Volleyball takes down USC in thrilling five set match

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

After losing to the No.2 Stanford University and the University of California Berkley on the road last week, the No. 23 WSU volleyball team defeated the No. 14 University of Southern California in five sets at home Friday night.

Head coach Jen Greeny was pleased with her team’s performance and felt that the home court brought them an advantage.

“People need to understand how important this crowd is to this team and to this program,” said Greeny.

In the first set, USC got the first point, but WSU took control for the remainder of the set resulting in a Cougar win 25-16. After winning the first set, Greeny said it gave the team some confidence and set a tone.

An early lead in the second set would not end up benefiting the Cougars as USC came back to tie it up at 12. The teams would be tied again at 13, however, when USC took the lead again they would keep it. The Cougars would start rallies getting the score close, but USC walked away with a 25-21 victory.

The Cougars scored first in the third set and USC was quick to respond. USC and WSU would alternate leads as the majority of the match was a tie. The Trojans would fight back to tie it up at 19 but WSU would take the lead until USC had a rally that brought them just one point away from match point until the Cougs ended it with a 25-23 victory.

In the fourth set the Cougars would score first and hold the lead until USC tied it up at nines. In another series of back and forth control, after a tie at 19, the Trojans would lead until the Cougars tied the score at 22 but USC continued their fight to win 25-23.

In the fifth and final set, USC was leading most of the set but the Cougars were able to fight back up and get the points at the end to win 18-16. A huge part of the Cougs success came from senior outside hitter Mckenna Woodford as she lead the team with 23 kills.

“Don’t mess with us,” said Woodford. “I mean I think it just shows how tight this team is off the court because I don’t think that you can win sets like this, matches like this when you don’t have such a tight knit team who is out there knowing that individually, you know, we’re nothing but together we can do anything that we want.”

In addition to Woodford’s 23 kills, redshirt junior middle blocker Jocelyn Urias had 13 kills and sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa had 14 kills while junior setter Ashley Brown added 52 assists to the stat sheet.

The Cougars will take on the No. 20 ranked University of California Los Angeles on Sunday Oct. 21 at noon in Bohler Gymnasium.