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Cougs' road stretch continues in Minnesota with pair of top-25 tests

Sep 13, 2022

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State volleyball (8-1), the top-ranked hitting team in the nation (.329), has its eyes set on another measuring-stick weekend as it gets set to take on No. 22 Pepperdine (7-2) on Friday at 3 p.m. (PST), followed by sixth-ranked Minnesota (4-2) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (PST), in the Diet Coke Classic at Maturi Pavilion.  Both matches can be streamed live with a subscription to Big 10 plus.

WSU is riding a six-match winning streak after going 3-0 at the Cougar Challenge in Bohler Gym, followed by another 3-0 weekend on the road at the Fairfield Invitational in Fairfield, Conn., last week.  The Cougars did not drop a single set in last weekend's trip east, winning 3-0 over Howard (25-13, 25-17, 25-22), Fairfield (25-17, 25-12, 25-22), and Fairleigh Dickinson (25-9, 25-15, 25-15), respectively.  The road trip will be the final non-conference tune-up for Washington State as the Cougars will end the month of September with a third and fourth-consecutive road trip to start Pac-12 play.  WSU will be at Washington on Wed., Sept 21, at USC on Sat., Sept. 24, before taking on the Bay Area schools on the road the following weekend.

FULL NOTES PDF
Match Info:
>> vs #22 Pepperdine (7-2)  |  '21 Record: 22-6, 14-4 WCC (NCAA 1st RD)
    - Friday, Sept. 16 // 5 p.m. (CT)  // Minneapolis, Minn. - Maturi Pavilion
>> vs #6 Minnesota (4-2)  |  '21 record: 23-9, 15-5 Big 10 (NCAA Elite Eight)
    - Saturday, Sept. 17 // 7:30 p.m. (CT)  // Minneapolis, Minn. - Maturi Pavilion
>> Watch: Big 10 Plus
>> Live Stats: wsucougars.com
>> Listen Live: 1150 AM KQQQ/ wsucougars.com

Last Time Out:
>> WSU is riding a six-match winning streak after going 3-0 at the Cougar Challenge in Bohler Gym, followed by another 3-0 weekend on the road at the Fairfield Invitational in Fairfield, Conn., last week.
>> The Cougars did not drop a single set in last weekend's trip east, winning 3-0 over Howard (25-13, 25-17, 25-22), Fairfield (25-17, 25-12, 25-22), and Fairleigh Dickinson (25-9, 25-15, 25-15), respectively.

Cougar Quick Notes:
>> WSU owns the No. 1 team hitting percentage in the country at .329 and ranks third in the NCAA and second in the conference in opponent hitting (.121).
>> The Cougs are No. 26 in all of Division I and tops in the conference with 2.10 aces per set.  They also rank 14th in the nation and fourth in the Pac-12 with 2.85 blocks/set.
>> Washington State's 85.5 total blocks as a team is also the best in the Pac-12 and its 2.85 blocks/set rank 14th in the nation.
>> WSU has 29 total wins against the AVCA Top-25 under head coach Jen Greeny.  The Cougars' last non-conference win against a top-25 opponent was its 2019 NCAA Tournament win over 19th-ranked Tennessee.
>> Washington State finished last season with three wins against the AVCA Top-25 including a 3-2 win over sixth-ranked Washington in Bohler Gym.
>> Karly Basham's 16 service aces and .53 aces/set are the most so far this season in the Pac-12.
>> Magda Jehlarova ranks second in the conference with 42 total blocks and is third in the Pac-12 with a .400 hitting percentage through nine matches.

Opponent Notes:
Pepperdine Notes
>> WSU and Pepperdine tied both of their previous all-time meetings, 1-1.  The two previous matchups came before rally scoring had been implemented with the first coming in 1978 at the NIVT and the second in 1979 at the UCLA Invite, both in Los Angeles, Calif.
>> The Waves defeated weekend hosts, sixth-ranked Minnesota, in four sets on Thursday night.  Minnesota won a tight opening set, 28-26, before the Waves won the next three, 25-20, 25-18, 25-22.
>> Pepperdine went 2-1 last weekend at the Alaska Airlines Invitational hosted by Washington.  The Waves beat 13th-ranked Washington and Cal Poly before losing its last match to Northwestern.
>> Pepperdine now has a pair of ranked wins on the season after taking out ninth-ranked Baylor in its home-opener back on Sept. 1.
Minnesota Notes
>> Saturday's matchup with the Golden Gophers will be the first all-time meeting between the two programs.
>>  Minnesota was No. 5 in the nation preseason after a run to last season's NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.  The Golden Gophers went 1-1 last week with a 3-1 win over Oregon before dropping a four-set match to Stanford the following night.

Up Next:
The road trip will be the final non-conference tune-up for Washington State as the Cougars will end the month of September with a third and fourth-consecutive road trip to start Pac-12 play.  WSU will be at Washington on Wed., Sept 21, at USC on Sat., Sept. 24, before taking on the Bay Area schools on the road the following weekend.

For all the latest WSU volleyball news, photos and videos, like the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WSUCougarVB), or follow on Twitter (@WSUCougarVB) and Instagram (@wsucougarvb).