The WSU women’s volleyball team is setting their sights toward a national championship.
“Every day we’re striving to become a better team and to reach that goal,” senior Camryn Irwin said.
That goal begins with a strong start to the season.
“Before we hit Pac-12 play, one of our team goals is to win all of our (nonconference) matches,” Irwin said. “I think looking at our schedule and talking as a team we’ve really decided that’s one of our goals and I think it’s very attainable.”
The Cougs went 13-19 last season, including a record of 3-17 in conference play.
With the Pac-12 slate looking consistently formidable, the team sees the nonconference portion of their season as a good opportunity to improve and tally some wins.
“When we’re looking at scheduling, we don’t want to necessarily over-schedule because our conference is so tough,” WSU Head Coach Jen Greeny said. “But we definitely will get some good competition.”
This season, the Cougars will be aided by a class of six freshmen who PrepVolleyball.com ranked 14th best in the nation in their annual rankings.
The incoming freshmen include outside hitter Emmy Allen, right side hitter Hailey Bethune, defensive specialist Taylor Ellingsen, outside hitter Kyra Holt, setter Haley MacDonald and defensive specialist Tani Stephens.
Joining the freshmen is Bekah Young, a middle hitter who transferred to WSU from Highline Community College.
“I think (the freshmen) are starting to get to know each other well,” Holt said. “We’re not perfect, but we’re getting to know each other and see what we can do.”
Leading the Cougars is a pair of seniors: Irwin and Marcelina Glab. Joined by five juniors, the Cougars are returning eight letter winners in 2013.
With a mix of experience and new talent, the Cougs are looking to create a team that can play together successfully and show improvement from last season.
“The incoming freshman class that we have, getting them at the level that we are right now, getting us to be one whole team rather than a bunch of individuals,” Glab said.
The Cougars’ first match of the season is Saturday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. against Alabama in West Point, N.Y.
Their first action in front of a Pullman crowd comes Friday, Sep. 16 at 12:30 p.m. against Eastern Washington in the Cougar Challenge tournament.