Huskies Start Fast in Sweep of Arizona
Oct. 5, 2007
SEATTLE - One night after starting slow in a sweep of Arizona State, the No. 8 Washington volleyball team came out hot against visiting Arizona and powered to a 3-0 sweep of the Wildcats in Pac-10 action on Friday night to remain undefeated. The Huskies opened up the match against Arizona with a 30-15 win in game one and led by as many as 16 points during the opening stanza. Washington went on to win the second game 30-14, and the third game 30-22. With the win, the Huskies are now 16-0 and 5-0 in the Pac-10. Arizona falls to 12-6 and 2-4 in the Pac-10.
Stevie Mussie led the Huskies in kills for the second night in a row, picking up 16, while Christal Morrison and Jessica Swarbrick added 10 kills each. Four UW players hit better than .300, highlighted by Mussie and Swarbrick with identical .500 hitting percentages. Alesha Deesing finished with a .467 hitting mark and added nine kills, and Becky Perry hit .400 and had seven kills on the night.
Even though the Huskies swept Arizona State last night, head coach Jim McLaughlin noted his team's slow start, as they won game won by just two points, 31-29. But the Huskies started strong against the Wildcats tonight, leading the whole way during the first game on their way to a .516 hitting clip in the game.
'We had a better mindset tonight and were better prepared,' said McLaughlin. 'Our kids were connected tonight. One-third of the game is physical, the rest is all mental.'
The Huskies finished the night hitting .427 as a team, hitting .394 in game two and .385 in the final game. Arizona hit just .047 for the match and had only 29 kills in 107 attacks. Washington had 52 kills on four fewer attacks than the Wildcats.
'We've always been good offensively,' commented McLaughlin. 'We just focused tonight on pursuing the defense.'
Washington finished with 10 team blocks, and controlled the net for much of the night as Arizona had just three team blocks. Deesing led the Huskies with five total blocks, while Tiffany Owens and Jacy Norton led UA with two blocks each.
'We did a really good job tonight of siding out,' said Deesing, noting the fact that Huskies sided out at better than 78 percent in each game. 'We knew Arizona would be a big blocking team because we had studied their tendencies.'
The Huskies held the lead for most of the match as Arizona led just three times on the night, with a 1-0 lead to start game two, and leads of 1-0 and 2-1 early in the final game.
Arizona had four players reach double-digits last night in their 3-1 win at Washington State, but didn't have a single player with more than eight kills against the Huskies. Owens led the Wildcats with eight kills and Randy Goodenough added seven.
Washington hits the road for a pair of crucial Pac-10 matches next week. The Huskies take on No. 10 California on Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m., before facing No. 2 Stanford on Friday night, also at 7 p.m. California is 12-4 and 2-3 in the Pac-10 after sweeping Oregon State tonight, while Stanford has an identical record to the Huskies (16-0, 5-0 Pac-10). The Cardinal were 3-0 winners over Oregon tonight.
NOTES: The Huskies have now won seven in a row against Arizona, and have won nine of the past 10 matches overall ... Arizona still leads the all-time series, though, 24-22 ... the last time the Wildcats won at Bank of America was back on Oct. 4, 2002 ... Washington has swept 14 of their 16 matches so far ... Stanford and Washington are the only two undefeated teams in the Pac-10 ... Morrison had two service aces on the night, giving her 122 for her career ... she is the active Pac-10 career leader in that category ... Ashley Aratani and Megan McAfee had six digs each for UW ... Alanna Resch led the Wildcats with 10 digs ... Paige Weber had 26 assists for Arizona ... both teams start true freshman at the setter position, Weber for Arizona, and Hagglund for Washington.