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The Roundup: WSU volleyball rolls through the desert

Soccer loses another heartbreaker, though.

WSU Athletic Communications

The Washington State volleyball team swept Arizona and Arizona State over the weekend to keep up with the other top schools in the Pac-12. The easy road wins put the Cougs on a high note as they now enter the second half of conference play in a three-way tie for second place at 7-3 (17-5 overall).

It was good to see the team rebound after a three-game losing streak before the trip to the desert. The Pac-12 schedule is grueling for any team and losing streaks are practically inevitable. To see the team respond by not dropping a set over two matches was an excellent sign.

The Cougs didn’t let a couple of close home losses get in their heads. Instead, they went down to play two of the worst teams in the conference and took care of business. Of course, the convincing performance wasn’t enough to change WSU’s positions in the minds of coaches.

WSU is ranked 18th for the second consecutive week in the stagnant AVCA coaches poll. UW, UCLA and Stanford are ranked above the Cougs, while Oregon and Utah are ranked lower than No. 18. Overall, it’s been another strong year for Pac-12 volleyball, as they look to send at least six teams to the NCAA tournament. Colorado also has a shot, as they are receiving votes in the poll.

This weekend WSU will play a pair of teams they beat in the first swing of conference play. They’ll travel to the Bay Area to take on No. 17 Stanford and Cal. The Cardinal also trail WSU by one game in the conference standings, so that game could have serious implications. Cal has struggled to get much of anything going in conference play, as they are 2-8 against Pac-12 opponents.

The Cougs and Cardinal will play Friday at 6 p.m. and WSU will visit Cal on Saturday at 7 p.m. The matchup at Stanford will be broadcast on Pac-12 network, and you can watch Saturday’s game on the Cal live stream.

The women’s soccer team came up empty again this weekend, as they fell to USC and UCLA on the road. It’s been a rough season so far for the Cougs, as they dwell in the cellar of the conference standings with a 1-7 record against Pac-12 teams.

WSU fell to the fifth ranked Trojans 3-0 and the 12th ranked Bruins 2-1 as their road struggles continued. UCLA took an early 1-0 lead in the first half, but WSU was able to hang around and create chances. In the 77th minute, that paid off as Alysha Overland scored an equalizer off an assist from Kelsee Crenshaw.

The lead would last just precious seconds, however. It took the Bruins just 41 seconds to get back on top, as Gabbi Miranda netted a backbreaking goal against WSU keeper Ella Dederick. The Cougs’ inability to finish off teams late has been a common occurrence this season and is one explanation of their record.

The team is now 6-9-1 on the season and 1-7 in conference play. At least all their remaining games are at home, as they failed to win once away from Pullman. This weekend they host Oregon St and Oregon. The Cougs will play the Beavers on Thursday at 7 p.m. and the Ducks on Sunday at 1 p.m. They’ll finish the season the following week by hosting Washington for Senior Day.

Swimming, tennis, and rowing were also all in action last weekend. The swim team fell to a pair of ranked opponents in Cal and Stanford. The tennis team played in the ITA Regional tournament. WSU had two doubles pairing advance to the third round before being knocked out. The rowing team raced Gonzaga at the Head of the Spokane. WSU’s top two varsity four boats finished first and second in the first heat, and the varsity eight had the top time in the second heat.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams will race this weekend at the Pac-12 Championships Friday Oct. 28 in Tucson Arizona. The men are ranked 15th nationally, and the meet will be broadcast Monday Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.