Bruins outlast Cougs in five-set battle in Bohler Gym
PULLMAN, Wash. - 25th-ranked Washington State (21-9, 13-6 Pac-12) fell in a tightly contested fifth set, 15-11, as they were unable to complete the comeback in a 3-2 loss at the hands of UCLA (16-12, 10-9 Pac-12) on Tuesday night in Bohler Gym.
WSU led 8-7 at the fifth-set changeover and went up 9-7 before the Bruins closed the match with a 6-2 run to finish off the upset on the road. The Cougars went into the match with a 3-1 record in five-setters on the season but suffered a match-low .158 hitting percentage in the fifth set of Tuesday's loss.
Pia Timmer had a match-high 23 kills and hit .268 (23-8-56) and Argentina Ung fell just one kills shy of her season-high for a second consecutive match, finishing with seven kills and zero errors (7-0-17, .412). Magda Jehlarova finished with a season-high five solo blocks and also added nine kills while hitting .421 (9-1-19). Laura Jansen finished with 11 kills and a pair of aces on the night and Karly Basham tallied 22 digs, just one shy of her season-high.
The Cougs nearly dropped the opening two sets for what would have been only the sixth time all season as UCLA won the first and led 21-19 late in the second. Washington State went on a 5-0 that was capped by one of Jehlarova's five solo blocks to quickly steal a set point at 24-21. UCLA earned one sideout before the Cougs evened up the match with a 25-22 second-set win.
UCLA had momentum early but the Cougs came storming back and led late when an unsuccessful challenge from Washington State kept the score even at 21-21. The Bruins went on to win back-to-back points and eventually went back in front by winning the set, 25-22.
Washington State went into the fifth with all of the momentum in the match after a dominant fourth set saw the Cougs hit .312 (12-2-32) with four blocks as a team and a pair of aces. UCLA was held to just .050 hitting (10-8-40) as a team with a pair of serving errors in the fourth. Katy Ryan led Washington State with five kills (5-1-9, .444) and Weronika Wojdyla tallied two of her four blocks in a fourth set in which the Cougs never trailed, eventually winning 25-13 to force the fifth.
UCLA jumped in front early when the Cougs went on an early run to steal back momentum and the lead in the match. Jehlarova evened the set at 4-4 with a kill of a the slide and followed up with back-to-back solo blocks to put WSU on top, 6-4. WSU later lost a challenge that kept the score even at 7-7 but kill from Pia Timmer and a Bruins that sailed long gave Washington State a 9-7 lead. Despite being 2-1 on its home court in five set matches and the crowd on its side, Washington State struggled to find an answer during a Bruins' 6-2 run that finished off the fifth-set win for UCLA.
The Cougars will host their regular-season finale against Apple Cup rival, No. 24 Washington (19-9), on Friday night beginning at 6 p.m. on Pac-12 Washington. Washington State will then await the official announcement its postseason destiny in the 2022 NCAA Division Women's Volleyball Selection Show which will televised on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 4:30 p.m. (PST).