Huskies Serve Up Sweep Of Buffs
Nov. 2, 2012
SEATTLE - A young Husky lineup featuring four freshman starters rolled to a 3-0 win over Colorado tonight at Alaska Airlines Arena in front of 1,936 fans. Washington (18-4, 9-4 Pac-12) had a season-high 12 service aces, seven coming from senior Kylin Muñoz, in the 25-19, 25-15, 25-15 victory over the Buffs (14-12, 4-10 Pac-12).
All four of the eligible Husky freshman started together tonight for the first time. Middle blockers Lianna Sybeldon and Melanie Wade each got the start, along with setter Katy Beals and outside hitter Cassie Strickland. Sybeldon and Wade gave the Dawgs a lot of firepower, as Sybeldon had eight kills on a .571 attack percentage, and Wade hit .500 with four kills and three blocks. Beals added 14 assists, three digs and an ace, and Strickland served up four aces.
"Those guys have worked hard and they needed the time and we're going to need them going into the postseason," said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin on his rookie class. "We talked a lot about (limiting) our errors and making the other team earn it, and with the exception of early in game two, we did a good job just controlling the ball and we got some good swings."
Not to be overlooked was another great night from sophomore Krista Vansant, as she led all players with 15 kills and hit .387 for the night, plus 11 digs for a double-double. Sophomore Kaleigh Nelson added eight kills on a .316 percentage. Junior Jenna Orlandini had 12 digs as UW won the digging battle by one despite being outblocked for the first time all season, as Amanda Gil had a night off. Jenni Nogueras' 17 assists led the team as UW hit .276 and held Colorado to just .090.
The seven aces from Muñoz was a career-best, and the most by a Husky since Jill Collymore also served up seven aces in a win against San Diego on Sept. 19, 2008.
Vansant had the first kill of the night for the Dawgs, and then teamed up with Sybeldon for a block. Kylin Muñoz then stepped up to serve and gave the Buffs defense fits. Her first serve led to an overpass and a Sybeldon kill, then Muñoz tossed in an ace. Her second ace two points later punctuated a six-point Husky run to take a 7-2 lead before Muñoz missed serve. Nelson earned her first two kills of the night and Wade banged one down from the middle for a 12-7 lead. The middle continued to be open for the Dawgs, as Sybeldon added two more on quick sets, and then a Buffs error made it 17-11 Huskies and forced a Colorado timeout. The Buffs made a push with four straight points and the Huskies took time, but UW came right back out with four points of its own to retake a 21-15 lead behind kills from Sybeldon and Vansant and a pair of CU errors. Vansant's put one down to get to set point at 24-18, and after Colorado saved one, Beals set Wade quick in the middle again and she slammed it down for a 25-19 victory. The Huskies outhit the Buffs, .250 to .129 in the set, led by a huge first set from Vansant, who had seven kills and just one error on 10 swings for a .600 attack percentage.
Washington fell behind 1-5 at the start of the second set, but slowly started to work their way back into it. Vansant got one to the back corner and then Muñoz registered yet another ace. A Nelson finish cut the gap to one but Colorado pushed back to a 9-6 advantage. Washington's block got going with two in a row from Wade and Muñoz against Neira Ortiz Ruiz and that got the Huskies back even at 9-9. Vansant punched down an overpass off the serve to give the Huskies their first lead at 13-12. Colorado took the next two points to get a 14-13 lead, but after that an avalanche of Husky points got rolling on Muñoz's serve. An ace put UW up 15-14 and brought up the media timeout, but Muñoz kept rolling out of the break. She had three more aces during the nine-point surge, and several more points were direct results of Muñoz's serve through the Buffs out of system. Junior Gabbi Parker had her first kill of the night in transition to bring up set point, and Nogueras put up a quick one to Sybeldon for the final tally, as UW closed it out, 25-15, making for a 12-1 run to end the second set. The Huskies hit .265 in the set with six more kills from Vansant and six digs from Orlandini, while Colorado was held to .065 on offense. Muñoz was deadly with five service aces in the second set alone.
An early ace from Strickland got the Huskies out quickly in the third set, 3-0. Wade and Sybeldon earned a couple kills to stretch it to a 6-1 edge. Colorado then went on a 6-2 run to trim the Husky lead down to one at 10-9, but then the Buffs missed their next serve, and another error had it back to 12-9. Vansant put away a Beals set to reach the media timeout at 15-11 Dawgs. After Nelson connected from the right side, the Buffs took timeout at 17-13. Out of the break, UW broke away with a couple more points, the latter on a Parker finish for a 19-13 edge. Beals notched her first ace of the night for a seven-point lead, and after another CU timeout, Parker finished an Orlandini bump set in transition for 22-14. After doing damage from the service line all night, Strickland punctuated the win for the Dawgs with back-to-back aces on the last two points of the match, closing things out, 25-15. The Huskies hit .333 in the third set, their best of the match, with Nelson killing all of her three swings and Strickland serving up a trio of aces.