Volleyball swept for second time this season

Cougars could not repeat another upset win, USC won all sets in second match against WSU this year


JORDAN MAXWELL | The Daily Evergreen

Senior opposite Casey Schoenlein hits in between University of Southern California’s block, put up by senior opposite Brittany Abercrombie and junior middle blocker Brittany Welsh. The Trojans took the match, beating WSU for the second time this season.

SAM HEIKELL, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball (14-10, 3-9) was swept on the court for the second time this season. The Cougars fell to No. 19 University of Southern California (16-7, 8-4) in three sets Sunday afternoon.

The team pulled off an upset victory over No. 13 University of California, Los Angeles, on Friday, but could not win a second straight Pac-12 game against a ranked opponent.

“Our serve-receive and our defense and all-around [knowing] the opponent was a lot sharper [in] Friday’s match than today,” senior opposite Casey Schoenlein said. “We got flustered when we felt that we weren’t doing our jobs, and we let one point lead into the next.”

The first set stayed fairly even the entire time. The Trojans got the last couple of points to take it. USC senior opposite Niki Withers delivered an ace to win the set 25-23. Her teammate, junior outside hitter Alyse Ford, led all Trojans with seven kills in the set. Ford finished the match with a total of 14 kills.

“I thought we were pretty good in the first set, but had some silly mistakes there,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “We passed pretty well in the first set, and then the passing broke down a little bit. Hitting-wise, we struggled a little bit — especially our outside hitters.”

Trojan volleyball held a 17-16 lead in the second set, before notching eight consecutive points to secure a 25-16 victory. The Cougars committed eight errors, and 19 total on the day.

WSU scored less points in the third set, mustering 13 total. USC finished the match without losing a set.

“At this point, we need to learn from this match, and we need to flush it,” Schoenlein said. “If we dwell on the energy of not playing our best today, it’s going to carry over into our Wednesday and Thursday matches. We need to focus on getting better for the short time we have.”

The Cougars will travel to Colorado this week to compete against a couple Rocky Mountain schools. The team goes up against University of Colorado, Boulder (17-6, 7-5) on Wednesday and University of Utah (17-6, 8-4) on Thursday.

“It’s tough,” Greeny said. “Anytime you have a Sunday match and you have to turn around, and travel and play Wednesday, [it’s tough], especially back-to-back in the mountain schools where we have to fly in between. We’re going to do our best to get back into practice and get some rest as well. It’s a tough place to be in.”