A Big Night From Muñoz Leads Dawgs Past Buffs
Oct. 7, 2011
SEATTLE - Husky volleyball welcomed Colorado to Seattle for the first time as a conference rival tonight, but third-ranked Washington was not looking to be overly hospitable. The Huskies scored the 3-0 victory over the Buffaloes behind 15 kills from junior Kylin Muñoz.
Playing in front of 2,134 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena, the Huskies earned their sixth consecutive victory by a count of 25-14, 25-21, 25-20. Washington improves to 14-1 on the year and 6-1 in Pac-12 play, and dropped Colorado to 5-11 overall and 0-8 in its new home conference.
Muñoz's 15 kills were a career-high in conference play. The Monroe, Wash. native hit .394 for the night. Senior Bianca Rowland had eight blocks, her third straight match with at least eight rejections, and also had five kills without an error. Freshman Krista Vansant led the team with nine digs, and added five kills and four block assists. Ranked second nationally in blocks per set, UW again controlled that part of the match, recording 13 blocks to help hold Colorado to just .069 on offense.
Head Coach Jim McLaughlin was impressed with Muñoz's night, saying "she's been training well. She was good and aggressive, and she was particularly good in transition, which is a big deal for her."
Starting off the match, UW's first kill came from Barfield who hammered down an overpass. Jenna Orlandini followed that with an ace to the middle of the Buffs defense, and an overpass on the next point was finished by Muñoz for a 4-2 lead. Muñoz and Rowland picked up UW's first block of the night for a 7-2 edge, and then Rowland had a solo roof on the next rally to force a Colorado timeout as the Dawgs were on a 7-0 run. But the run continued with a Muñoz finish on the left and a net infraction on Colorado for a 10-2 lead before the Dawgs missed one wide. Ross and Vansant checked in with their first kills on consecutive points, and then Rowland and Vansant rejected the Schroeder swing in the middle for a 14-5 edge. Sanders found Barfield on the quick in the middle for a 17-7 lead. Muñoz grazed the top of the block and it rolled down for a 22-12 Husky edge and Colorado whistled its second timeout. A Buffs service error got the Huskies to set point, and a triple block from Vansant, Rowland, and Sanders finished it off at 25-14. The Huskies hit .240 for the set and Colorado was held in the red at -.038.
The Dawgs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set starting with a swing from Vansant and a block by Barfield and Vansant. Another block from Barfield and Muñoz kept the lead at 5-2. But the Buffaloes put their first sustained run together with five straight points to take a 8-6 lead, until Muñoz finished from the left to break the string. Ross then tied it back up with her first ace of the night, and another Muñoz finish put the Huskies back up, 9-8. Rowland and Sanders sent back a Buffs swing for UW's eighth block and an 11-9 advantage. Colorado sent over a free ball off a tough Rowland serve, and Barfield quickly mopped up for a 13-10 lead. Yet another Husky wall, comprised of Barfield and Vansant, took the teams to the media timeout with UW leading 15-12. Colorado continued to hang tough, but Ross found an open spot in the back right corner for a 19-17 advantage. Colorado continued to cut the lead to one, but Muñoz notched her ninth kill for a 23-21 lead and Colorado called time. The break did not pay off, as the Buffs couldn't get it over on the next rally, and on set point, Muñoz finished off a frantic back-and-forth play by pushing it deep and off the defense for the 25-21 win. Muñoz had five kills on nine swings without an error in the set (.556) to lead the Dawgs.
Sophomore Jenni Nogueras checked in at setter to start the third set for the Huskies. The Dawgs had a pair of solid blocks early but a block from Colorado followed by a kill by Emily Alexis earned them their largest lead of the night at 9-5. Barfield finished out of the middle to break the run. But Colorado came back with three more points for a 12-6 lead and the Huskies needed time. Vansant had a right side kill to end the run out of the break. Colorado had to send over the next two Vansant serves, and Muñoz finished one and the Buffs misfired on the next, and took their own timeout with UW cutting the deficit to 9-12. Vansant popped up a tough Colorado swing, and Muñoz had the finish to get to 10-12 before the Buffs ended the four point run. Ross and Rowland teamed up for the roof to cut the gap to one. Emphatic swings from Ross and Muñoz kept the Huskies close, and they tied it up at 15 after Alexis missed wide for Colorado. Rowland then finished the slide set from Nogueras for the one point lead. Colorado then took three of the next four points to inch back ahead, 18-17, but Barfield's soft touch leveled it again. A couple late Colorado miscues put UW up, 21-19, and the Buffs called their last timeout. Muñoz finished in transition on the next rally, and she crushed another one a point later for a 23-20 lead. A long rally ended with Colorado grazing the antenna to bring up match point at 24-20, and Rowland and Ross stuffed the very next Colorado swing for the victory. The Huskies had their best set of the night offensively, hitting .355 in the final frame.
Washington greets another new Pac-12 opponent tomorrow night, as Utah comes to town for another 7 p.m. tip off. The Huskies will then hit the road for four-straight, traveling to the Bay Area and Oregon.