Cougars lose to Cal, drops fourth straight match

WSU remains in the cellar of the Pac-12 standings as the team extends their losing streak to a season-high four games

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Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Senior opposite Casey Schoenlein spikes the ball against California during Friday night's game.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball (13-8, 2-7) dropped the fourth straight Pac-12 game Friday night in Berkeley. University of California, Berkeley (12-8, 3-6) took the match by a score of 3-1. WSU has struggled to notch victories in conference play this season as its only done so against Colorado and Arizona.

“Cal runs a slower offense with really high balls to the pins and I don’t think our block really [got] going like I think it should have,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said after the game. “Their hitting numbers were much too high, and we have to be able to make better adjustments.”

Junior outside hitter Taylor Mims led all Cougar players with 20 kills in the match. Senior opposite Casey Schoenlein added to the kills total with 16. She also posted zero errors in 35 attacks. Freshman setter Penny Tusa had 22 assists and served two aces.

“I thought we had some good production from Casey Schoenlein,” Greeny said. “She was great tonight.”

Jocelyn Urias had four blocks, helping WSU out-block California nine to six. The Cougars out-hit the Golden Bears 55 to 53 and the Golden Bears tallied eight aces with five serving errors while WSU had three aces and 13 errors.

“I think serving errors is definitely what hurt us tonight. We had 13 service errors and right when we were starting to get some momentum back, we’d miss our serve,” Greeny said. “We just can’t do this in this conference. … But we have to have more players step up and we just can’t make those kinds of errors down the stretch.”

Junior middle blocker Claire Martin had three block assists, moving her to 335 in her career — good enough for 7th best in WSU program history.

This was the 8th straight home win for the California, dating back to Aug. 26. The Cougars, who have fared well on the road, now have own a 7-3 road record.

“There’s nothing like playing on our home court,” Golden Bears freshman setter Isabel Potter said. “I think this match is a huge momentum-changer for us. Every one of us felt that. We hope it carries over into the next match.”

WSU will meet California again Nov. 10, however, the game will be played in Pullman instead of in Berkeley. The Cougs now prepare for a 7 p.m. match tonight at No.2 Stanford (16-2, 9-0).