Cougars and Seminoles meet for first time

Florida State University to participate in its ninth consecutive tournament


JORDAN MAXWELL | Daily Evergreen file

WSU senior opposite Casey Schoenlein spikes the ball in a match against University of Southern California on Oct. 29 in Bohler Gymnasium. WSU lost 3-0.

RYAN MOSHER, Evergreen reporter

Cougar volleyball is set to play Florida State University on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament. WSU is one of 64 teams competing for the championship, and one of nine teams from the Pac-12, the most of any conference.

“I think it’s a fresh start, especially because five Pac-12 teams made it in the top 16,” WSU sophomore libero Alexis Dirige said in a news conference. “That just shows how good our conference is. So, even if you do look at our Pac-12 record, look at the teams in our conference. We deserve to be here.”

Stanford University finished with one loss this season, and five more wins than the team in conference standings. The Cardinal took the 2016 Championship and is looking to repeat.

Cougar athletes helped the program (17-15, 6-14) finish ninth in the Pac-12 standings. Some of those wins were upsets as WSU defeated No. 25 University of Colorado, Boulder, No. 13 University of California, Los Angeles and No. 20 University of Oregon this season.

“Very excited for this team. We had a lot of hard work go into this year,” Cougar Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “Some ups and downs, some injuries, but the team definitely persevered and came up with some big wins down the stretch … just really excited and proud of this team.”

WSU junior outside hitter Taylor Mims was recently named to the All-Pac-12 Volleyball First Team, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday in a news release. Mims, along with 17 other Pac-12 athletes, received votes from head coaches. She ranks 18th in total points nationally with 585.5 scored.

FSU (18-10, 12-8) finished the season tied for fifth in the ACC standings with a 12-8 conference record. The Seminoles ended the regular season by winning six straight matches. This is the ninth consecutive tournament appearance for the FSU’s volleyball program, which made it to the Sweet 16 last season.

In fact, it was Stanford that eliminated the Seminoles in 2016.

This first round match for the Cougs against FSU is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the Bob Devaney Sports Center Complex in Lincoln, Nebraska. The game will be available on the NCAA’s official website. Friday’s match will be the first meeting in history between WSU and Seminoles.

“The way that we can get film these days is fantastic,” Greeny said. “Through volleymetrics, we can see pretty much every single one of their matches and they can see every single one of ours as well. We’ll be up late these next few nights just trying to get as much information as we can.”