Hot Hitting Leads Huskies Past Buffs, 3-0
Nov. 19, 2011
BOULDER, Colo. - Washington handled its business tonight in its first Pac-12 match at Colorado, defeating the Buffs in straight sets at the Coors Events Center. The Huskies (21-7, 13-7 Pac-12) had four players with at least seven kills, all hitting over .300, as UW hit .316 to post the 25-18, 25-20, 25-20 victory.
The 10th-ranked Huskies will now close out the regular season with two straight matches against Washington State. The first comes quickly, as UW heads home for a Tuesday night match against WSU at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Tonight, the Huskies took care of a Colorado team that was coming off the high of its first Pac-12 win one night earlier over the Cougars. The Pac-12 had also been rife with upsets on Friday, so Washington needed to be on point.
On the potentially dangerous road trip, McLaughlin said "We were businesslike in our approach and serious in our preparation, then we came out well and maintained it."
Freshman Krista Vansant led the offense with 13 kills and hit .312, her best percentage since Sept. 23 at Arizona. Junior Kylin Muñoz had her second big night against CU, posting 11 kills and hitting .409. The senior middle blockers were both excellent as well, as Bianca Rowland hit .412 with 10 kills and eight block assists, and Lauren Barfield rolled to seven kills on nine attempts for a .778 mark.
"Lauren was really good with her hitting," said McLaughlin. "When that's happening and Bianca's hitting it opens up our outsides. Ky had a very good night. We settled in and blocked well."
Washington did indeed block well, leading that category, 12.0 to 3.0. The Huskies had 50 kills to Colorado's 36. Sophomore Jenna Orlandini had a team-best 14 digs.
Ross and Rowland started the match with consecutive kills, then another Rowland finish and a rejection by Barfield and Gabbi Parker made it 5-2 UW. The Buffs came back with three straight to tie, but Vansant and Parker responded with kills for a 7-5 lead that the Huskies would not relinquish. Parker fired an ace and Barfield and Ross blocked Emily Alexis for a 10-6 edge. Successive kills by Rowland, Muñoz, and Vansant accounted for a 3-0 run for a 14-9 advantage. Rowland and Vansant had a roof of Schroeder and Barfield finished for 17-12. Barfield added another kill and then teamed up with Muñoz for a block and a 20-15 lead. After a Vansant blast made it 22-16, Colorado took its last timeout. Vansant brought about set point with a kill set by Orlandini, and then Rowland put it away for the 25-18 set win. Rowland was perfect in the first set, with five kills on five swings, and Barfield was just about as good, with three kills on four attempts. UW outhit the Buffs, .317 to .167 in the set.
Muñoz got a kill to start the second set but Colorado came back with a 3-0 run to take its first lead of the night. Parker and Rowland put away two straight to tie things up at 5-5. Then Evan Sanders capped a 3-0 run with an ace for an 8-6 Husky lead. Colorado evened things at 10, but UW answered with a 5-1 run, forcing a Colorado timeout. Muñoz had two kills in the run and a block assist, teaming up with Rowland. A Barfield put-away and a CU misfire had the Huskies up five at 20-15. Two more kills went in Muñoz's column to stretch to 23-17, then a Summer Ross kill brought up set point, which Rowland soon took care of for the 25-20 set win. The Huskies upped their hitting to .333 in the set, with Vansant connecting four times on eight swings to hit .500, and Muñoz had five kills, hitting .250.
The third set would be a challenge, but the Dawgs closed things out with a late run. First came a 5-0 run by the Huskies to take a 6-2 lead and force a Buffs timeout. Orlandini served the run, and Vansant provided three kills in the stretch, all set by Jenni Nogueras. But after a Muñoz kill made it 11-7, the Buffs went on a 3-0 run to force a Huskies timeout. A stuff block from Rowland and Vansant opened it back to a 15-12 lead, but after a Parker kill made it 18-15, CU rallied to tie it up at 18-all and force a second UW timeout. The Buffs missed serve out of the break, but the Huskies returned the favor for 19-all. From there, UW held its ground. Muñoz put one down out of the serve receive, and then Rowland and Ross got a big block of Alexis for a two-point margin and a Buffs timeout. Colorado got the kill on the next point, but then Rowland answered to give serve to Ross, who got an ace that was ruled a bad set on CU; nevertheless it was a 23-20 lead. Rowland and Muñoz then sent back another Alexis attack for match point, and Vansant put away the Nogueras set on the next rally for the 25-20 win. Vansant hit .364 with five kills in the last frame, and Muñoz had four on seven swings to hit .571. UW also had five blocks to hold Colorado to .161.