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Shorthanded Cougs fall in Salt Lake City

Nov 24, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – Playing shorthanded for the fourth-straight match, No. 21 Washington State (19-10, 13-6) could not find its way past No. 17 Utah (20-8, 13-6) as the Utes took a 3-0 win Wednesday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.
Set scores from the match were: 25-22, 25-18, 25-23 in favor of the Utes.
For most of the day the Cougs played from behind, fighting back from the brink only to come up just short as the Utes held on to sweep WSU for the first time in Pac-12 play. In the opening set, the Cougs rallied from down 21-12, even fighting off three set points before finally succumbing to the Utes. It was the Cougs block that nearly turned the tides as Kalyah Williams got her hands on three-straight Ute attacks, combining twice with Katy Ryan and once with substitute Weronika Wojdyla to claw WSU back into the fight. The Cougs would close the gap to just two at 24-22 before a long rally ended with a new miss for Ryan as the Utes held on for the opening set victory.

The Cougs continued their strong play to open the second set, building a 15-11 lead midway through the frame on three-straight kills by Magda Jehlarova in the middle. However,  a timeout and a change in the Utah attack flipped the set upside down as the Utes found their rhythm and avoided the Coug block to run off 14 of the final 17 points in the set and capture a commanding 2-0 lead. 

Looking to stave off the three-set loss the Cougs again had to fight from behind as a back-and-forth third set turned towards the Utes late as Utah turned a one-point advantage into a four-point lead at 19-15. Early on it was a fight between Ryan and Utah's Dani Drew as the two matched each other swing for swing before the Ute all-american got the upper-hand, dropping in her 21st kill of the match to put the Utes one point from the win at 24-20. Again, the Cougs refused to go quietly, fighting off three-straight match points thanks to kills from Argentina Ung and Jehlarova with a final mistake by the Utes making it a 24-23 contest. While the Cougs battled it was not to be as a final swing that would have pulled the set even sailed just out of play, ending the Cougs' comeback hopes and giving the Utes the victory.
Katy Ryan came up with 10 kills on .389 hitting while adding four blocks in the loss. It was her fifth double-digit kill performance of the season.


  • The Cougs fell for the third-straight match to the Utes as Utah improved to 14-16 all-time against WSU.
    • WSU was swept for just the second time on the year and for the first time since No. 8 Purdue in the third match of the season.
  • WSU played shorthanded for the fourth-consecutive match with star outside Pia Timmer still sidelined. Timmer has missed the last two matches against the Utes after sitting out the 2021 spring match in Salt Lake City as well.
  • WSu tied a season-low with just one service ace, matching a single ace against Purdue in the third match of the season. It snapped a seven match streak of 5+ aces for the Cougs.
  • Offensively the Cougs were held to a season-low .111 (32-18-126) - just the fourth time in Pac-12 play WSU hit under .200 in a match.
  • Katy Ryan led the offense with 10 kills hittin .389 - her fifth double-digit kill performance of the season. She also added four blocks for the second-straight match.
  • WSU lost for just the third time on the year (16-3) when outblocking their opponents after posting a 9.0-to-6.0 advantage on the defensive side of the net.
    • Kalyah Williams led the block with 5.0 total, tying for the second-best blocking performance of the season for the junior middle.