No. 19 Cougars fall to No. 13 USC

WSU is 10-6 in Pac-12 play, tied for third in conference

Sophomore+outside+hitter+Penny+Tusa%2C+left%2C+and+junior+libero+Alexis+Dirige+high-five+one+another+after+a+successful+rally+in+the+game+against+University+of+California%2C+Los+Angeles%2C+on+Oct.+21+in+Bohler+Gym.
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No. 19 Cougars fall to No. 13 USC

Sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa, left, and junior libero Alexis Dirige high-five one another after a successful rally in the game against University of California, Los Angeles, on Oct. 21 in Bohler Gym.

Sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa, left, and junior libero Alexis Dirige high-five one another after a successful rally in the game against University of California, Los Angeles, on Oct. 21 in Bohler Gym.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa, left, and junior libero Alexis Dirige high-five one another after a successful rally in the game against University of California, Los Angeles, on Oct. 21 in Bohler Gym.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa, left, and junior libero Alexis Dirige high-five one another after a successful rally in the game against University of California, Los Angeles, on Oct. 21 in Bohler Gym.

SIGMUND SEROKA, Evergreen reporter

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No. 19 WSU volleyball traveled to Los Angeles, California, for the last road game of the season to take on No. 13 University of Southern California. In the end the Cougars took home the loss in a 3-1 match final. This was WSU’s last away game before coming back to Bohler Gym for the next two weeks.

Set one was a tough game of back-and-forth, but eventually USC managed to pull away from WSU and finish out the set with a 25-18 victory. Making sure the Cougars stayed aggressive on offense was senior outside hitter McKenna Woodford with an impressive .385 hitting percentage.

WSU’s aggressive mindset in set one carried over into set two until the Trojans countered the attack and turned the tables on the Cougars. USC went on multiple scoring runs WSU just didn’t have an answer for.

USC would take set two 25-18 to take a 2-0 match lead over the Cougars. The beginning of set three saw the Trojans carrying the power and momentum from their first two sets into their late-game offense. However, WSU rallied and managed to take the lead after starting down 5-1 in the set.

Like set one, the game was a constant back and forth of scoring until WSU managed to earn a few key blocks and assists to take a dominant lead over the Trojans late in the set. This led to WSU taking the third set 25-22, prolonging the match for one more set.

The Cougars maintained some of their confidence as they began the fourth set with a 4-2 lead.

This sparked a counterattack from the Trojans, who went 8-0 to shock WSU. Throughout the match the Cougars closed in on the Trojans only for USC to pull away from them before they could tie.

After a long set of trying to regain the lead from the Trojans, WSU was unable to complete the task and fell to the Trojans 25-22 to lose the match 3-1. Some noticeable stats for the Cougars included Claire Martin’s six total blocks and McKenna Woodford’s 15 kills.

The Cougars are now tied for third in the Pac-12 standings. They will travel back home to play Stanford University at 7:00 p.m. Friday in Bohler Gym.