The Washington State University volleyball team will escape the cold early-November Pullman weather and travel to Los Angeles this weekend, but it will be no vacation.
While down in California, the Cougs will take on No. 4 USC (18-4, 13-2) Friday and No. 1 UCLA (20-3, 13-2) Saturday.
WSU (12-12, 4-10) is coming off a weekend split at home against Arizona and Arizona State, falling 3-1 to Arizona and sweeping Arizona State 3-0.
“I thought at times we played really well, especially in the Arizona State game,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said at a press conference. “I thought we finally kind of put everything together. Against Arizona, we had our ups and downs and again just couldn’t finish things like we have done in the past few weeks, but hopefully we turn the corner and can move on from here.”
The Cougs opened conference play this season with UCLA (then No. 6) and USC (then No. 13) in Pullman but were swept 3-0 in both matches. Both schools have gotten better since they last faced the Cougs, but WSU has also changed as a team.
“I think we have changed tremendously,” Greeny said at a press conference. “Not only getting used to playing with each other, you know those were so many new people, getting used to a new system and getting used to playing with each other. So we’ve definitely gelled as a team. Everyone in this conference has improved, but I think we as a team have improved the most.”
The players can see the change in the team, as well.
“We’ve definitely gotten a lot more aggressive and competitive,” junior Rachel Todorovich said in a press release. “We’re also working on a new lineup that we just showed everyone this last weekend. So we’re going down there with the same (lineup) and just coming out to compete.”
The Cougs enter the tough road series with lone senior Meagan Ganzer still leading the team, and the conference, in kills per set at 4.91 kps and in points per set at 5.46 points per set.
Also near the top of the conference is sophomore Camryn Irwin, who is seventh in the Pac-12 in service aces per set at 0.27 saps and assists per set with 9.78 aps.
The Cougs take on USC Friday at 7 p.m. and UCLA Saturday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast on KQQQ 1150 AM.