While women’s soccer has had the most success of WSU’s fall sports recently, the volleyball team could make a run at that distinction in 2016. The Cougs have won seven straight matches and both of the tournaments they’ve been in this season. They’re also receiving votes in the AVCA coaches poll, even as soccer has failed to drum up support in the NSCAA coaches polls.
Last weekend, the volleyball team beat up on inferior competition at the Cougar Challenge tournament. WSU didn’t drop a set over its three matches against Maryland Eastern Shore, George Washington and Idaho. In a dominating two-day stretch, the Cougs hit a scorching .371.
In a somewhat surprising development, Kyra Holt wasn’t named the tournament MVP. Instead, that honor went to teammate Haley Bethune who landed 28 kills and finished with a .545 hitting percentage. Not to be denied all honors, Holt was named to the all-tournament team along with WSU’s McKenna Woodford.
This weekend, the Cougs will travel to Texas to take on a pair of power conference foes. They’ll play against the College of Charleston, Virginia, and Baylor in the Baylor Invitational in Waco on Sept. 16 and 17. The Cougs have the best record of the four teams and have a good opportunity to win their third straight tournament.
After the tournament the Cougs will move onto play in the treacherous Pac-12. The cupcakes on the schedule end there, and the level of competition will take a big jump. To start, WSU will play at No. 5 UW on Sept. 21. We should know if this team has a shot at making the NCAA tournament after a few conference games.
The soccer team is also nearing the conference part of its schedule, but has had a rockier start than volleyball. They head into their Sept. 15 home match against Seattle with a 3-2-1 record. They put together their first winning streak of the year by beating Montana and North Dakota St, but that was broken by a tie with TCU on Sept. 9.
Freshman Morgan Weaver has made an impact early, scoring a team-high four goals in six games. Last year’s leading scorer, Kaitlyn Johnson, has only scored once but has recorded four of WSU’s 7 assists. Goalie Ella Dederick has been consistent in the back of the net, only allowing 0.85 goals per game and recording 18 saves so far.
The game against Seattle U. on Thursday will kickoff at the Lower Soccer Field at 5 p.m. After that, the Cougs will host Boise St. for home game on Sunday at 1 p.m. You can watch the first game on wsucougars.com and the matchup with the Broncos will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.
The tennis team started its fall season last weekend with a strong performance in the Cougar Classic. The Cougs came away with titles in both singles flights and the doubles bracket.
The winning doubles team of Barbora Michalkova and Aneta Miksovska beat a duo from Boise St., and they also faced each other for a singles title. Miksovska defeated Michalkova to take home the Crimson flight singles title in a battle of WSU sophomores. Freshman Melisa Ates captured the Gray flight singles with a win over teammate Lejla Colic.
The tennis team has the weekend off before going on the road for the BYU Invitational from Sept. 22-24.