The WSU volleyball team kicked off Pac-12 conference play on Tuesday, falling to No. 5 UW 3-1 in Seattle.
WSU (10-3, 0-1) dropped the conference matchup to UW (10-0, 1-0) with set scores of 20-25, 29-27, 14-25 and 25-27.
Jaicee Harris led the way for the Cougars with 19 kills and 10 digs. Also contributing for WSU was Rachel Todorovich with a career-high 17 kills, Ver’Leea Hardaway with six blocks, Stephanie Logan with eight kills and four blocks, Camryn Irwin with 47 assists and Kate Sommer with 19 digs and two service aces.
In a hard fought game in front of a hostile UW student section, the Cougars were out-hit .177 to .295 and out-blocked by the Huskies 15 to 9.
The Cougars found themselves down early, losing the first set, but battled back to even the series in the second set. That resilience was something Head Coach Jen Greeny talked about after the game.
"I'm proud of the way we came out and fought. They are a great team, but we made errors at the wrong times," Greeny said in a press release.
Those errors proved costly Huskies outmatched the Cougars, losing the final two sets of the match despite a close final set.
"They are such a (physically) big team and a great blocking team, so when we couldn't pass and were out of system, that made it really tough for our hitters," Greeny said. "Once we could get our middles going, we were great, but our passing broke down and it was definitely streaky."
Greeny said she was encouraged by the match and hopes it helps strengthen the team for similar “tough” opponents.
"We're going to be facing tougher teams that serve like that so we're going to have to work that out," she said. "Eleven missed serves is not like us, and we haven't done that all season. If we can clean up those little things on our unforced errors I think we'll be okay."
The Cougars were close to extending to match into a fifth set, leading 24-23 late in the fourth, but UW put away the final set 27-25.
Next up for WSU is a trip to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Arizona State University on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. Pac-12 Networks will televise the match.