Huskies Go Five To Hold Off Sun Devils
Oct. 28, 2011
SEATTLE - Washington had yet to visit a fifth set this season, but found itself in a final frame against an Arizona State team playing with nothing to lose. The 10th-ranked Huskies were not at their best, but found a way to outlast the upset-minded Sun Devils, prevailing 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 22-25, and 15-13 in the deciding set in front of 2,217 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena.
It's the first five set win for the Dawgs since a home match last year against Arizona, who the Huskies will face next on Sunday afternoon at 12 noon. Washington (17-4, 9-4 Pac-12) added to its NCAA-leading blocks tally with a season-high 21 tonight, its most total blocks since 2007, when UW had 22.5 in a five-set win over Missouri. The blocks helped UW overcome a deficit in kills (52-60), though UW was more efficient, hitting .185 to .117 for Arizona State (5-17, 1-12 Pac-12). The Huskies swept the season series with the win and has now won 19 in a row over ASU.
"We need to have that experience going to five and we got it, and we pulled it off," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin. "I don't think we played that well but we found a way to get it done, which is good. We were inconsistent ... I just don't think we were killing balls in transition. But we pulled it off, and (Arizona State) played well."
Senior Bianca Rowland led the blocking efforts with a career-high 11, while also hitting .455 with 10 kills and zero errors. Freshman Summer Ross had a very unorthodox double-double, posting a career-high 10 blocks to go with 10 digs. Fellow freshman Krista Vansant had a more conventional double-double with a team-leading 14 kills and 11 digs. Sophomore Jenni Nogueras and senior Evan Sanders each had 23 assists to direct the offense.
On his senior middle blocker, McLaughlin said, "She was awesome ... and I liked her energy at the end, it was contagious with some of the kids, but she can play like that all the time."
The NCAA leaders in blocks, Washington's first point of the night came on a block assist by Rowland and Ross. Rowland had UW's first kill of the night and two ASU misfires had the Huskies up for the first time at 4-3. At 5-all, Washington rattled off three straight kills from Vansant on the right, Parker on the left, and Barfield in the middle for an 8-5 lead. The teams traded sideouts until Evan Sanders served up UW's first ace of the night, and then Parker put one off the block and out back on UW's side for a 15-10 lead at the media timeout. Barfield popped up for a solo rejection of Sonja Markanovich and an 18-11 lead as ASU called timeout. A few points later, it was Muñoz with the one-on-one rejection, and her first kill of the night a couple points later made it 21-15 Dawgs. Vansant sent two straight swings outside the lines as the lead shrunk to 22-19 and UW called its first timeout. The Sun Devils gave UW a gift with a service error and then immediately called timeout themselves. Orlandini had a nice dig on the next rally and Vansant found her shot for set point at 24-19. ASU saved the first, but then Vansant finished from the right side for the 25-20 win. Washington still hit .276 for the set despite a few late misses, while ASU was held to just .091. Four different Huskies had at least two kills, with Vansant putting down four.
A Sun Devils error and a block by Rowland and Ross got the first two points of the second set for the Dawgs. Rowland blocked another with Muñoz to tie it up at 4-4. Sanders went down to set Parker from a couple feet off the ground and Parker finished from the left for a 7-6 advantage. Barfield connected from the middle to even it, then Muñoz hit off the block and wide for the 9-8 lead. Rowland finished the Nogueras set in the middle to keep the Huskies inching ahead by one. The Sun Devils used a 3-0 run to get a 14-12 lead, but Rowland and Vansant blocked the next point to end the string. But Ashley Kastl found a seam for a 15-13 ASU lead at the media timeout. Out of the break, Barfield tipped it over the block for the kill, and the Sun Devils were in the net on the next point to tie it up. ASU put one off the block and then rejected a Muñoz swing for a 19-17 lead and the Huskies called their first timeout. Ross missed wide from the right on the next rally, and ASU had a big swing on the next point but Ross and Rowland came up with a critical block to break the run, and then Vansant got a kill off the blockers' fingertips to bring UW back to 19-20 and ASU took timeout. In transition on the next point, Vansant tipped from the right and down to tie it at 20, but UW then missed service. Rowland had another tip kill for 21-all. But a kill by Kylee Terhune was followed by a Husky overpass on the serve and Kastl put it away for the 23-21 lead and UW called timeout again. Rowland got a kill off the slide to send Sanders back to serve. Kastl finished off the block for set point at 24-22, and ASU cashed in its first chance with a swing by Erica Wilson. The Sun Devils outhit the Huskies, .297 to .200, and 17 digs to 11 for UW. The set had 16 ties and five lead changes all told.
Gabbi Parker's first ace of the night off her jump serve gave the Huskies the 3-2 lead, and then Barfield and Sanders blocked Mendivil for a 4-2 edge. Muñoz hammered down an overpass and then Parker crushed a second ace for a 6-2 lead and ASU called time with the Huskies on a 5-0 run. ASU broke the run with a middle kill and UW went in the net on the next pass, but Muñoz finished from the left and then Rowland and Ross had a slow-dropping block for the 8-4 lead. Another ASU two point run was countered by four back for the Dawgs, as Ross had an ace and Rowland blocked a tip attempt. After Terhune clipped the antenna, the Sun Devils called time with UW up 12-6. The run hit six as Nogueras found Rowland in transition for a big blast, then Ross caught ASU napping with a short ace and a 14-6 edge before ASU finally got the sideout. Vansant connected from the left to take serve right back. A couple off-speed kills from Parker and Muñoz extended the lead to 20-11. Ross broke a mini ASU run by pushing the ball off the Sun Devil blockers to make it 22-13. The third ace of the set for Ross got the Huskies to set point and then Vansant pounced on a sharp angle for the kill and the 25-14 win. The Huskies hit .258 in the set and held ASU to .000 with eight kills and eight errors. The real back breaker was five aces for the Dawgs and none for the Devils.
A kill from Muñoz down the line on the left was followed by a Ross and Rowland rejection and a 5-4 lead as the teams swapped the lead early. Parker fired one in from the right side to even things again at 8-all as neither team was yet to grab more than a one point advantage. That changed with an ASU block of Vansant on the right for a 10-8 lead. Parker then missed wide on the next rally and the Huskies called timeout. ASU pushed it to a 6-0 run and a 14-8 lead and the Huskies had to take timeout once again. The run finally ended on an ASU attack error, but the Sun Devils reeled off three more, getting some help from the net on an ace for a 17-9 lead before Barfield killed one on a slide. Muñoz and Rowland had a block on the weak side for 12-19 but Washington was not adding any points on its own serve. A kill from Rowland and a block by Barfield and Vansant got some energy for the Dawgs at 15-21, but ASU pushed one deep for the kill on the next point. Another block from Barfield and Ross cut the lead to five, and a frantic rally on the next point ended with ASU clipping the antenna, and the Sun Devils took timeout with the lead down to 22-18. Freshman Kaleigh Nelson made her first big contribution with a solo block on a tip attempt to cut the lead to three, and then ASU was called for a rotation error for 20-22. The Sun Devils took timeout again with Vansant still serving. Markanovich broke the streak by pushing it deep out of the middle. Ross got a kill in transition to get to 21-23, but ASU went right back to Markanovich and UW was not ready once again to bring up set point. Barfield and Ross saved the first with a rejection of Kastl. On the next rally, the Huskies scrambled doggedly to save one ball and send it back over, but a similar scramble was unsuccessful on the next swing and ASU forced a fifth with the 25-22 win.
The Sun Devils missed wide on the first point. On the next service, Kaleigh Nelson's jump serve produced an over pass, but the Huskies couldn't get to it in time and it fell for a kill. Nogueras set Rowland for a kill in the middle and a 3-3 tie, then ASU found the net to put UW back up. Vansant went down the line for the kill and a 5-3 lead but then UW was called for four touches much to their surprise. Rowland and Muñoz posted UW's 20th block of the night on Kastl for a 6-4 edge. Again ASU got an ace that hit the tape and dribbled over to tie it up at six, but then they swung wide for a 7-6 Husky lead. On the next rally, Orlandini put a bump set up for Vansant and she hit high off the blockers and out long for the point and the media timeout at 8-6. Wilson got the next kill for ASU despite a couple swings in the rally for UW. Kastl then tied it back up at 8-8, putting down an overpass, but Vansant got the lead back with a right side finish. Wilson then killed two straight from the middle to put ASU in front, 10-9, and the Huskies took timeout. The Sun Devils sent their service long for 10-all. Muñoz had two swings on the next rally but sent the second one long for 10-11. ASU took a big swing on the next rally but found Barfield and Ross for the block and another tie. A messy play, where Muñoz saved the Dawgs by passing over a missed set, then ended with Markanovich drilling it into the net and the Huskies moved back up, 12-11, forcing an ASU timeout. The Devils tied it with a left side kill off the block, but Muñoz responded in kind to make it 13-12, and ASU called its last timeout. On the next point, Terhune tried to tip one deep, but went too deep for the error and match point for the Huskies at 14-12. ASU saved the first with a block on a joust at net. On the second match point, Terhune swung from the right side and hit it long, and ASU's calls for a touch on the Huskies were unanswered and the Dawgs ran off with the 15-13 win.