UW Wraps Up Northwest Challenge With Sweep
Aug. 25, 2012
SEATTLE - The 14th-ranked Husky volleyball team wrapped up a fifth consecutive Northwest Challenge tournament title tonight with a 3-0 sweep of Portland State at Alaska Airlines Arena. Tonight's win followed up on another 3-0 win over Gonzaga earlier this afternoon. Set scores were 25-19, 25-18, 25-16, as UW used late runs in all three sets to win going away.
Washington improves to 3-0 on the year and was led by another strong all-around effort from tournament MVP Krista Vansant, who had 11 kills, two aces, five digs and three blocks, two of them solo blocks. Junior Gabbi Parker also shared the team lead with 11 kills, seven in the first set, and added two aces and seven digs. The 19 assists of Jenni Nogueras and 14 digs from Jenna Orlandini also were big.
Also earning a spot on the All-Tourney Team from UW was senior Kylin Muñoz, who had six more kills and three blocks tonight, and senior Amanda Gil in her first action in three years. Gil had five kills, hitting .444 tonight, with two assists and two digs.
Head Coach Jim McLaughlin was as usual forward thinking. "The important thing is we got a lot of information," said the coach. "There are some good battles going on, and the cream's going to rise. People are going to change over the course of the year for the better. We're going to give them all opportunities to train and then we've got to pick a team in the next three weeks. We made a step forward tonight, and now we need to get back to studying what we need to do and keep improving."
In the first set, Parker provided the first two kills for the Dawgs, and then carried that over to the service line where her booming ace put UW up, 6-5. She then added a back row kill for 7-5, and later landed another for a 12-9 edge. But Portland State rallied and broke through for a brief lead at 16-15 before UW answered with three points back. A PSU block tied it at 18, but from there it was all Washington. The Huskies closed on a 7-1 run. Kills by Vansant and Parker led to a PSU timeout as UW led 21-18. Out of the break, Vansant sent an ace straight to the floor, then Muñoz hit a rightside blast to keep the run going before Vansant served long. A seventh kill in the set from Parker brought up set point, and then after a several shot rally, Gil and Muñoz rebuffed the Megan Ellis swing on the left to end it, 25-19. Parker hit .467 in the frame with the seven kills, not making an error while adding an ace. For the frame, UW hit .382 as a team, led by the 11 assists of Jenni Nogueras.
The teams traded sideouts early in the second set. From 7-all, Kaleigh Nelson had a brilliant put-away on the right side, then Vansant and Dunaway teamed up for a block to force a PSU timeout at 10-7. After one PSU sideout, UW reeled off another six straight points, making for a 9-1 run overall, to take a 16-9 lead. Vansant terminated three-straight points during the stretch, then Muñoz and Dunaway roofed Ellis to cap it. But just when the Dawgs looked like they would coast to the finish, there started to be too much coasting, and the Vikings went on a 7-0 run to cut it all the way down to 20-18, with a Husky timeout in the mix. The run ended when Orlandini passed it on point to Nogueras, who set Gil for a quick strike kill. That opened the flood gates back up for UW as Parker had two more kills and then a long rally on set point was put off the block by Nelson for the 25-18 win, as UW closed on a 5-0 run. Vansant hit .400 with five kills to lead the attack. During the set, redshirt freshman Kim Condie checked in to make her official Husky debut as well.
In set three, Vansant kicked things off with a solo stuff of Megan Ellis. Freshman Lianna Sybeldon notched an ace during a four-point serving stint, but PSU kept things close early once again, tying it at 8-all. But from there a 7-1 Husky run opened things up, with Sybeldon adding a kill on a quick set and a block assist with Muñoz. Nelson had a booming swing through a gap in the block and then Parker flexed her muscles again with a rocket of an ace and Portland State took its last timeout at 23-16. Parker would serve it out, as Vansant registered yet another solo block, and then got a kill fed to her when the Vikings overpassed another tough Parker serve and Vansant went up and put it down. The Huskies hit .310 in the final frame while the Vikings hit just .056. Jenna Orlandini played a part in that defense, digging six balls, and Jenni Nogueras and Katy Beals evenly split 10 assists.
Washington now takes to the road for the first time and faces its biggest challenge of non-conference play, as UW travels to the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La., hosted by LSU. On Friday, Aug. 31, the Huskies will have another double-header, but this one coming against ninth-ranked Purdue followed by the host Tigers.