After splitting a road series with the Arizona schools earlier this season, the WSU volleyball team again pulled off the Arizona split this weekend, losing to the University of Arizona on Friday 3-1 and sweeping Arizona State on Saturday 3-0.
After leading for most of the first set against Arizona, the Cougars dropped the opener 26-24. WSU took the second set 19-25 but dropped sets three and four (25-20, 25-15).
"We definitely played better this match than we did the previous time we played Arizona," WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said. "I thought we came out well but just couldn't close out the first set. We did a great job in the second set but again in the third just couldn't finish it out. Arizona is a great team and for us to be able to compete at a high level with them, we have definitely come a long ways since August."
Senior Meagan Ganzer and junior Rachel Todorovich combined for 33 kills and were assisted by sophomore Camryn Irwin with 40 assists in the loss to the Wildcats.
WSU rebounded from the loss quickly, sweeping Arizona State 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-20) on Saturday in front of a costumed crowd at Bohler Gym.
Ganzer, who recorded 18 kills on the night, again led the Cougars. Also adding to the winning effort was freshman Chelsey Bettinson with 11 kills (.562 hitting percentage), Irwin with 44 assists, sophomore Shawna Lum and freshman Jordan Levenseller combining for 21 digs.
"Last night we broke out a new lineup, one that we had been working on a little bit all week and we thought offensively it would give us the best chance to win," Greeny said. "I don't know that we were completely comfortable with it (last night) especially since we were playing three freshmen and three sophomores. The team seemed more comfortable tonight and confident. Those are big numbers for Chelsey Bettinson, a freshman who hasn't played middle in two years in high school and only played middle for us the past week."
The Cougars moved to 12-12 (4-10) on the season after the weekend split, already collecting four more conference wins than last season.
"We played with composure tonight. I think we figured out what it meant to compete for the whole game," Ganzer said. "It helped that we changed what we do between the second and third set, not cooling down and having a shorter intermission. Staying mentally in the game is what carried us through."
Next up for the Cougs is a trip down to Los Angeles to play No. 4 University of Southern California (18-4, 13-2) and No. 6 University of California Los Angeles (20-3, 13-2).