No. 18 Cougars fall to Cal

WSU loses second match in four sets against Golden Bears



Junior libero Alexis Dirige receives a strike from Stanford on Nov. 16 at Bohler Gym. The Cougars lost to Stanford in the third round of the NCAA Tournament to end their 2018 season.

TY EKLUND, Evergreen reporter

No. 18 WSU volleyball faced University of California, Berkeley, for the second time this season Sunday in Bohler Gym. The Cougars still did have not have enough to beat the Golden Bears, once again falling 3-1.

The two teams last met Oct. 14 when Cal beat WSU 3-1 in Berkeley, California.

Coming into Sunday’s match, Cal was 6-11 in conference play and on a two-game losing streak against University of Oregon and University of Washington.

WSU was also on a two-game losing streak to two California teams, University of Southern California and Stanford University.

The rematch started off strong for both teams in the first set with both the Cougars and the Golden Bears putting up 3-0 scoring runs within the first minute of play.

Early kills by senior outside hitter McKenna Woodford and an ace for both sophomore outside hitter Penny Tusa and redshirt junior middle blocker Jocelyn Urias gave the Cougars a small lead midway into the set. With a 30-minute back-and-forth set, however, WSU slowly fell behind as Cal went on an 8-2 scoring run to go from 10-12 into a 18-14 lead.

The Cougars relied on errors from their opponents to give them an edge up, with Cal making three errors after its huge scoring run.

Urias managed one more ace before the set was over. The Golden Bears finished 25-21 with a service ace delivered by junior outside hitter Maddie Haynes.

The second set was looking in WSU’s favor as the set opened with five continuous errors, three of them made by Cal. Senior middle blocker Ella Lajos had the first kill of the set for the Cougars, bringing her to four total; she would later finish the set with a total of eight kills.

That score would be the start of a 3-0 scoring run for WSU to which Cal responded, putting the score at 6-5 in favor of the Cougars. During the run for Cal junior outside hitter Bailee Huizenga earned her third service ace of the game, scoring two in the previous set. The Golden Bears followed with four more errors through the rest of the set, leading to a 25-21 set victory for WSU.

Cal came out strong after halftime, scoring four points in a row after an early error. This was a brief head start as the Cougars responded with a 4-1 run to tie the game at 5-5. The Bears would then go on to have four more scoring runs with one 3-0, two 4-0 and a final 5-0 run that put them at a 24-17 advantage over WSU.

In between these scoring streaks the Cougars relied on Mims for five more kills during the set and three consecutive errors from Cal. Despite this, the Cougars trailed and lost the third set 25-19.

Coming into the sudden death set Mims had eight errors, six digs and 13 kills, Lajos had nine kills and four errors and Woodford had eight kills and two digs.

Trying to break the deja vu experience of losing in set four against the Golden Bears, the Cougars came out swinging with Woodford and Mims getting kills to start off. Cal then made a 5-1 scoring run and held the lead until they were up 15-10.

With errors piling on either side, WSU brought the game to trail at a close 19-18. Cal shut them down soon after to finish the set 25-22 and take the match victory 3-1.

The Cougars await their next match against Oregon State University at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Bohler Gym.