Huskies Fall Short At Stanford
Oct. 15, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Husky volleyball squad had an off-night tonight in the Bay Area, and the seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal took advantage with a 3-0 victory at Maples Pavilion. The second-ranked Huskies fall to 15-3 for the year and 7-3 in conference play while Stanford improved to 14-3 and 8-3 with the 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 victory.
Washington hit just .108 for the night, its lowest percentage as a team since a home match against the Cardinal on October 5, 2008. The match was a showdown between the top two blocking teams in the NCAA, and the Huskies had ten blocks to the nine of Stanford, but the Cardinal had major advantages in kills, 46-29, and digs, 59-40. The Huskies also hurt themselves with nine service errors, many at critical junctures. Freshman Krista Vansant led the team in both kills and digs, with nine kills and 11 digs, but no Husky hit better than .200 on the night.
"I was disappointed in that we didn't play well in any facet of the game," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin. "Stanford deserves some credit for that, but we did not do anything at the level you need to beat a good team on the road. We've got to get to work and fix things."
For the second straight night, the Husky starting lineup had a little twist, with sophomore Gabbi Parker getting her first start of the season. Parker then had the first kill of the match on the opening rally. The first kill of the night for Muñoz made it 4-3 early for the Dawgs. The teams were even through the first ten points. Vansant notched two early kills on the left and right sides to keep UW moving ahead, but Stanford crept out to a four-point lead at 12-8 as UW couldn't get the kill in serve-receive and Stanford put it away in transition, leading to a Husky timeout. Parker connected on the serve-receive kill out of the break, but UW missed its third early service on the next point then Stanford put down a block on a Barfield swing for a 14-9 lead. Stanford opened up a 17-10 lead on an 8-2 run and the Huskies needed another timeout. Barfield had her first kill with a tip and Muñoz had her third kill but Rachel Williams continued to put away everything in reach for the Cardinal. The first UW ace of the night came from Jenna Orlandini and Stanford called its first timeout, though still on top 20-14. Stanford took the first two points out of the break to retake control. Four consecutive Cardinal errors lowered the lead to four at 22-18 and Stanford took its final timeout. Parker killed through the block out of the break to shave another point off the lead, but despite two swings on the next rally, Stanford broke the run with a kill from the setter Cook, and then the Huskies miscommunicated on a dig and let it fall in for set point, which Stanford converted for the 25-19 win. Stanford's late errors cooled off its early blistering attack percentage, but it still outhit UW, .297 to .200 in the frame with six kills from Williams. The Huskies went without a block and had three service errors to one for Stanford.
Stanford took a 3-1 lead to start the second set, but a Ross rightside kill and an Orlandini ace tied it up. But just as quickly Stanford reeled off three straight on a UW service error, a right side kill, and a block on Ross for a 6-3 lead and the Huskies took time. A frantic save led to UW finally getting its first block of the night on the next rally, with Ross and Rowland rejecting Williams. A Muñoz kill cut the deficit to one but then Kelly Holford hit the net on serve and Vansant was blocked on two straight points to drop back down 6-10. After a net violation on the Dawgs, Vansant came back with a crosscourt kill to end the 5-0 run. But Washington promptly missed its sixth serve in less than a set and a half. Cook then turned what looked to be a Husky ace into a Stanford kill by punching it backwards to the far corner. Washington then let Cook's next serve nestle into the corner and McLaughlin called time again down 8-14. Despite a pair of blocks from Rowland and Ross in the middle of the set, Washington could not string together a prolonged run. Vansant put one off the defense and out for a 3-1 UW run and Stanford called time, but still had a commanding 23-16 lead. The Huskies hit into the net on the next rally for a slew of Stanford set points, and a blocking error on the next point ended it, 25-16. Through two sets the Huskies were hitting just .122 (hitting .051 in the second frame) with seven service errors, and the Cardinal had 40 digs to just 27 for UW.
Sanders returned to setting duties to start the third set, and junior Kelcey Dunaway also started things off up front. After a few swings, Vansant put away the first point from Sanders, then got an ace just off the net tape and down. Ross and Dunaway then blocked Lydia Bai for a 3-0 lead. The lead disappeared in three points, with two mental errors from the Dawgs. Ross got the 4-3 lead back with a nice swing off the blockers fingertips. Stanford missed a tip wide for a 7-7 tie. Vansant and Barfield had a much needed rejection of Williams to get to 8-9 down. However, a Cardinal bock of Ross on the left pushed the lead to 12-9 and force a UW timeout. Stanford added a point to its lead before Ross finished again for 10-13. Ross and Barfield then roofed Williams to cut the lead to two, and Williams tipped into the net on the next rally for 12-13. But the Cardinal came back with the next two points before Ross had a right side kill. Muñoz was blocked on the left side, then Rowland was blocked in the middle, and UW needed timeout back down five. Dunaway and Rowland had a block as part of a 4-1 run to close to 17-19 and Stanford took timeout. A service error, however, ended the run out of the break, but Rowland got the sideout with a slide kill, and Vansant rolled one off the block and down for 19-20. But the Cardinal had consecutive right side kills for 22-19 before Vansant connected again crosscourt. The frosh then scored an ace off Williams to once again shave the deficit to one at 21-22. After a short rally, Stanford missed long and the Huskies had finally tied it back up at 22, but the service error bug bit again on Vansant's next attempt. Barfield leveled it with a shot to the sideline. Muñoz had a good look on the next rally but shanked one long to bring up match point, and in a point indicative of the night, Stanford's next serve caught the tape and rolled over and down for an ace and the 25-23 set win.
Washington will have to regroup next week against the Oregon schools as the second trip round the Pac-12 begins. The Huskies will be in Corvallis to face Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 21, then head to Eugene for a match with the Ducks on Saturday, Oct. 22.