Volleyball prepares for Apple Cup

Timmer leads Cougars with 108 kills as they get ready to play Huskies at home, open Pac-12 play

Freshman outside hitter Alexcis Lusby and middle blocker Magda Jehlarova block a shot from Liberty University outside hitter Lilly Kruse on Sept. 14 in Bohler Gym.

HSING-HAN CHEN | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman outside hitter Alexcis Lusby and middle blocker Magda Jehlarova block a shot from Liberty University outside hitter Lilly Kruse on Sept. 14 in Bohler Gym.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars start conference play this week against their in-state foe No. 8 Washington Huskies at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Bohler Gym.

WSU (11-1) is on a 10-game winning streak coming into this match. The Huskies (9-1) lost to the University of Hawai’i earlier this season 3-1.

WSU enters the match after going 3-0 in the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley tournament, getting contributions from freshman outside hitter Alexcis Lusby. Lusby led the team offensively, recording 33 kills throughout the tournament.

Head coach Jen Greeny said the Cougars’ performance has been more consistent recently.

“That’s something we’ve definitely been working on,” she said. “We know as we continue on through the Pac-12, that’s something we’re really going to need going forward.”

Other freshmen that have stood out to her are middle blocker Magda Jehlarova and outside hitter Pia Timmer.

“They don’t play like typical freshman,” Greeny said. “I think that international experience really helps them.”

Jehlarova played with the Czech Republic Junior National Team U17 in high school, and Timmer received two MVP medals and a second-place finish at the Under-20 Championships in Germany.

Conference play will be tougher, Greeny said. The young team features 11 players that didn’t play in a match last year.

“They’ll be seeing some better defense and blocking,” she said. “The speed of the game will be much quicker.”

UW starts conference play as well after beating No. 9 Wisconsin both on the road and at home in back-to-back matches.

The two teams split last year’s matchup with the home team winning each match 3-2. The Cougars are 6-30 all-time against the Huskies.

The first match of the Apple Cup series starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Bohler Gym. The game can also be viewed on the Pac-12 Networks.