Volleyball sets up for new season

WSU begins season with road trip in North Carolina against two opponents



Sophomore setter Ashley Brown sets up junior middle blocker Ella Lajos against University of California on Nov. 10 at Bohler Gym.

COLIN CONNOLLY, Evergreen reporter

WSU volleyball will head to the East Coast for the opening weekend of its 2018 season. The Cougars will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face Virginia Commonwealth University as well as North Carolina State University in their first two matches of the season.

In 2017, WSU lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to the eventual champions, University of Nebraska. It was the second-straight season the team made it to the second round of the NCAA championships.

With all the success the team has had the past two seasons, along with a class of six returning seniors, head coach Jen Greeny has high expectations for the upcoming season.

“That’s what we are looking at goal-wise right now, is just to take the preseason as it comes,” Greeny said, “but once we get into conference it will be day-in and day-out a fight until the end.”

Not only do the Cougars have good experience and leadership through returning players coming into the 2018 season, they also have great camaraderie as a team.

WSU went on a 10-day trip to Europe together this summer where the team played five matches in four countries. Junior defensive specialist/libero Alexis Dirige said the team grew a lot together by working through mistakes.

“We experienced some really good competition here and we did well,” Dirige said. “I think that is going to give us a lot of confidence.”

Greeny said the team is looking forward to facing a pair of tough teams this weekend which will help prepare for conference play.

Greeny said facing VCU right off the bat will be challenging for the team. First matches are always difficult because they cannot scout or know what the opponent is going to do, she said.

“You have to make adjustments on the fly,” Greeny said. “We had to do that in Europe too, so I think that [experience] will help us this weekend.”

The team is looking to play well, be consistent and come away undefeated after the weekend, she said.

WSU will face VCU 1 p.m. Saturday and NC State 9:30 a.m. Sunday, both in Reynolds Coliseum.