bit more used to it,” Greeny said. “Everyone needs to do their job just a little bit better to try and fill that void and that’s what we have to work on this week.”

Greeny took time to speak about the importance of WSU fans attending the home matches.

“We would love to see fans come out to Bohler Gym. It is a great home court advantage when we can get more people out here,” Greeny said.

Next up for the Cougars is another home match, this time against Oregon (10-4, 3-3). The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday in Bohler Gym.