Timmer, Jehlarova dominate to earn Pac-12 Players of the Week
SAN FRANCISCO – For the first time since 2016 the Cougars nabbed both the Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week as Pia Timmer and Magda Jehlarova dominated the opening week of Pac-12 play to earn the weekly distinctions, respectively, as announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. The last time the Cougs took both weekly awards came almost five years to the day when greats Kyra Holt and Claire Martin pulled off the same feat to open conference play in 2016.
Entering the week as the reigning Offensive Player of the Week, Timmer became the first two-time weekly winner of 2021 going back-to-back for the first time in her career. Timmer is the first repeat winner of the offensive honor since Washington's Kara Bajema in 2019 and the first for the Cougs to repeat as a weekly award winner since Holt was named the Freshman of the Week Nov. 18 and Nov. 25 in 2013. The last time the Cougs had back-to-back offensive players of the week came in the 2018 when Jocelyn Urias and Penny Tusa grabbed the honor in consecutive weeks. For Jehlarova, the defensive award was the first of the year for the standout middle blocker and her first since ending the 2021 spring season as the conference's top defender. She has earned six career weekly awards including four defensive awards to go along with one offensive and one freshman award.
Making a statement in the opening week of Pac-12 play, Timmer and Jehlarova led the Cougs to a pair of top-25 victories to run their winning streak to eight-straight matches. The Cougs opened the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of previously undefeated and No. 24 ranked Colorado Wednesday night before following with an epic five-set victory over No. 6 Washington Sunday afternoon in the first half of the Boeing Apple Cup Series. The win over the Huskies was WSU's fourth in a row and the first over a top-10 opponent since beating No. 9 UW in Seattle in 2019.
Proving herself one of the best talents in the nation Timmer put together one of the all-time great performances in the Crimson and Gray Sunday afternoon in Bohler against the Cougs' biggest rival in No. 6 ranked Washington. Putting the Cougs on her back throughout one of the longest matches in NCAA history, Timmer tied a WSU rally-score record with 31 kills on 76 swings all the while hitting an impressive .303 to lead the way. The 31 kills was the most for a Coug at home in the rally scoring era while tying for fourth-most by a Coug in program history. Her 76 attempts were the most for a Coug since Taylor Mims attempted a program record 79 attacks against Florida State in the NCAA Tournament, Dec. 1, 2017. Every time the Cougs needed a big point Timmer was up to the task not only at the pin but behind the service line as the third-year star came up with a career-best four aces including a pair in the pivotal fifth-set the turned the tides early for WSU. While earning the weekly award for her offense, Timmer was also the Cougs' best all-around player as she finished the rivalry match with career-bests in digs (21) and blocks (7). With the focus on her epic performance Sunday Timmer was solid on Wednesday as well to lead the Cougs' past the Buffs to open Pac-12 play finishing with nine kills and seven digs.
Making her presence felt every time the opposition took a swing, Jehlarova and the Cougs clamped down defensively all weekend long to hold both the Buffs and the Huskies to under .200 hitting in back-to-back matches. The defensive play by Jehlarova was enough to force both Colorado (.188) and Washington (.159) to their second-worst offensive performances of the season as the Cougs ran away with a pair of victories to open Pac-12 play. Scoring points with her defensive play, Jehlarova tied a career high with 10 blocks against Washington Sunday afternoon, even combining twice with Timmer to close out the match for the Cougs over the Huskies in the fifth and final set. Additionally, the Preseason All-Pac-12 honoree moved into a tie for seventh all-time at WSU in solo blocks during the contest on Sunday with her 59th solo effort, matching head coach Jen Greeny for the spot in the top-10. Prior to her stellar performance Sunday Jehlarova was dominant for the Cougs against Colorado Wednesday as she finished her night with a team-best 10 kills to go along with six blocks including three solo efforts. Behind the service line she would add four aces on the weekend, three of which came in the sweep of the Buffs to begin conference play.
The Cougs put their eight-match winning streak on the line Friday, Oct. 1 against USC inside of Bohler Gym. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve on the Pac-12 Network.
𝘾𝙊𝙐𝙂𝙎 𝙒𝙄𝙉 𝙏𝙃𝙀 🍎🏆
— Cougar Volleyball (@WSUCougarVB) September 27, 2021