Perry Leads No. 4 UW To A Sweep of Washington State
Oct. 26, 2007
SEATTLE - The fourth-ranked Washington volleyball team overcame a season-low hitting percentage on Friday night against visiting Washington State on their way to a sweep of the Cougars in Pac-10 action at Bank of America Arena. Despite hitting just .203, the Huskies ran their school-record winning streak at home to 39, winning the games by scores of 30-25, 30-21, 30-24. Becky Perry hit .526 and led all players with 13 kills as the UW improved to 20-1 overall and 9-1 in the Pac-10. WSU fell to 9-15 and 0-10 in Pac-10 play.
The Huskies pulled out the win despite hitting below the .200 mark in games one and three, and having to fend off a pesky Washington State team that always seem to play its best against the Huskies at Bank of America Arena.
'We just made some errors and you can't do that, they [the players] know it,' said Huskies head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'We were on our heels a little bit and they [Washington State] played well - they always do here. It just took us awhile to settle down.'
The Cougars put up a fight in the opening game and at one point opened up a 19-14 lead before Washington fought its way back into the game. Stevie Mussie, Jessica Swarbrick and Perry had kills to bring the Huskies within two at 19-17. An attack error by WSU followed by a Christal Morrison kill tied the game up at 19-19, before Jenna Hagglund gave the Huskies the lead for good on a service ace. Morrison had six kills in the game, with three of them coming in the final minutes, including her sixth kill on the final point which gave the UW a 30-25 win.
Washington State managed to outhit the UW percentage-wise in the game, .216 to .163, but the Huskies tallied 18 kills to just 12 for WSU.
In the second game, Washington took control early and led the whole game. A kill by Alesha Deesing gave the UW its biggest lead of the game at 13-3, but the Cougars scored seven of the next eight points, four of them on kills by Jackie Albright, to pull within one at 14-10. Back-to-back kills by Swarbrick gave Washington an 18-11 lead. After a Husky service error gave WSU a point, Perry had a kill and Morrison followed with an ace to put the UW up 20-12. Morrison later had another ace to give the UW a 29-21 lead before Mussie finished the game on a kill, giving the Huskies a 30-21 win.
Despite losing the first two games, Washington State didn't give in. The Cougars scored the first point of game three and either led the game or were tied with the Huskies until Washington went up for the first time at 14-13 on an attack error by the Cougars Tara West. WSU later regained the lead at 18-17 on an ace by Amy Small, but the Huskies rattled off three straight points to regain a lead that they wouldn't relinquish again.
Morrison, who finished the night with 12 kills on 45 total attacks, moved up to No. 2 on the UW Career Record list in both categories during the match. Morrison passed Angela Bransom, who played for the UW from 1993-96, in both categories. She now has 1,685 kills and 4,238 attacks for her career and only trails Sanja Tomasevic on the two lists. Morrison needs 110 more kills and 150 attacks to tie Tomasevic for the top spot.
'She's a bigtime player,' said McLaughlin of the three-time All-American. 'She'll get the record eventually. She just needs to keep improving and doing the things that she is doing. She was really good tonight on some very tough swings. I'm very proud of her.'
On a night where the senior Morrison moved up in the career record book, it was the redshirt freshman Perry who carried the team. After leading the Huskies in kills in three of the team's first six matches of the season, Perry had led the team just once in the past 13 matches. She credited her outstanding performance against WSU to a talk she had with McLaughlin early in the week.
'I actually had a talk with Jim before the week because I'm really emotional and I'm really intense when I play volleyball,' said Perry. 'I yell a lot and I get really excited. Part of that in me kind of went away. I got confused as to how I should mature, how I should become a better player.'
'When I talked with him he said `don't let you're maturing change who you are. Keep yelling, keep the intensity.' So I took that and I kept that all week during practice. I had better numbers in practice than I have ever had because it was me again. Talking with Jim really helped because he understands the game and has been doing this so long.'
The Huskies received 43 of their 50 kills on the night from four players. Morrison and Perry combined for 25 of them, while Deesing and Mussie both finished with nine kills apiece, with Deesing hitting a match-best .583. Hagglund led all players with 46 assists and four service aces, and also had 11 digs. Tamari Miyahsiro led the UW in digs with 17.
Albright tallied a double-double for WSU, finishing with 10 kills and 10 digs. Adetokunbo Faleti chipped in nine kills, Maureen Perez had 33 assists and Kellly Hyder had a match-high 23 digs for the Cougars.
Washington hits the road for a pair of Pac-10 games next week in Arizona. The Huskies take on Arizona in Tucson on Thursday, Nov. 1, before facing Arizona State in Tempe the following night. Both matches are set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: The UW has won nine in a row over WSU and leads the all-time series 53-21 ... WSU finished the match with 37 kills and a .148 hitting percentage ... Morrison is now tied for the No. 6 spot on the UW career list in games played with 393 ... Swarbrick moved up in two categories on the career list, becoming No. 7 all-time in block assists with 287 and taking over sole possession of the No. 10 spot in total blocks with 306 for her career. She was tied in the latter category coming into tonight ... Deesing moved up one spot to No. 7 on the career list in total blocks with 338 ... Miyashiro passed Morrison for No. 7 all-time in digs and has 1,053 for her career ... 3,165 fans were in attendance, marking the third time this season that the UW has drawn over 3,000 fans.