Cougars escape Trojan comeback

Volleyball has record day in the Galen Center against USC



The women’s volleyball team celebrates during a match against the University of Washington on Sept. 25, 2019, at Bohler Gym.

DAMIEN ALVARADO , Evergreen reporter

No. 24 WSU volleyball got its first road win 3-2 against the University of Southern California in 21 years on Sunday afternoon.

The last road win at USC happened when head coach Jen Greeny was playing for WSU.

WSU had a 2-0 set lead on USC, then in the third set, USC prevented WSU’s match point three times to force extra sets in Los Angeles.

The Cougars (13-3, 2-2) won the first two sets 25-20 and 25-22. The Trojans (8-6, 2-2) won sets three and four 28-26 and 25-16. In the fifth set, the teams kept it close until the Cougars won 15-13.

The Cougars began the match against the Trojans rallying back and forth. WSU eventually caught fire and took a 20-11 lead. The Trojans fought right back with a 7-2 run of their own to close the gap at 22-18. WSU finished a 3-2 run to win the first set.

In the second set, both teams exchanged points and tied the score 10 times. After a 12-12 score, WSU took the lead for the rest of the set. Freshman outside hitter Pia Timmer closed the set with a kill.

The Cougars found some rhythm early in the third set generating a 5-0 run against the Trojans. USC began battling back with a few small runs. The Trojans and the Cougars went on to trade points throughout the later stages of the set. The Trojans took a 28-26 victory to force a fourth set.

Momentum shifted toward the Trojans in the fourth set. They took an early 10-7 lead and extended it to 20-14. The Cougars’ errors and the Trojans’ performance in the fourth led to a 25-16 set victory for USC.

The fifth set USC took a 2-0 lead and the Cougars trailed. They didn’t lead until after they tied set at 12 points. Freshman outside hitter Alexcis Lusby made the block, which led to WSU’s victory.

Redshirt freshman Hannah Pukis set a new personal best with 53 assists in the game. Jocelyn Urias, redshirt senior middle blocker, led the team with 18 kills, and Timmer followed with 17 kills.

WSU returns to Pullman to face No. 25 Oregon at 6 p.m. on Friday in Bohler Gym.

This story has been updated to correct WSU’s last road win to WSU’s last road win at USC happened when head coach Jen Greeny was playing for WSU.