Volleyball falls short against Wildcats

Taylor Mims returns but it wasn’t enough as Arizona defeats WSU in five sets



Senior outside hitter Taylor Mims returns the ball back to Arizona during the match Friday in Bohler Gym.

KATIE ARCHER, Evergreen reporter

No. 18 WSU volleyball fell to No. 21 University of Arizona 3-2 Friday night in Bohler Gym, putting an end to the Cougars’ four-game win streak.

After the game, Head Coach Jen Greeny said there were moments where her team was not communicating very well.

“We definitely need that leadership out on the court and it starts with communication,” Greeny said.

The Cougars would win the first set 25-23 on soft touches getting the ball over the net and into an open area. Both teams had a total of 16 kills in the first set. Senior outside hitter McKenna Woodford lead the team with five kills followed by sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa with four kills.

Woodford started the second set with a kill to put WSU on the board, however, Arizona’s attacking offense took the upper hand to grab its first set 25-20. A couple of late kills by Woodford would not be enough to slow down the Arizona attack.

In the third set, senior outside hitter Taylor Mims made her return to play after she had missed the previous five games due to an undisclosed injury. Mims helped lead her team to pick up their second set victory of the night by a score of 25-19.

Mims said she was glad to be back on the court with her teammates.

“I miss playing with these girls all the time and I’m glad I got the opportunity to play,” Mims said.

The fourth set brought a lot of back and forth intensity as the score was tied 11 times throughout the match. With five lead changes in the game, Arizona ended up coming out on top to win its second set of the night 25-22, forcing a fifth set.

Arizona used its momentum in the final set to get an early 8-3 lead, causing the Cougars to pick up the pace. With a kill from Tusa, WSU rallied to close the gap to just one point at 10-9.

The Cougars intensity in the last match was not enough though as the Wildcats battled back to take the set 15-12 and win the match 3-2. Woodford thought the Cougars performance was not as good as it has been lately.

“I think we are usually a lot better at all the intangible things and all the tiny little pick up here and there, and being in the right spot,” Woodfrod said. “We just weren’t tonight … I think they just out played us.”

Woodford led the team with 22 kills and had three blocks and Tusa added 12 kills and five aces. This loss was the Cougars first loss in Bohler Gym this season.

Greeny said the setters and hitters need to connect better if they want to win their upcoming match against Arizona State University.

“I’m sure it will be tough battle again on Sunday as every match is here in the Pac-12,” Greeny said.

The Cougars will host Arizona State University at noon Sunday in Bohler Gym. The match can also be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.