Huskies Give McLaughlin 500th Career Victory
Sept. 6, 2012
SEATTLE - An efficient night hitting and a stellar night at the service line propelled the Husky volleyball team to a 3-0 win over Seattle U., earning Head Coach Jim McLaughlin the 500th win of his career covering stints as the men's coach at USC, and the women's coach at Kansas State and now 12 years and counting at Washington. The Huskies (7-0) had a season-high 10 aces to take the match, 25-15, 25-10, 25-21.
McLaughlin deflected the achievement to the players he has mentored in a 23-year coaching career.
"Somebody told me (of the wins mark) beforehand, but I didn't give a hoot," McLaughlin said. "I've been lucky at some good schools, most of the wins here at Washington, and I've had so many good players. Those players got 500 wins; I didn't suit up. It's more of a longevity thing than anything else, but I want to get 500 more, so I'll look at it that way."
Senior Kylin Muñoz and sophomore Krista Vansant shared the team lead with eight kills, with Muñoz hitting .571. Sophomore Kaleigh Nelson hit exactly .714 for the second match in a row, with five kills and no errors on seven swings. Freshman setter Katy Beals dished out 15 assists while adding five digs and four service aces, with fellow freshman Cassie Strickland adding three more aces, all in a row in the second set. Senior Amanda Gil also had a season-high six kills plus two blocks.
Vansant put down the first kill of the night for the Dawgs to tie the first set at two, and her second one knotted it again at 5-5. A couple more finishes from Vansant and sophomore Gabbi Parker pushed the Huskies out to a 9-6 lead then Amanda Gil spiked a pair to keep the lead at three. The teams traded points with Muñoz and Gil contributing kills, then a pair of Redhawks errors forced them to call time as UW crept out to a 16-12 lead. But the lead continued to swell out of the break, as Vansant killed one up the sideline, then Nogueras put an ace off the defense, and Kelcey Dunaway hit down an overpass to force another Seattle timeout at 19-12. Seattle ended the five point run but the Huskies got it right back with a big Nelson finish. The sophomore from Salem added another kill down the stretch and then Beals got the Dawgs to set point with an ace. A final Seattle miscue ended it, 25-15. The Huskies hit .370 for the frame while Seattle dropped to .125 after a hot start. Vansant's four kills led the way and Nelson had three on four swings.
The second set turned into a serving showcase, as the freshmen duo of Beals and Cassie Strickland notched three aces apiece, Beals with a precision floater and Strickland with the booming jump serve. The Beals run came first, and turned a close 8-7 lead into a 16-7 cushion with her trio of aces and a pair of Gabbi Parker kills in the eight-point run. Strickland's aces came all in a row, part of another 6-0 Husky run that saw Seattle scrambling to find a sub that could control the serves. The native of Huntington Beach, Calif. received a big ovation from the fans after the Redhawks finally stopped the run, and the Huskies then took the last two points to close out the set, 25-10. Washington needed just 10 kills to reach 25 points in the frame, with Gil leading the way with three.
Muñoz had a couple early kills and a block assist with Gil in the third set, as Seattle held close with six tie scores early. Washington broke loose with a 3-0 run for a 12-9 lead, with kills from freshman Lianna Sybeldon, Muñoz, and a ball-handling error by Seattle. The Redhawks got back within one but then Nelson added two more kills and the Huskies pushed back out to an 18-14 lead. Redshirt frosh Kim Condie got into the match, her second appearance this season, and picked up her first dig. Seattle put one more rally on and tied it at 18, but Kelcey Dunaway dialed up consecutive aces. A key play late came when Beals got a pancake dig and then Muñoz and Sybeldon posted a huge block for a 23-19 edge. On match point, Muñoz hit from the right side again, her eighth kill, to end it, 25-21. UW hit .393 in the third frame, hurting its own cause a bit with seven service errors.
Washington gets another big non-conference test tomorrow night as perennial NCAA tourney team Long Beach State comes in for a 7 p.m. match.
Jim McLaughlin's Career Wins