Big Husky Block Turns Back Beavers
Oct. 21, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Huskies came into tonight's match against the Beavers leading the NCAA in blocks per set. Seventh-ranked Washington will only build on that lead after setting a school record for blocks in a three set match with 17.5, as the Huskies turned away Oregon State, 25-14, 25-21, 25-18 at Gill Coliseum.
The win marks 20 in a row for the Dawgs over the Beavers and ups the Huskies to 16-3 on the season and 8-3 in Pac-12 play. Freshman Krista Vansant had a double-double with a team-leading 12 kills and 12 digs. Senior Evan Sanders dished 33 assists and had the Huskies hitting .237 for the night compared to just .062 for the Beavers. Sanders got going with senior Bianca Rowland, who hit .467 with seven kills without an error. Sophomore Jenna Orlandini also had a strong night with 18 digs and two aces.
But it was the blocking that overwhelmed OSU, as seven different Huskies had at least three block assists. Senior Lauren Barfield had nine blocks in less than two sets. Junior Kylin Muñoz set a career high with seven total blocks, and freshman Summer Ross matched her season-best with six. The total blocks only tied UW's season-high, as they also tallied 17.5 at Long Beach State earlier this year, but that was over four sets. The last time UW had a higher total was 2007, when they had 22.5 in a five set win over Missouri in the NCAA first round.
Of the block, Head Coach Jim McLaughlin said, "we were in good spots and we had good eyework and we stayed focused on the things that tell you what to do. As a result we kept pressuring them."
Despite taking a two set lead, Washington actually needed quite a dramatic comeback in the third set to finish off a sweep. Oregon State led 12-3 before the Huskies put together a 20-4 run to reverse the momentum. "We got off on the wrong foot" in the third set said McLaughlin. "Then we just turned it up and played the best stretch of volleyball I've seen for a while. That was the lesson to learn; if we stay on task we can do some very good things and make it difficult for the opponent."
Ross started the first set with a kill from Sanders, and then the Huskies registered the early triple block with Ross, Barfield, and Muñoz all up at once to reject Saxton. Rowland's first kill had the Huskies up 4-1 early. A block by Sanders and Rowland was followed by a Vansant finish for an 8-5 UW lead. OSU would cut the lead to one twice more, but then the Dawgs used a 3-0 spurt to open up a 13-9 lead and force a Beavers timeout. Another triple block started the run, then Orlandini served up an ace, and OSU hit into the net on the next point. Out of the break, the Huskies continued their run on Orlandini's serve. Muñoz had a kill and then a solo block for 15-9, before the Beavers broke the five point run. But kills by Rowland and Vansant sandwiched around an ace for Kelly Holford had the Huskies rolling up 20-11 and the Beavers needed their last timeout. The third triple block of the set, this one from Ross, Barfield, and Vansant, gave the Huskies set point, and Barfield put one down out of the middle for the 25-14 set win. Washington hit an impressive .367 in the set while holding OSU to just .062 on the strength of 6.5 blocks. Rowland had three kills on six swings without an error.
Oregon State took an early lead in the second set, until consecutive put-aways by Muñoz and Vansant got the Huskies on top for the first time at 5-4. A Rowland kill and a Beavers miscue had UW on top, 7-5, and then Barfield and Sanders extended the lead to 9-6 with a block. Up 9-8, Vansant connected for a kill and then teamed up with Barfield for a block of McBride. Barfield then went to the other end of the net to block Saxton along with Ross for a 12-8 lead and an OSU timeout. Ross added a pair of kills over the next few points, but the Beavers used a three-point run to close to within 15-14 and the Huskies called time. The Beavers missed a swing on the next rally, and after closing to one for a second time, the Huskies reeled off a big run to take command. Vansant killed crosscourt, then Barfield and Sanders put up a successful block, and Saxton then hit a tough swing wide and OSU needed time with UW up 19-15. Vansant put another down to extend the run, then she and Barfield rejected Smith, although Barfield appeared to tweak her ankle on the play and junior Kelcey Dunaway subbed in to replace her. Still, the run hit six points and the lead hit 22-15 with another kill from Vansant before OSU stopped the string. The Beavers clawed back with three straight before Dunaway got her first kill. OSU closed within 23-20, and then Dunaway answered the call again to bring up set point. After saving one with a kill from a touch call, Dunaway and Muñoz lined up with McBride and rejected her weak side swing for the 25-21 set victory. Vansant's six kills in the frame led the Huskiesand UW added seven more blocks for 13.5 through two sets.
The Huskies won the first point of the third set on a Vansant kill, but then things suddenly unraveled for the Dawgs, as the Beavers rung up eight straight points before Muñoz scored a kill to make it 2-8 early. The Beavers pushed back to 11-2 before the Huskies began to stabilize. Holford served UW on a 4-0 run with Rowland getting a block assist with Muñoz and a kill, then sophomore Gabbi Parker tallying her first kill after recently subbing in. That got UW within 12-7 and forced a Beavers timeout. The Huskies kept coming, with two more kills from Rowland and Ross making it 9-13 until Rowland missed service. Consecutive Vansant kills whittled the lead to three, and the frosh then helped UW climb all the way back at the service line. Dunaway and Ross blocked Eneliko, OSU hit into the net, and then Dunaway and Muñoz roofed McBride to tie things at 15-all. After Muñoz connected on the next rally, the Huskies were suddenly back out in front, and OSU took its last timeout. Muñoz terminated yet again for a 17-15 lead before OSU broke the 5-0 run. But Washington was not about to take its foot off the gas again, and Rowland and Muñoz rejected yet another Beaver swing, Muñoz finished on the outside, Orlandini notched her second ace of the night, and after a Ross kill and a Beavers miscue it was 23-16 Huskies with OSU's nine point lead shockingly nullified. From 3-12 down to 23-16 up it was a 20-4 run for the Huskies. UW got to match point off a service error, and then Rowland pounced on an overpass and spiked it down for the 25-18 victory. Muñoz did damage with five kills in the third and Sanders had 13 assists with Orlandini digging up eight balls as well as UW outhit the Beavers, .214-.085 despite the slow start.
Washington will now head to Eugene to square off with the 18th-ranked Ducks, who came back from two sets down to beat Washington State tonight. First serve at Matt Knight Arena will be at 7 p.m.