Washington State volleyball swept previously unbeaten No. 24 Colorado on Wednesday night in its Pac-12 opener. Kalyah Williams and Magda Jehlarova both had ten kills a piece to lead the Cougs.
Back-to-back aces by Penny Tussa gave Washington State an early 5-1 lead in the second set, the Cougars totaled eight aces on Wednesday night.
The Buffaloes refused to go quietly as they took advantage of an unforced errors and an ace to get back into the set. At that point it settled into WSU building a two to three point lead and Colorado chipping at that small lead. Despite a series of small runs for WSU, they were never able to completely put Colorado away throughout the third set. Pi’s Timmer put the match point away with a beautiful kill as the Cougs captures the third set 25-21.
That third set was where Williams really began to shine as four of her ten kills came down the stretch.
While the first part of the second set was all WSU, Clayton took over the second set for her Buffs as she helped them overcome a four point deficit midway through the second set. Colorado’s first lead since the beginning of the first set came with an ace from Zoe Neverdowski. The back and forth nature of the second set was put to bed with baby impressive kill by Jehlarova for a 25-23 second set Cougar win.
As for Jehlarova, she did most of her damage in the second set; the sophomore put away four of her ten kills in this one.
The first set saw Washington State take an early 6-4 kill that it never really relinquished. WSU would build up to a four or five point lead, then the Buffs would pull it back with in two. That was until built up a 20-16 lead and kept a comfortable lead through the set point and win. Tusa picked up the final kill against No. 24 Colorado in the first set.
Post match thoughts
- Washington State’s defense is down right terrifying. The Cougs had eight blocks on the night to go along with 45 digs. Hannah Pukis and Jehlarova are great on the net and helped limit a lot of Colorado’s offensive opportunities throughout the match.
- While the Cougars came out of the gate hot (their hit percentage was 51.5% in the first set) they kept up the pressure when Colorado got back into the second set and hung around in the third. It was an impressive display from a squad that started off the season losing four in a row, including two to two top-ten squads.
- Colorado’s Leah Clayton is for real. The graduate student was held to a hit percentage of 21.2% but still racked up 14 kills to lead the match.
- Jenna Ewert’s 26 assists were huge for WSU. She was usually in the right place at the right time to set-up her teammates and played a significant role in the upset victory on Wednesday night.
Next up for the Cougs is a home match-up against No. 6 Washington on Sunday, September 26th at 12:00 PM