Volleyball prepares for road match with No. 20 Oregon

WSU recently swept California, forced four sets against Stanford


JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen file

WSU senior setter Nicole Rigoni sets up junior opposite Claire Martin on Nov. 11, 2017 against Stanford.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball will face off against No. 20 University of Oregon for the second time this season. The Cougars have not beat the Ducks in their last 22 meetings with the team’s most recent victory dating back to 2005. However, that streak was almost broken in an Oct. 13 match that included five sets.

Oregon (16-8, 9-7) took three of five sets to defeat WSU, but both teams appear on the NCAA’s Top 50 in different statistics. The Cougars (15-13, 4-12) are fifth in total blocks, while the Ducks are 19th in hitting percentage.

WSU will enter the game with the same goals as when the two teams met earlier this season. Junior outside hitter Taylor Mims said her team will not change its game plan for UO even if the Ducks change theirs.

Cougar volleyball is coming off a sweep against University of California, Berkeley and a four-set loss to No. 2 Stanford last weekend. Mims led both teams with 25 kills against the Cardinal while redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jocelyn Urias ended the match with seven blocks.

“Overall, our coaches were proud of us, we were proud of ourselves … we can take from that,” Mims said. “We can hang with pretty much anyone in the Pac-12.”

Urias, who is seventh in the nation for total blocks, feels her serving needs improvement, but credited the team for blocking, hitting and rallying well against a top 10 team in Stanford.

“Whoever gets in [the court] is doing their job, we’re good in that.” she said.

WSU only has four regular season conference matches left, and three of those are on the road. The Cougars previously lost matches to all three teams they will meet on the road in the final matches of the season.

“Some challenges are for sure not playing in your own gym, completely different atmosphere,” Mims said. “The crowd and the fans, those are all things that we have to face [on the road].”

After competing against the Ducks, WSU will travel to Corvallis for a match against Oregon State University. The team will then return to the Pullman where they will go up against Arizona State University.

The match against UO is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Friday in Matthew Knight Arena and will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.