Cougars end home streak with loss to ASU

Volleyball wins its first two sets but loses momentum in match



Redshirt senior middle blocker Jocelyn Urias spikes the ball towards Arizona State on Sunday at Bohler Gym.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Former Evergreen reporter

The Cougars dropped the final game of a four-game homestand 3-2. They could not stop the Arizona State University Sun Devils’ momentum after winning the first two sets.

WSU (16-4, 5-3) won the first two sets 25-19 and 25-17. They dropped the last three sets 25-20, 25-22 and 15-12 to lose the match to ASU (11-8, 3-5).

ASU rallied to comeback during the fourth set. Then they carried their momentum into the fifth after taking an 8-6 lead. They would hold on to it for the rest of the set to ensure a victory.

Head coach Jen Greeny said the team needs to be better in the moment during a tight game.

“That’s what this conference is about,” Greeny said. “Great teams that make adjustments and come at you.”

Late in the fourth set of the game, ASU tied the set 22-22 after trailing earlier 18-12. They ended the set with four straight kills from freshman outside hitter Iman Isanovic and a WSU attack error sealed the set win for the Sun Devils.

After losing a challenge earlier in the set, the Cougars went on a 7-4 run to take an 11-7 lead over the Sun Devils.

Greeny lost the challenge, and the referees determined an ASU kill touched a Cougar defender’s hand before landing beyond the backline. ASU stayed within one as the Cougars led 4-3 as a result of the challenge.

Two attack errors and a service error from the Cougars helped give ASU an early 7-5 lead in the third set. The Cougars rallied after three ASU errors to take an 11-10 lead.

Two Hannah Pukis kills helped the Cougars take 16-13 to force an ASU timeout. ASU rallied and tied the game 17-17. The Sun Devils took advantage of a service ace and a couple of WSU errors to take a 22-19 lead.

ASU junior middle blocker Megan Beedie recorded three kills during an ASU 8-3 run to prevent a sweep and finish the third set.

Greeny said they need to be better at blocking opposing teams’ attacks. They had 11 in the game.

WSU jumped to a 7-3 lead in the second set as freshman outside hitter Alexcis Lusby sent two ASU attacks back to their side of the net. ASU quickly recovered with the help of service ace that bounced off freshman libero Julia Norville’s hands to force a 7-7 tie.

The Cougars held on to a 17-15 lead as the two teams could find no separation from each other until kills from freshman middle blocker Magda Jehlárová and redshirt freshman setter Hannah Pukis sparked an 8-2 run for the Cougars to win the set.

Jehlárová had 11 kills during the game and racked four of them after being substituted in during that run to help the Cougars take the second set.

“She was doing a really nice job,” Greeny said. “Then they made some changes defensively and started digging her a little bit more.”

Both teams traded points early in the first set as Lusby and junior outside hitter Penny Tusa both recorded three kills to help the Cougars maintain a 15-13 advantage.

The Cougars received a crucial point during a 4-1 run after winning an ASU challenge when freshman outside hitter Pia Timmer’s kill went through the fingers of an ASU defender before landing out of bounds. Their 19-14 lead forced ASU to call a timeout to regroup and come back during the set.

The timeout would be in vain as the Cougars finished the set on a 6-5 run, capitalized by a Tusa kill that floated just over the hands of ASU’s front line.

The Cougars will be on the road at Colorado on Thursday to start a two-game road trip against the Buffaloes and the University of Utah.