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Williams and the Cougs roll past UCSB

Sep 17, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Washington State volleyball (4-4, 0-0 Pac-12) continued its impressive run in the last two weeks with yet another sweep on the court, this time over UC Santa Barbara (3-7, 0-0 Big West) to begin the Thunderdome Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif. Friday morning.

Set scores from the match were: 25-21, 25-22, and 25-15 in favor of the Cougars. 

Early on it looked like the Cougs were going to run away with the match as WSU opened the day winning eight of the first nine points to grab control. The quick start came thanks in large part to the arm of Pia Timmer as the third-year outside tallied four of her set-high eight kills in the early run to set the tone. The Cougs would push their lead to as much as nine at 18-9 before the Gauchos mounted a comeback to make things interesting late. Despite seeing their lead cut to just 22-19 the Cougs bore down and refocused to put the wily hosts away with kills from Timmer, Kalyah Williams and Magda Jehlarova to finish off the opening set victory.

The back and forth from the close of the first set would continue into the second frame with the two sides trading points through the first 15. With the early outcome up in the air the Cougs would put some breathing room in between themselves and the Gauchos with a 6-0 run with Karly Basham behind the service line. With the junior libero serving the Gauchos out of system, the Cougs were able to take control of the net, forcing a handful of attacking miscues by UCSB while Jehlarova came up with a pair of kills herself to cap the run. The cushion built in the middle of the set would prove to be all WSU needed to hold on for the second set victory, again withstanding a late run by the Gauchos by looking to the pin and Katy Ryan to put things away for the two set advantage.

With the two-set lead in hand the Cougs would not let the Gauchos up off the mat as WSU closed the morning session with authority, running away with the third and final set. Just as they had done in the previous two sets the Cougs put together another dominating 8-1 run early to put the Gauchos on their heels. However, this time the Cougs did not let up as they turned to Williams to put the match away. Behind an array of quick slides and fast attacks the fourth-year middle was nearly perfect in the set as she finished out the match going 6-of-7 including hammering down an exclamation point kill to close out the contest.

Kalyah Williams found her rhythm late to finish the quick morning session with 12 kills to tie a career best. The redshirt-junior was efficient throughout the match posting a .579 hitting percentage as she committed just one error in 19 attempts. Additionally, Williams led the way defensively with three blocks.



  • The contest marked just the second all-time match between the Cougs and the Gauchos with WSU picking up its first win against UCSB. The last time the two sides met across the net was in 2010 in San Francisco in a match the Gauchos won 3-0.
  • The win marked the Cougs fourth-straight sweep.
  • WSU picked up its first road win of the season.
  • Three different Cougs recorded double-digit kills led by Pia Timmer with a match-best 15.
  • The WSU middles combined for 22 kills on 33 attacks with just two errors with five blocks in Kalyah Williams (12 kills, 3 blocks) and Magda Jehlarova (10 kills, 2 blocks).
  • Weronika Wojdyla entered the match in the third set and recorded her first kill of the season and second of her career.
  • Washington State continues the Thunderdome Classic Saturday with a matchup against VCU at 11 a.m. before closing out the tournament with a second contest against the host Gauchos at 7 p.m.