PULLMAN - The Washington State Cougar volleyball team will dance into their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament next week, earning a 15-seed and a first round bye, as was announced Sunday afternoon.
The 2020-21 NCAA Tournament first round is Wednesday, April 14, and the second round will be April 15. Regional semifinals are Sunday, April 18, and the regional finals April 19. The national semifinals are Thursday, April 22, with the 2021 national championship on April 24. The tournament will be held at the Chi Health Center Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Cougars earned a number 15 overall seed to earn a first-round bye into the second round of the tournament, as the total number of teams was reduced to 48 overall for this spring tournament.
WSU will look to play their second-round match against either Western Kentucky (21-0, C-USA) or Jackson State (11-0, SWAC), Thursday April 15 at 7:30pm (PT). The Cougs have squared off against the Tigers once previously back in 2013 where WSU downed JSU in three sets. Washington State has met the Hilltoppers once before as well in 2018 where the Cougs defeated WKU 3-1 while playing at Bowling Green, Ky.
The Cougs have been led by youth this season, as sophomores Pia Timmer, Magda Jehlářová and Hannah Pukis have anchored WSU throughout the season. Timmer lead the Cougars during the regular season in total kills (160) and kills per set (3.20). Pukis has guided the offensive flow all season long, totaling 525 assists in 15 matches and ranking sixth overall in the Pac-12 in the stat category. Magda continued her dominance within the Pac-12 in year two, as she led the conference in hitting percentage (.415) and led in solo blocks (17) as well.
Freshman Julianna Dalton made an immediate impact during her first year with the Cougars, totaling 137 kills and 41.0 blocks. Dalton finished 28th overall in the Pac-12 in kills and 28th in total blocks as well.