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Another tournament title as Timmer tallies 19 kills

Sep 18, 2021

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Washington State volleyball (6-4, 0-0 Pac-12) closed out non-conference play with its second-straight tournament title as the Cougars defeated UC Santa Barbara (4-8, 0-0 Big West), 3-1, Saturday night to win the Thunderdome Classic.

Set scores from the match were: 25-17, 25-22, 9-25, and 25-21 in favor of the Cougars. 

Trailing out of the gate the Cougars would turn things around quickly spurred by the play of Kalyah Williams in the middle as the California native notched a trio of kills to help WSU put together a 6-1 run that put the Cougs out front 9-8. Moments later the Cougs broke the set open with another big run, this time to the tune of 8-0 as Pia Timmer notched half of WSU's eight points as the Cougars nearly doubled up the Gauchos at 17-9. From there the Cougs would hold off a late surge by UCSB to grab the first set and with it control of the match.

Picking on the pins to begin the second frame the Cougs setup their young lefty from Idaho, Katy Ryan, as the first-year outside netted a third of her career-high nine kills in the first 12 points of the set as WSU surged out to a 10-4 lead. Not to be outdone by her young counterpart, Timmer caught fire and took total control of the match notching 10 kills in the set alone as the Cougs built another big lead that would cushion another late push by the Gauchos. The Cougs would stop the rally by UCSB with a big block that set up set point, but the Gauchos found a rhythm they would carry into the third set. 

The late momentum won by the Gauchos would prove nearly unstoppable in the third set as UCSB ran away with a 16-point win to snap the Cougs' 17-set winning streak and force WSU into a fourth set for the first time in over six matches. The Gauchos were able to clamp down on Timmer and the Cougs in the set, putting up six blocks and forcing WSU into eight errors, outhitting the Cougars .538 to -.034.

Not deterred after dropping a set to the host Gauchos the Cougs would go back to work using a 5-0 run early in the frame to break up UCSB's momentum and grab an 8-6 lead. Minutes later Penny Tusa would serve up a big ace that gave WSU the 10-9 advantage and a lead they would not give up the rest of the way. Another 5-0 run late in the set with Julia Norville behind the service line stretched the lead for WSU and put the Cougs ahead 19-14 as the two sides traded points the rest of the way allowing WSU to close out the match victory.

Pia Timmer came up with a career-high 19 kills including tallying 10 in the second set alone. She would add nine digs and one ace to close out her night. For her play she would be named tournament MVP, her second-straight MVP award.



  • The Cougs won their sixth-straight match to close out non-conference play and took home their second-straight tournament title going 3-0 at the Thunderdome Classic.
  • WSU saw its 17-set winning-streak snapped in the third set against UCSB but rebounded to pick up their second-straight win over the Gauchos in as many days.
  • Junior Pia Timmer led the Cougs in kills in all three matches on the weekend including producing a career-high 19 kills against the Gauchos in the finale. In three matches Timmer totaled 47 kills at the Thunderdome Classic.
  • Freshman Katy Ryan tied a career high with 9 kills to go along with three blocks.
  • Redshirt-junior Hannah Pukis ended her night with her fourth double-double of the season with 41 assists and 10 digs. In addition the fourth-year setter tallied a season-high five kills on .556 hitting 
  • Redshirt-junior middle Kalyah Williams recorded 10 kills on 22 swings. In two matches against the Gauchos Williams posted 22 kills on 41 attacks while adding five blocks.
  • Junior Julia Norville tied a career high with 17 digs to lead the Cougs on the defensive side of the ball.
  • Timmer Ryan, and Pukis would named to the all-tournament team at the completion of the match with Timmer taking home MVP honors.
  • Washington State begins Pac-12 play Wednesday, Sept. 22 against Colorado at home at Bohler Gym. The first serve is scheduled for 6 p.m.