No. 3 Huskies Dig Out A Win Over The Beavers
Oct. 1, 2011
SEATTLE - Wins rarely come easily in the Pac-12 conference, and one night after the third-ranked Husky volleyball team posted one of its best wins of the season, Washington had to fight off a game Oregon State squad and some rough patches in its own play, but still came away with a 3-0 victory. The 26-16, 25-17, 27-25 victory came in front of 2,486 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena, and was UW's fifth-straight win in Pac-12 play.
The Huskies were not quite at their level from Friday, where they beat 15th-ranked Oregon in straight sets, but they still did not drop a set. A season-high 26 digs from sophomore libero Jenna Orlandini helped the Huskies (13-1, 5-1 Pac-12) hold Oregon State (11-5, 3-3 Pac-12) to just .071 on offense, while UW hit .191. Kylin Muñoz led the offense with 10 kills, and senior Lauren Barfield had seven kills while hitting .538 with five block assists. Fellow senior Bianca Rowland also had seven kills and seven blocks, and freshman Summer Ross had a strong all-around night with six kills, hitting .294, and adding 12 digs and six block assists.
"I don't know if it was preparation on my part, but we came out and we didn't even play that well in set one but we rolled. And then we let up," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin. "It's just a lesson we have to learn. You've got to keep the edge any way you can. To become a great team, you never fall below a standard. You can't always play great, but you never play poorly, and we have to understand that."
Oregon State had a trio of set points in the third set to try and extend things, but Washington responded with some of its best play, which McLaughlin was gratified to see. "When we were down, we played really well. We were digging balls and the intensity was up, and we've got to be like that all the time, against all teams. That's just got to be who we are."
The teams traded service errors to start, then Lauren Barfield hit out of the middle for the first kill, and Muñoz followed suit from the left for a 3-1 lead. Vansant hit the sideline out of the back row, and then OSU went into the net for a 6-3 Husky lead. The first block for UW was put up by Barfield and Ross on the right side for a 9-5 edge. Muñoz and Barfield then blocked Mommert on the left and Ross got a right side kill to double up OSU at 12-6. The next rally was capped by Barfield out of the middle, and OSU called timeout with the Huskies on a 4-0 run. After a long rally, Muñoz notched her second kill crosscourt and the run hit 7-0, until Vansant finally missed serve. But Barfield and Ross rejected the next OSU swing and pushed the lead back to ten at 17-7. The Beavers called their last timeout after their eighth error of the set made it 19-8 Huskies. The end of the set was error-filled for both teams, but Vansant had a couple late kills to get to set point at 24-16, and then connected again on the next rally for the set. Washington hit just .175 in the first set after a hot start, but the Beavers were in the negatives at -.045. Vansant's five kills led the way.
Oregon State got out to a 4-0 lead to start the second set and the Huskies took a timeout. Two Beavers misses ended the string and made it 5-2. Ross had the first kill of the set for the Huskies to make it 6-3. Oregon State crept out to a 9-4 lead but UW responded with a 4-0 run that included a pair of blocks, one by Muñoz and Rowland and the next by Rowland and Sanders. Washington cut the lead to one again at 12-13, and OSU took its first timeout. The Beavers came out with a kill and an ace, but missed their next serve. A tough Vansant serve led to a heavy Barfield kill from the middle, then Vansant had a tough dig to set up a Muñoz kill to finally level things at 15. Barfield and Ross then blocked Zimmerman for the first Husky lead of the set at 16-15. OSU's setter, McBride, had a well-timed dump kill to end the run, but the Beavers promptly donated serve. Muñoz tipped over the block and down for a 19-16 lead and the Beavers took their last break. But the Huskies continued to pull away late. Rowland stuffed down a block next to Ross and the Beavers shot long, before running into yet another Rowland-Ross rejection on the next rally. Rowland then at long last got on the board with a kill and it was 23-16. She backed it up with her second on the very next rally to bring up set point. Rowland had a solo stuff, her fifth block of the set, to end it at 25-17. All told it was a 13-2 run for the Huskies from 12-15 down. Team blocks played a big part in keeping OSU in the negative numbers for the second straight set, at -.023 while UW came on late to get up to .182. Muñoz (four kills) and Barfield (three kills) were efficient without an error.
Despite leading the nation in aces, UW's first ace of the night did not come until early in the second set, when Vansant caromed one off the defense for an early Husky lead. Three straight kills from Rowland got the lead out to 7-3. Vansant's first kill since the first set made it 9-5 Dawgs. OSU missed around the antenna on the next rally and called timeout. Another solid swing from Vansant and a Beavers miss made it 12-5 Dawgs. But Oregon State responded with a 4-0 run until Rowland put one in from the middle. The teams traded sideouts, with a block from Barfield and Vansant, and kills from each of them as well to keep the Huskies moving forward. Muñoz was blocked and then UW didn't talk and let the pass off the serve drop in for an ace and McLaughlin called time. The run hit 5-0 before OSU was called for the double-touch to get Holford to the service line at 18-all. But Oregon State got three more as UW couldn't connect well on its passes, and the Huskies called time yet again. Vansant punished one out of the break, but OSU went to Nassar in the middle on the next rally. Barfield found the corner, and then Sanders had a well-timed ace to cut it to one, 22-21, but she missed her next serve. Ross went off the block and down after a long rally to cut it to one again, but Nassar landed a tip for set point. A rocket crosscourt from Muñoz saved the first. Both sides had a couple swings on the next point, before OSU's Saxton hit the antenna and it was tied up at 24. That caused OSU to take its last timeout. The Beavers took a swing at the set again but Rowland and Ross rejected Saxton for 25-25. A frantic rally saw too many digs and swings to count, but Sanders finally hooked up with Rowland in the middle and she put it away for match point. The next rally was just as long and intense, but after being stymied on a number of swings, Muñoz put it off the block and down near the net post to end it, 27-25.
Washington will be back home next weekend, welcoming Colorado and Utah into the Pac-12 on October 7th and 8th, with both matches slated for 7 p.m. start times and both televised by UWTV.