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Volleyball Finishes Cougar Challenge Perfect

Sep 10, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State volleyball capped off an impressive home stint at the 2021 Cougar Challenge with a sweep victory over Gonzaga to claim the prize of tournament champions inside Bohler Gym Friday evening. 

Set scores from the match were: 25-14, 25-17, and 25-11 in favor of the Cougars (3-4, 0-0 Pac-12). 
Washington State set the tone for this match from the very beginning of set number one, leading off with back-to-back kills from Magda Jehlářová and Pia Timmer. Pia and Magda would then follow those kills up with a service ace each and hold the early 5-1 lead over Gonzaga (3-6, 0-0 WCC). The WSU points kept on coming as a solo block from Kalyah Williams and multiple kills from Katy Ryan just fueled the incredibly loud crowd of Bohler Gym. The Cougs never stepped off the gas in this first set, as the home squad kept generating scoring runs and would dominate the Bulldogs 25-14. WSU went on to hit .538 as a team in this opening set, with Timmer and Ryan each totaling four kills a piece. Defensively Hannah Pukis and Williams each recorded a solo block for the Cougs. 

Gonzaga showed a bit of fight to begin the second set of play, jumping out to a 3-0 lead over the Cougars. The lead would the lone advantage the Bullodgs would see the rest of the night, as WSU roared back with a 6-1 scoring run that saw solo blocks from both Jehlářová and Ryan, along with phenomenal kills by Penny Tusa and Williams. Washington State sat comfortably at 23-15 late in the set, and finish off Gonzaga after another Williams and Pukis block and finally a Magda kill for the win. Offensively it was Kalyah Williams to led WSU in the second game, totaling four kills while hitting .667 overall and totaling two blocks. 

The Cougars looked their most dominate to open set number three, posting a 12-1 overall scoring run to nearly send the Bulldogs home right then and there. Jehlářová helped spark this massive run, as she posted back-to-back service aces, which would then be followed by kills from Tusa, Ryan and Pukis. Argentina Ung would get involved with the offensive attack late in this set, posting one kill and one service ace. Ung's kill would also see a milestone hit for sophomore Jenna Howard who recorded her first career assist with WSU on the Argentina kill. Washington State essentially capped off this set win after a block from both Tusa and Williams, which then led to multiple Gonzaga errors to see the Cougs complete the sweep at 25-11 overall. 

Kalyah Williams was near unstoppable during this contest, as she finished with a match-high 10 kills on 16 total attacks with a hitting percentage of .438 and a kill percentage of .625 overall. Williams also led the Cougs defensively with five total blocks, one solo and four block assists, along with adding one dig to her stat line. 



  • Magda Jehlářová, Katy Ryan and Pia Timmer all were named Cougar Challenge All-Tournament selections for their performances during the week. Timmer was ultimately named tournament MVP as well. 
  • Pia Timmer and Katy Ryan each totaled eight kills in the match with Timmer adding two service aces to her stat sheet and Ryan went on to finish with a hitting percentage of .545 overall and recorded two blocks as well. 
  • Hannah Pukis secured her third double-double of the season with 32 total assists and 10 digs. Pukis also added four kills on five swings to hit .800 overall and recorded three total blocks. 
  • Jenna Howard entered the match in the third set and went on to record her first career assist in a Cougar uniform. Howard would finish with two total. 
  • Washington State will hit the road next, as the Cougs compete in the Thunderdome Classic hosted by UC Santa Barbara. WSU will face UCSB twice and Virginia Commonwealth, with match number one set for Friday, Sept. 17 at 10:00 a.m. against the Gauchos.