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The Roundup: WSU volleyball rebounds as soccer continues to tumble

The No. 18 volleyball team got back on track with a win over ASU.

McKenna Woodford
WSU Athletic Communications

The soccer and volleyball teams have had a rough go of it lately. After a blazing start to the season, the volleyball team had three straight before a win on Wednesday, while the soccer team has now lost six of seven and has been held scoreless in five of those games.

Volleyball snapped its first losing streak of the season — which included losses to Colorado and Utah last weekend — with a sweep of ASU on Wednesday. The Cougs, who had been moving up the rankings, took the Buffs and the Utes down to the wire before coming up short. Both matches were decided by fifth sets that WSU lost.

WSU led their opponents in blocks and aces, but were unable to overcome being outhit in both matches. Colorado and Utah had more kills and hit at a percentage higher than .200 while WSU couldn’t crack .156 in either match. Claire Martin continued her dominance at the net, recording 19 blocks over the weekend, and recording a game high in each match.

On the attack, Kyra Holt continued to star, but got some added help from McKenna Woodford. The sophomore led WSU in kills against Colorado with 17 while hitting .222. Holt recorded 21 kills with a .245 hitting percentage, but it wasn’t enough to come out on top.

The losses only dropped WSU five spots in the AVCA Coaches poll to No. 18, however. Utah only moved up one spot to No. 20 after capturing a win in Pullman. This confusing behavior has come to be somewhat expected by the coaches in the poll who don’t seem too eager to change the teams in their ballot each week.

The standings on the other hand, did see some serious changes as the Cougs were tied for second with six other teams in the Pac-12, although they now have moved a half game ahead of everyone with the win over ASU. Only half a game separates WSU from first place Washington, while six other teams are within a game in a title race that, at the moment, looks wide open.

Lucky for the WSU, ASU was the right opponent when you’re looking to break a losing streak. The Cougs will be in action again Friday at 6 p.m. against Arizona, which will be televised on the Pac-12 network.

The soccer team has played a couple of times in the last week, falling 1-0 to No. 22 Utah and 3-0 to No. 5 USC, both on the road. The Utes scored in the 85th minute to put the Cougs away late. The loss dropped WSU to 1-5 in conference play.

The Cougs had the upper hand in the first half, outshooting Utah 8-5 and having a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. However, being unable to capitalize on their early opportunities would come back to bite WSU. Utah controlled the game in the second half and outshot WSU 14-3 in the final 45 minutes.

On Thursday, the first half was fairly wide open, with each team registering double digit shots. The Trojans took the lead in the 23rd minute, then really put the pressure on the Cougs when they scored just a few minutes into the second half. A USC goal in the 84th minute erased any doubt about the outcome.

The Cougs are winless on the road this season in six tries. Their best result away from Pullman was a 1-1 draw with TCU back in September.

UCLA will host the Cougs Sunday at 1 p.m.

The men’s cross-country team was rewarded for their top-10 finish at the Nuttycombe Invitational Oct. 14, with a big jump in the rankings. They were receiving votes in the rankings before finishing ninth in the highly competitive race, which included 19 ranked teams. This week they are ranked 15th. They’ll next be in action Oct. 28 at the Pac-12 Championships.

The swimming team has a pair of races this weekend as they travel to the Bay Area to race Cal and Stanford. They faced the Cardinal on Thursday, losing 149-99. WSU was able to win a few events, including Anna Brolin winning the 100 butterfly. The Cougs will next face the Golden Bears Friday at 4 p.m.

The tennis team will conclude their fall season with the ITA Regional Tournament Oct. 21-24 at Stanford. Women’s Golf will also be in action, playing in the Pac-12 preview in Kailua Kona, Hawaii Oct. 24-25.