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WSU volleyball falls in tight five-set battle with UCLA

The Cougs fell to the Bruins in a heartbreaker during their penultimate matchup of the regular season

PULLMAN, WA - NOVEMBER 18: Washington State volleyball takes down No. 16 Oregon in five sets at Bohler Gymnasium Jack Ellis/CougCenter

The red-hot Cougar volleyball team entered this week riding high. Winners of six of their last seven games, Washington State was looking to keep that momentum rolling into the final week of the season. Instead, the Cougs started their last homestand of the year with a tough five-set loss to UCLA.

The first three sets were tight, back-and-forth affairs. They were all decided by four points or fewer, but unfortunately for the Cougs, the Bruins found themselves with the 2-1 edge heading into the fourth set. With their backs against the wall, however, WSU delivered in a big way. The Cougs posted a .312 hitting percentage on their way to a decisive 25-13 victory to force a fifth set.

The final set seemed destined to be a marathon, with both teams trading the lead. A Laura Jensen kill put the Cougs on top 11-10, but from there the Bruins took over. UCLA ended the match on a 5-0 run to seal the five-set victory on the road.

Despite the loss, there were a couple of bright spots for WSU on the stat sheet. Pia Timmer finished the night with 23 kills, just one shy of her season high. Magda Jehlárová recorded 10 total blocks, bringing her career total to 584 and taking her into second all-time on the WSU career leaderboard.

As a whole though, the loss wasn’t a great start to the final week of the season for 25th ranked Cougs. The win for the Bruins pushed their record to 16-12 on the season and just 10-9 in Pac-12 play. Meanwhile, the defeat was just the second for the Cougs in their last ten games and takes WSU’s record to 20-2 this season against unranked teams.

Washington State will have one final shot to get back into the win column before the NCAA Tournament selection show this weekend. The Cougs will kick off Apple Cup weekend in Pullman with a showdown against the 24th ranked Washington Huskies on Friday evening. Make sure to get into town a little early to see this one when it gets started at 6 p.m. in Bohler Gym. If you can’t make it, you’ll be able to watch it live on Pac-12 Washington.

Bruins outlast Cougs in five-set battle in Bohler Gym - Washington State University Athletics
25th-ranked Washington State (21-9, 13-6 Pac-12) fell in a tightly contested fifth set, 15-11, as they were unable to complete the comeback in a 3-2 loss at the hands of UCLA (16-12, 10-9 Pac-12) on Tuesday night in Bohler Gym.

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