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Cougs douse red-hot Colorado

Sep 22, 2021

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State volleyball (7-4, 1-0) began Pac-12 play with a bang, sweeping away previous unbeaten and No. 24 ranked Colorado (9-1, 0-1) Wednesday night at Bohler Gym.

Set scores from the match were: 25-19, 25-23, and 25-21 in favor of the Cougars. 

Using a nearly unstoppable attack in the opening set, the Cougs jumped on the Buffs early to establish a quick advantage that would last throughout despite a mini run by Colorado midway through the frame. After seeing their lead cut to just two points after the media timeout, the Cougs reasserted their control of the net thanks to Katy Ryan and Magda Jehlarova as the duo put together a three-point spurt that pushed WSU's lead to 19-14 to end any Buff thoughts of a comeback. The quick run by the Cougs saw the duo each put down one of their seven combined kills in the set before teaming up at the pin to send a Colorado attack back with an emphatic block. The late surge would be all the Cougs needed to put the Buffs away in the first as WSU finished the opening frame hitting .455 while adding four aces, two of which came off the serve of Jehlarova.

After an intense offensive fight to open the match the second set became a defensive battle as both teams struggled to find open hitting lanes. Despite the offense grinding to a halt the Cougs were able to again jump out to an early lead, holding the Buffs at arms length for much of the set with the lead hovering around three points. That lead would quickly vanish as the Buffs took advantage of a handful of Cougar attacking mistakes, not only wiping away the WSU advantage but jumping out front late, 22-21. With their backs against the wall and with the match on the verge of drawing even the Cougs dug deep and looked to the middle to change their fortunes. Taking control of the net, the Cougs' veteran middles went to work as Kaylah Williams pulled the Cougs even for the first time while Jehlarova sent the Buffs back to the lockerroom down two sets with yet another block and a a final kill after the Buffs missed their own attack that would have sent the set to extra-points.

With the solid two-set lead in hand the Cougs looked to end the night quickly and secure yet another sweep in front of their home fans at Bohler Gym. Taking a note out of their first set playbook the Cougs again were able to make a run in the middle of the set to turn a two-point lead into a five-point advantage at 19-15 as WSU got a good matchup at the net with Jehlarova came up with a pair of kills and a solo block to spur the rally. However, just as the Cougs looked to put the finishing touches on the night and pull away for good the Buffs mounted a final challenge as Colorado ran off four straight-points to cut the Cougs' advantage to just one. The two teams would trade points until a final kick by WSU put the set and the match away capped off by kills from Williams and the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, Pia Timmer.

Katy Ryan came up with a nearly flawless match on the rightside as the young lefty finished her first Pac-12 match with 7 kills and no errors on 10 attacks. Her .700 hitting percentage was the best for any Coug on the season with at least 10 attempts. She would add a pair of blocks to round out her performance.



  • The Cougs won their seventh-consecutive match and picked up their sixth sweep of the season.
  • WSU improved to 4-0 at home on the year, all by sweep.
  • The win was the seventh-consecutive win over Colorado and third-straight in Pullman. 
    • The victory marked the third-straight Pac-12 opening victory for the Cougs as WSU improved to 4-8 in openers under head coach Jen Greeny and 12-24 in conference openers since 1986.
    • The win was the Cougs first over a ranked team in 2021 and the first since taking down No. 18 UCLA, 3-2, in Pullman last spring.
  • 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.
  • Middles Kaylah Williams (.421) and Magda Jehlarova (.348) led the attack with 10 kills a piece. The double-digit kills was the fifth for both Williams and Jehlarova while it was the fourth in the last five matches for Williams and the third in the last four for Jehlarova.
  • Freshman Katy Ryan tied set a season high hitting .700 (7-for-10) in the match. The .700 was the top mark for the Cougs on the year for an attacker with at least 10 attempts.
  • The Cougs held their opponent to sub-.200 hitting for the fourth time in as many matches at home at Bohler Gym.
  • Washington State continues Pac-12 play Sunday, Sept. 26 against No. 6 Washington in the first half of the Boeing Apple Cup Series. The match, at Bohler Gym, is scheduled for noon on the Pac-12 Network.