- Washington State downs #4 Washington (16-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19)
- Washington State (11-2, 1-0), Washington (10-1, 0-1)
With a huge upset to start the conference season, the unranked Washington State Cougars defeated the No. 4 Washington Huskies (16-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19) to begin 1-0 in Pac-12. Although Washington State is unranked, they received votes in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll, and this latest victory should help them move much closer to the Top 25.
The Cougars haven’t defeated their rivals in Seattle since 2001, and last claimed a win against the Huskies in 2009
In an explosive outing Wednesday night, Cougar senior Kyra Holt finished the night with 21 kills and 14 digs. Holt became the fifth Washington State player ever to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. She also moved into 4th place in WSU career kills reaching 1,464 and exactly 1,000 digs put her in 10th place.
Courtesy of Washington State
Courtesy of Washington State Athletics
SEATTLE — Senior Kyra Holt‘s 21 kills and 14 digs were instrumental in the Washington State volleyball team’s 3-1 upset win over No.4 Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle Wednesday night. WSU, also receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll, moves to 11-2 overall, and 1-0 in Pac-12 play and dealt UW its first loss of the season as the Huskies are now 10-1 overall, 0-1 in conference action.
Winning for just the first time in Seattle since 2001 and only claiming a victory over the cross-state rivals for the first time since 2009, WSU claimed this match with set scores of 16-25, 25-22, 26-24 and 25-19.
Holt, from Hercules, Calif., became just the fifth Cougar in school history to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. She moved into fourth-place in WSU career kills with 1,464 and her 1,000 digs places her 10th-best in WSU all-time records.
“It feels amazing. I have no words to express how this win feels,” Holt said. “We kept working in practice and pushing each other to new levels. We have a belief in the team and a connection with everyone. It’s awesome.”
Sophomore McKenna Woodford added 12 kills for WSU. Taylor Mims was the sparkplug for the Cougars in the first sets and contributed eight kills, hit .316, and had five blocks. Casey Schoenlein and Claire Martineach added seven blocks with Hailey Bethune contributing another four blocks on the night. Freshman Alexis Dirige equaled her career-high with a match-leading 24 digs and served two of the Cougars‘ five aces. Haley MacDonald also tallied a double-double with 23 assists and 10 digs. Nicole Rigoni, the other setter in WSU’s 2016 season 6-2 scheme, set up 24 assists.
Washington‘s leaders were Courtney Schwan with 15 kills and 12 digs, Crissy Jones with 10 kills, Bailey Tanner with 40 assists and Shayne McPherson with 20 digs. Kara Bajema led the match with 12 blocks as the Huskies achieved a rare feat of out-blocking WSU, ranked third-best nationally coming into the contest, 15.5 to 13.5. Both WSU and UW hit .181.
“I’m super proud of this team,” Head Coach Jen Greeny said after her first win over the Huskies as the Cougars leader. “I think we had some nerves going in. Our passing was pretty atrocious in that first set and then we settled into it and the second set was so much better. We relaxed and I think they got a lot more confidence as the match went along. We talked a lot about being poised, whether we’re up or we’re down. In the preseason we worked on trying to act the same no matter what the score is or who we’re playing. I think that came through tonight. Every timeout, no matter who called it, our team was talking about being poised and working one point at a time.”
This is the fifth time a Greeny-coached Cougar team has defeated a nationally-ranked team in her six years at WSU and the second time on the road. But this is the second time Greeny’s team has defeated a No. 4 squad as WSU upset No. 4 USC 3-2 in November 2013 in Pullman.
Up Next: WSU travels to Los Angeles to take on No. 9 UCLA (10-1, 1-0) in Pauley Pavilion Friday, Sept. 23.
Kyra Holt (21 kills, 14 digs)
McKenna Woodford (12 kills)
Alexis Dirige (24 digs, 5 assists)
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Courtesy of Washington Athletics
SEATTLE – For the first time in seven years and first time in Settle in 15 years, the Huskies felt the sting of an upset against the rival Washington State Cougars tonight in Alaska Airlines Arena, as WSU won sets two, three, and four to hand the Huskies their first loss of the season. The 16-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19 setback snapped a 19-match home win streak for the Dawgs.
The Huskies had a set point chance at 24-23 in the third set to take a 2-1 lead, but WSU swung the momentum with three straight points to go on top. Washington (10-1, 0-1 Pac-12) was virtually even statistically with Washington State (11-2, 1-0 Pac-12). Both teams hit .181 tonight and Washington State finished with 57 kills compared to 56 for the Huskies. The Cougars had been holding opponents to a Pac-12-leading .110 percentage, so while UW outdid that, it was still the lowest hitting mark of the season for the Dawgs.
Head Coach Keegan Cook thought the young Huskies had been learning quickly to this point in the season, but that the loss will add even greater urgency to their work. “Washington State played a great match,” Cook said. “They executed extremely well. I think we’re feeling the weight of our habits now. Little things take on a different meaning when they cost you a match, so we’ve got a great opportunity to learn.”
Courtney Scwhan led the Huskies with a double-double of 15 kills and 12 digs, and Crissy Jones added 10 kills and seven digs. Freshman Avie Niece was excellent on the offensive side of the net, putting down six kills on nine attempts without an error for a .667 attack percentage. Kara Bajema also had a huge night blocking, with a career-high 12 block assists.
The big spark in the latter stages of the match came from junior Carly DeHoog, who had seven kills without an error on 13 swings plus three blocks.
“Carly’s an experienced player, and she brought a great readiness to play, and she hit some good swings,” said Cook. “She swung aggressively and wasn’t overwhelmed the scenario. She did an outstanding job.”
Schwan rolled an early kill to the floor and Tia Scambray had one off the block for a 3-2 lead. A block with Bajema at the center was followed by a backrow attack error on WSU and then the Cougars missed their set connection as UW opened the first early lead. Another block for Bajema was followed by a Cougar misfire and the Huskies were up 8-3, forcing the early timeout for the Cougars. WSU broke the run out of the break and then got a block and two more quick points to cut the lead right down to 8-7 and the Huskies needed timeout. The Cougars got a fifth-straight to tie it up, but UW saved a shanked pass on the next rally, and then got a big block to snap the Cougar run. Bajema then hammered down an overpass after WSU couldn’t handle the Scambray serve. Schwan bump set Scambray out of the back row for a kill high off the block as the Huskies countered the five-point WSU run with a 5-0 run of their own to make it 13-8 before Scambray missed a serve. But the Dawgs got a slide kill from Bajema, and a kill from Niece on an overpass made it 15-9, and WSU used its final timeout. Schwan kept it going out of the break with a strong swing off the block, and then WSU yanked one wide for 17-9. Jones ended a rally with a leftside kill for 19-11, and then she and Niece capped a wild rally with a big block for 20-11. Bajema struck on a Tanner quick set for 22-13 Dawgs. A couple Cougar points made Coach Cook want to regroup at 22-15 with a timeout. The Huskies responded well, with Jones getting a backrow kill and then Schwan crushing straight to the floor in transition to get to set point. On UW’s second chance, Tanner set Bajema in serve-receive and the freshman put down her fifth kill of the set to end it, 25-16. The Huskies hit .265 in the first set and held WSU to .000 in part due to 5.5 Husky blocks.
The Huskies had a 3-2 lead in set two but a 3-0 Cougar run gave them a 4-6 lead through 10 points. A roll shot from Schwan pulled the Huskies back within one at 7-8, and Tanner tied it up with a dump for a kill. But the Cougars fought back with six points in a row to make it 8-14 and the Huskies took their first timeout. Scambray got the Dawgs back on the board with a back row kill out of the timeout. Schwan got a kill off the block touch and then Niece ended a rally with a transition strike to cut the six-point lead down to three at 11-14. The Dawgs got one more off the lead with a Jones finish after a diving Scambray dig. Schwan hit a sharp angle from the right off the defense into the seats for 13-16. The Dawgs got within two, but WSU came back with a pair of points for 14-18, and the Huskies used their final timeout. WSU scored twice more for 14-20 before Jones put one away to try and spark a rally. McPherson dove to keep one off the ground and Tanner set from her knees to Scambray who killed deep corner for 18-22, and WSU took timeout. A long rally was ended by another Scambray transition finish off the block for 19-22. Scambray had a huge stuff on the left pin for 20-23. A tough Scambray float serve was overpassed, and Bajema killed the transition slide to get within two, but a kill on the next rally got WSU to set point at 21-24. Schwan saved the first with a kill, but the Cougars came through on their next chance to end it, 25-22. The Dawgs dropped to .180 hitting in set two, while the Cougars hit .229. Scwhan and Scambray both had five kills in the set and hit over .400 and McPherson had 10 digs.
The teams were even through the first six points with a big stuff from Bajema and Tanner making it 3-all. McPherson had a big dig and it led to a Tanner dump kill as the Huskies jumped ahead 6-3. Schwan tipped one deep up the line and down for a 7-4 lead, then a Bajema serve took the Cougars out of system and led to an error for 8-4. Schwan then hammered for consecutive kills to double-up the Cougars at 10-5. Tanner then floated the first ace of the match for the Dawgs to make it 11-5 and the Cougars called for time. The Cougars got a couple back out of the break but Schwan put one off the block on the right for 12-7. Junior Carly DeHoog put away her first swing of the match on the right side from Tanner for 13-9, but the Cougars got back within a point with a 3-0 run before serving long. Bajema and Tanner teamed for a rejection to keep the Huskies in front, 16-14. WSU got back even at 16-all after a Husky error, but Niece regained the lead with a big blast after a free ball. Schwan got another kill off the block on the left for 18-16, but the Cougars came back with three straight points to take their first lead since 2-3 and the Huskies took timeout. Jones found the sideline on a quick swing from the middle to even it, and then the DeHoog put UW back up one with a transition kill on the right. A third big kill from DeHoog made it 21-20 Dawgs. The teams continued trading sideouts, with Jones ending a long rally with a right side finish for 22-21, but WSU got the next point, and the Huskies sent one long to give the lead back to the Cougars, 22-23, and UW took its final timeout. The Cougars served long out of the break for 23-all. On the next rally, Jones covered the Cougar tip attempt, and Tanner set Schwan who tooled off the block for the point at a 24-23 lead, with WSU calling its final timeout. The Cougars killed it in serve-receive to stay alive, and then went on top, 24-25, on a disputed non-call with UW wanting WSU in the net. On the next rally, the Dawgs couldn’t finish, and WSU put one through the block and down to grab the win, 26-24, and take the 2-1 overall lead. The Cougars outhit the Huskies in the set, .293 to .178.
A couple early blocks for the Dawgs from Scambray had the Dawgs within one point early in set four, down 3-4. DeHoog checked back in along with Jade Finau, and DeHoog posted a solo rejection for 5-6. DeHoog then tied it up with a transition finish set by Finau. Bajema and DeHoog then blocked an out of system Cougar swing to give UW its first lead at 7-6. The block party continued with the fourth in five points, with Bajema and DeHoog again for an 8-6 lead and the Cougars needed a break. Washington State came back with a 3-0 run to go on top, 9-10, but DeHoog finished again to even it up. Niece annihilated a Tanner set in the middle for 12-11 Dawgs. But another 3-0 WSU run put them up, 12-14, before Niece got another quick kill. After a WSU block and a Husky hitting error made the gap three at 13-16, the Huskies took time. Out of the timeout, Jones converted in serve-receive to get back on track. But the next three points again went to WSU as they pulled out in front, 14-19, and the Huskies needed their final timeout. It was DeHoog again who got UW out of the slump going deep corner from the left. Scambray followed that with an ace to close to 16-19. Scwhan landed one on the left pin for 17-20 Cougars, but WSU answered right back. Another laser from DeHoog went down to keep UW within three, but the Cougars kept answering in serve-receive. A Cougars ace straight to the floor and a block got WSU six match points in a row at 18-24. The Huskies saved the first one, but served into the net on the following point to end the set, 19-25, and the match.
Up Next: Washington will look to turn it around in quick fashion with a trip back to Los Angeles where they finished nonconference play just last week. The Huskies take on 21st-ranked USC on Friday at 7:00 p.m. live on Pac-12 Networks.
Tia Scambray (8 kills, 1 ace, 3 assists, 13 digs)
Courtney Schwan (15 kills, 12 digs)
Kara Bajema (12 blocks)
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