It’s a big week for Cougar athletics.
Of course, we all know about the nearly sold out football game this Saturday in Pullman against Oregon. On Friday, Cougar soccer will look to extend their unbeaten streak as they hit the road to face Oregon State in their conference opener. But the fun gets started tonight as the Washington State volleyball squad looks for an upset of their own in Seattle.
Cougar volleyball will kick off Pac-12 play when they visit the 18th ranked Huskies. Washington State has had their share of success against their cross-state rivals in recent history. The Cougs have won three of their last four meetings with UW. In fact, WSU is 14-2 against the other Pac-12 northwest schools (Oregon, Oregon State and Washington) since 2019.
Washington State volleyball got off to a fantastic start to the 2022 season. Heading into last weekend, the Cougars were 8-1 including a win over Duke and a clean sweep in the Fairfield Invitational, winning all three games in Connecticut without dropping a set. The Cougs were riding high, but they hit a road block Friday and Saturday in Minneapolis.
Playing in the Diet Coke Classic, WSU took #22 Pepperdine to the brink in game one on Friday. The Cougs dropped the first set, but took the next two including a wild 31-29 victory in set three. Washington State was able to fight back in the fourth set, tying things up at 24-24 before falling 26-24. The Waves would ultimately run away with the fifth set to pick up the victory.
Things weren’t as close on Saturday against the home town Golden Gophers. The Cougs dropped the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-13. They were able to stave off defeat with a 26-24 win in set three, but #6 Minnesota sealed the deal in set four for the victory.
”It was a tough weekend,” said head coach Jen Greeny following the Minnesota loss, “but our eyes are now on the Pac-12 and I think these two matches have really helped get us ready for that.”
The Huskies will enter tonight’s matchup as the 18th ranked team in the nation. UW is 8-2 this season, their only losses coming to Arkansas in Fayetteville during their season opener and to the same Pepperdine team that topped WSU.
UW and WSU enter the matchup relatively evenly matched on the stat leaderboards. The Cougars finished non-conference play as the top-ranked hitting team in the Pac-12 (.295) just ahead of UW’s mark (.293). The two teams also rank second (WSU with 1.97) and third (UW with 1.89) in aces per set.
First serve is set for just after 6 p.m. tonight in Alaska Airlines Arena. If you can’t make it out to Montlake, you can watch this one live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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