Volleyball falls to the Buffaloes, takes out Utes

The Washington State University volleyball team hit both ends of the emotional spectrum this weekend with a loss to Colorado and a sweep of Utah.

After falling 2-3 at the hands of Colorado (15-6, 7-4) Friday night, the Cougars (16-9, 3-9) turned things around and swept Utah (17-7, 6-6) Saturday.

WSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Colorado with set scores of 25-22 and 25-19 before dropping the final three sets to fall 3-2.

After hitting .295 through the first two sets, the Cougar offense disappeared through the final three sets, hitting only .141 down the stretch including a .056 mark in the third set.

“I think our passing broke down then we became very predictable and couldn’t get the ball to our middles,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “They were able to really capitalize and get a lot of blocks in that time that our passing broke down.”

The Cougars were out-hit by Colorado .292 to .206 in the match while also being out-blocked 17-8.

Despite the loss, three Cougars players had double-digit kill totals. Freshman Kyra Holt led the way with 19 kills, while junior Ver’Leea Hardaway added 13 and freshman Hailey Bethune contributed 12.

The Cougars committed 31 attack errors and nine service errors against Colorado, some coming at inopportune times.

“At crucial points in the game, just making a couple of errors, when the score is tied like that you have to be able to finish at the end,” Greeny said. “The more experience this team has the better they are going to be in the future.”

Despite the deflating nature of the loss to Colorado, the Cougars were able to turn things around on Saturday with a sweep of Utah with set scores of 27-25, 26-24 and 25-20.

Holt followed her 19-kill performance against Colorado with a 20-kill showing against Utah while hitting .354.

“This was a great win,” senior Marcelina Glab said. “It was an upsetting loss to Colorado last night and while we did a few things well at times, we couldn’t quite put it together. To come out today and demolish Utah in three sets and play a complete overall game was a great feeling for the team.”

The Cougars managed to out-block the Utes, who came into the match second in the conference in blocking. Glab and Hardaway, who each threw up six blocks, led the blocks from WSU.

“Utah is a great team, and it gets pretty scary when they have that big block up there, but I think our hitters really took care of the ball tonight, and we served extremely well and got them out of system,” Greeny said. “They had to become more predictable so that we could set that block up.”

WSU landed six service aces against Utah while only allowing one. Three of the Cougars’ service aces came from freshman Tani Stephens.

The Cougars’ next action will be road matches against Arizona State and Arizona Wednesday and Thursday.