What an insane match the Apple Cup of volleyball was in Bohler last Friday. I have never seen a sold-out/standing room only in Bohler Gym before. This was truly the best way to end a season for these ladies and of course, the best Coach in NCAA Volleyball, Jen Greeny.
I have been covering this team for the last three years and there’s one phrase that sums up this experience. Thank you. Thank you to Jen Greeny for being the best coach on the court and off. It has been a highlight of my college career covering this team through COVID and to now.
As I sat through my final match as a student there was a wave of emotions that I felt during the match, but the best one was the tears of joy after we swept the Huskies. Seeing the team light up was something I will never forget.
This win was sweeter than the five-set win against the Ducks earlier this season for one fact and one fact only, it was against the Huskies.
But another thank you is owed, first to Laura Jansen who came to WSU just this season and dominated on the court. Jansen was one of the most exciting players to watch this season as she led the team in multiple matches with kills.
Another thank you is owed to the five seniors who are coming back for the fifth year, Pia Timmer, Magda Jehlarova, Karly Basham, Julia Norville, and Weronika Wojdyla. These five players have gotten the Cougs under new heights and have I mentioned how fun they are to watch? Both Timmer and Jehlarova have been named Pac-12 Offensive or Defensive players of the week. These two players are dynamic. Alongside them, Norville is arguably one of the best servers in the Pac. Her accuracy and the way she serves is just amazing. Basham is such an amazing libero. She constantly is a playmaker and is also an amazing server. Wojdlya came in this season after a couple of injuries and has yet again been one of the best blockers for the team and stepped up to help this team be ranked and win matches.
Now the recap.
Final score: 3-0 (27-25, 27-25, 25-20)
After winning the first match point, Timmer had two quick kills to start the night. The Huskies did eventually tie up the set at 4-4. Jansen had a kill but UW took the lead 6-5, their first of the match. Timmer had a nice kill sneaky kill that the Huskies couldn’t return.
After a block by the Cougs, they took the lead again. It was a back-and-forth between the Cougs and the Huskies. The Cougs started to take the lead but it would be short-lived. Timmer had an ace that would be a big ace for the set. The points would continue to back and forth until the set was tied at 25. After two major plays by the Cougs, they took the set 27-25.
With a still-electric Bohler Gym, the Cougs were ready to win this set. UW did win the first point, but the Cougs came right back. The Cougs and Huskies still went back and forth in this set. In this set, Jansen and Timmer had several key plays to keep the Cougs close to the Huskies. Jansen had a tip that gave the Cougs a two-point lead at 15-13. Timmer had another kill that put the Cougs up 16-13. UW took a time out being down three points to try and stop the momentum, but it wouldn’t be successful. The Cougs were up 21-18.
UW then won a couple of points to shrink the lead to one point at 23-22. Jansen scored the 24th point of the set. UW had a service ace and tied the set at 24. WSU had another service ace which gave them a 25-24 lead. With the set tied, the Cougs had to win these next two and they did. After two consecutive WSU points, the Cougs took the second set 27-25.
Timmer opened up the set with two back-to-back kills. After being up a couple of points, Argentina Ung had a tip, and the lead for the Cougs was 4-3. UW had a service error 5-4. The Cougs were up 10-8 but after two UW points and a kill by Timmer, the Cougs led 11-10.
UW tipped the ball out of bounds and the Cougs still led 12-10. UW tied the set 12-12, UW had a service ace and lead for the first time in the set. The Cougs came back and tied it at 14-14. Jansen had a kill that gave the lead for the Cougs 15-14. UW had a couple of errors the Cougs were back leading 18-15, UW once again tried to take a timeout to take the momentum, but they didn’t learn from the last timeout how incredible these players are. The momentum stayed with the Cougs and they continued to win points.
Katy Ryan had a kill and WSU was up by five. UW had two consecutive points and tightened the lead. Ryan had another kill. UW decided to challenge a hit out of bounds but they lost the challenge. With the Cougs at match point, UW had one last kill but the Cougs came back to win the set 25-20.
This season the Cougs split the Apple Cup series with UW.
The Cougs will play in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh year in a row on Dec.1 against UNLV.
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