No. 7 Huskies Handle 49ers With All-Around Attack
Sept. 7, 2012
SEATTLE - Another efficient night for the Husky offense produced another 3-0 victory, as the seventh-ranked Dawgs defeated Long Beach State, 25-21, 25-20, 25-23 in front of 1,588 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington (8-0) hit .361, the sixth time in the past seven matches that UW has hit over .300, with senior Kylin Muñoz and freshman Lianna Sybeldon both hitting over .500 with 19 kills between them.
"It was a good, solid match," Head Coach Jim McLaughlin said. "(We had) a little let-down at the beginning of game three. I thought we came out a little complacent. Long Beach is good, and Brian Gimmillaro knows what he's doing, and he's won many championships. They're going to be great by the end of the year. So I think it's a good win for us."
Sybeldon hit .529 with a new season-high of 10 kills, making just one error on 17 attempts and adding four blocks. The Folsom, Calif. native is now hitting .524 for the season with 1.86 kills per set. Muñoz had nine kills on 18 attempts without a miss for a .500 mark, adding a big five block assists herself. Anchoring the block, however, was senior Amanda Gil, who upped her season-high to eight tonight as UW outblocked the 49ers, 13.0-7.0.
"Lianna was one of the highlights," said McLaughlin. "We worked on (the quick attack) this week and the setters were better. Lianna stayed off the net, tracked the ball well, and showed what she's capable of. One error as a rookie getting 17 swings, we need that. She's just going to get better and better."
Sophomore Krista Vansant had another strong night with 12 kills and a .333 attack percentage. Junior Jenna Orlandini's 15 digs were a match high, and freshman Katy Beals and junior Jenni Nogueras set the pace with 20 and 19 assists, respectively. Junior Gabbi Parker also had eight kills, four blocks and three digs, with five kills coming in a big second set run.
After middles Sybeldon and Gil had two quick kills for UW, Long Beach State called a very early timeout with UW up 3-2 to try to adjust its defense. After the 49ers took a brief lead, a kill from Vansant and a Niners error prompted LBSU to take its last timeout at just 8-7. Vansant and Sybeldon picked up two more booming kills for the Dawgs, but the teams then settled into a long battle trading points, with 18 straight points trading off side to side. The Huskies finally broke free to a two-point lead after Gil and Kaleigh Nelson stuffed Janisa Johnson for a 19-17 edge, and then Gil stuffed down an overpass on the next point to back it up. Gil and Kylin Muñoz had a key block for a 22-19 lead, then Muñoz got the Huskies to set point with her fourth kill of the frame. After a very long rally, Orlandini set Vansant on the left and she finished it, 25-21, with her fifth kill on just seven swings. The Dawgs hit a withering .615 in the first set, while the 49ers were at .286. Sybeldon killed all three of her swings, and Muñoz was four-for-six without an error.
Long Beach State took a small early lead through the first 15 points of the second set before the Dawgs used a three point burst spurred by Sybeldon to take a 10-8 lead and burn the first of the Long Beach timeouts. Sybeldon had two kills in the run plus a block assist with Nelson. The Niners tied it back up at 10-all, but then Parker took over with a couple kills and a block assist in another 3-0 run for a 13-10 advantage that UW would never relinquish. Sybeldon added a solo rejection and another kill and then Parker finished two more to keep UW moving towards the goal line. Freshman Cassie Strickland came out of the back row and angled a kill down for a 23-19 lead, then Muñoz and Sybeldon combined on a roof for set point. Vansant found the back corner on the next rally to end it, 25-20. Parker's five kills led the way in the set as UW hit .343 with Sybeldon adding four kills and three blocks. The six Husky blocks plus six digs from Jenna Orlandini helped hold Long Beach State to .135 in the set.
After the intermission, the Dawgs struggled to pass early in the frame and quickly called timeout after LBSU's Tara Roenicke served a couple aces. The lead stretched to 7-1 for the 49ers before Sybeldon bailed the Dawgs out by pushing one deep for a kill. The Huskies began to slowly chip away with back-to-back kills from Muñoz and Vansant to make it 5-9. Another Vansant slam from Beals cut the gap to three and forced a Long Beach State timeout. Vansant connected again and a UW block plus a LBSU error had the Huskies back within one, on a 10-5 run overall. Washington finally got back even after Muñoz got a kill on a touch call that LBSU disputed, then Muñoz finished again with no doubt for 16-16. Gil and Muñoz teamed up for a stuff, then the Niners missed one that put the Huskies up for the first time at 18-17, and a Vansant kill extended that another point. Sybeldon's 10th kill was followed by a low-flying ace from Nogueras and a 21-18 lead. But Long Beach State had a final push, taking the next three points to tie it up, but missing a swing for the lead. Parker had a clutch kill from the left and then Nelson and Gil had the pivotal block of Alex Reid, bringing UW to match point at 24-22. Long Beach saved the first one but had a net violation on the next rally to end it, 25-23. The Huskies hit just .194 in the final set, but Orlandini had another six digs to help hold LBSU to .103. Beals had eight assists in the set, with Muñoz quietly efficient with four kills and no errors on six attempts.
Washington has the weekend off but will be back in action early next week as it travels to Portland to wrap up non-conference play with a match on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Pilots.