Cougar volleyball concludes regular season with loss to UW

From staff reports

After defeating USC last Wednesday in Bohler Gym, No. 25 WSU women’s volleyball team (21-11, 11-9) fell against rival No. 7 Washington on Saturday in three sets.

The set scores for Saturday’s game were 25-20, 25-23, and 25-21, making for a tough way for the Cougs to end the regular season.

“I thought, at times, we played really well,” WSU Head Couch Jen Greeny said, “but when you’re going up against a team as good as Washington, you just can’t make that many unforced errors.”

Saturday’s match began with a send-off for WSU seniors outside hitter Hailey Bethune, outside hitter Kyra Holt, setter Haley MacDonald and defensive specialist Tani Stephens.

Holt led the Cougars with 11 kills against the Huskies while Bethune added five kills and one block. MacDonald had 22 assists and Stephens clocked in seven digs. Junior outside hitter Casey Schoenlein had nine kills and sophomore outside hitter McKenna Woodford had seven kills while fellow sophomore middle blockers Taylor Mims and Claire Martin contributed three and four blocks, respectively.

Both teams matched each other in kills and digs with 41 each. The Huskies out-blocked the Cougars 10.5 to seven. Washington leaders were junior outside hitter Tia Scambray with 14 kills and four blocks, junior outside hitter Courtney Schwan with 10 kills, and junior outside hitter Crissy Jones with eight kills.

Holt also led Wednesday’s match against USC with 18 kills while Mims clocked in seven blocks for WSU. After five sets, the Cougars managed to pull a win against USC with set scores of 25-17, 20-25, 20-25, 25-15, 8-15.

USC tallied 57 kills to WSU’s 53 and had 70 digs to WSU’s 62. The Cougars, still ranked No. 1 in the nation for total blocks and blocks per set, had 15 blocks to USC’s 12. USC leaders were outside hitters freshman Khalia Lanier with 27 kills and junior Niki Withers with 12 kills. Senior middle blocker Elise Ruddins had nine kills and six blocks.

The Cougars ended their season in fifth place in the Pac-12 with 21 wins.

The Cougars’ 21 wins ties the 1993 WSU team for sixth-most wins in a season and the 11 conference wins is the most for a Cougar team since 2002.

Reporting by Jesse Woodhead