No. 3 Huskies Handle Utes In Three
Oct. 8, 2011
SEATTLE - The Husky volleyball team capped off a perfect four-match homestand with a 3-0 win over new conference rival Utah tonight at Alaska Airlines Arena in front of 3,009 fans. Washington (15-1, 7-1 Pac-12) pulled out a tough second set and then cruised in set three to finish off the sweep, 25-17, 28-26, 25-14.
UW's defense was stellar, holding the Utes (7-11, 2-7 Pac-12) to just .081 on offense and mounting 10 blocks. The Huskies out-dug an opponent for the first time in conference play, 57-55, with freshman Summer Ross picking up a season-best 15 digs. Junior Kelly Holford also had her season-high with 13 digs, and sophomore Jenna Orlandini added 14 more. Freshman Krista Vansant led the team with 14 kills, racking up seven in the third set alone, and junior Kylin Muñoz added 11 kills.
Head Coach Jim McLaughlin felt the team was "a little spotty" at times. "We've got to be better from start to finish," he said, "but our serving and defense kicked in in big moments. Why we can't do it from start to finish yet is something we've got to work on. But we were good when we had to be and I liked the way we finished."
Muñoz had the first kill from the left side for UW and then Vansant put it down out of the back row for a 2-1 lead. Sanders and Rowland then connected for UW's first block against Schofield of Utah for a 3-1 lead. Sanders dumped the Orlandini pass quickly down for a point to make it 4-3. Washington had three service errors in the early going for half of Utah's six points as the teams were even at 6-all, but Vansant got a right side kill to put UW back up. The Huskies then used a 4-0 run on three consecutive kills from Muñoz followed by an ace from Orlandini for a 12-7 edge and the Utes called their first timeout. Another booming block from Sanders and Rowland stretched the lead to 15-9. Muñoz made it 17-9 with a solo rejection after Schofield tried to catch UW unawares and failed. UW threw up another block, with Barfield and Vansant doing the work, for a 20-12 lead. Utah called its last timeout after Barfield connected in the middle to run the score up to 22-14. The sixth kill of the set for Muñoz got the Huskies set point at 24-17, and a setting error on the Utes ended it on the next point. Washington had 13 kills to just seven for Utah in the first set, and five blocks helped hold Utah to a .000 attack percentage.
The teams traded sideouts early in set two, with Vansant padding her kills total by two and Summer Ross and Bianca Rowland chipping in. Still no team would take more than a one point lead through the first 20 points. A miss from the Utes evened things up at 10-10. Vansant deflected off the block and wide for her seventh kill and a 12-12 tie. A solo block for Redd gave Utah a 14-13 lead but Ross tied it up with a crosscourt shot and then Vansant put an ace on the back line for a 15-14 Husky lead at the media timeout. The Utes came up short on their next swing, and UW had the first two-point edge of the set at 16-14, which Vansant then extended with another ace off of Morgan Odale. Ross won a key rally with a right side swing for a 19-16 lead. But Utah took the next three points helped by two UW errors to tie it up, and the Dawgs called time. Muñoz broke the streak with a kill off the defense on UW's next swing. But Utah had a block and a kill off a UW overpass to take the one point lead. Then the Huskies got tied up sending over a free ball for the error and needed timeout again trailing 20-22.
After a Utah service error, junior Kelcey Dunaway checked in to serve but Odale got the kill after a short rally. Utah donated serve again, and then Sanders came up with an ace to tie it back up at 23 and Utah took timeout. After several tense swings from Vansant and great digs from Holford, Barfield and Ross came up with Washington's very first block of the set, rejecting Odale for the 24-23 lead and Utah took its last timeout. Vansant had a swing at set point but her shot hit the top of the net and deflected wide. Utah saved one more set point, then Muñoz garnered a third with a kill to the back line. Again Utah stayed alive as Odale hit from the right side. Muñoz finished again for a 27-26 lead, then Ross served an ace straight to the floor for the victory. The Utes had five blocks in the set to hold the Huskies to just .021 offensively, but Washington used four service aces to make up the difference.
Orlandini used the ace once again to start the third set, then Muñoz and Rowland blocked Odale for a quick 2-0 lead. Rowland accounted for UW's next two points with a pair of kills and a 4-2 edge. The Utes tied it at four but then Vansant cracked four kills in a row from the left side for an 8-4 lead and a Utes timeout. Dunaway's serving helped key the run. Barfield and Sanders sent the Schofield shot straight back down out of the break, and then another rally was put to an end by Vansant on the left for a 10-4 lead. The run hit 7-0 with another vicious Vansant swing as she could not be stopped, posting six kills already in the frame. Dunaway continued to fluster the Utes passing game, and after Barfield got one off the defense and down, Utah needed another timeout with the Huskies up 13-4 and on a 9-0 run. A tip on the first point out of the break snapped the run, but the Dawgs continued to side out on Utah's serve. A nice save from Ross after a miscommunication eventually led to a Muñoz kill and then Muñoz and Rowland combined for a roof to make it 18-8. Leading 20-10, sophomore Jenni Nogueras checked in to get a run at setter. Another strong Dunaway serve led to a Utah error for 21-10. After one last Vansant finish, McLaughlin subbed out Ross and Vansant and went to freshman Kaleigh Nelson and sophomore Gabbi Parker. Nelson would get the next kill for the Dawgs to stretch the lead to 23-13. Barfield sent an Odale shot straight down for the solo block to bring up match point, and the Utes sent the next one long to cap things at 25-14. Washington rolled to a .400 hitting percentage in the third set, with Vansant dominating to the tune of seven kills without an error on 13 swings to hit .538. Ross also added seven digs in the set.
Washington now faces one of its toughest challenges of the season as it heads out on the road to face No. 4 California and No. 7 Stanford next Friday and Saturday. The Cal match will be televised on a tape delay by ROOT Sports.