Volleyball Opens Home Slate With Sweep of Gonzaga

Sept. 4, 2008

SEATTLE - Bolstered by six service aces by redshirt junior outside hitter Jill Collymore, the Washington volleyball team swept its third straight opponent Thursday night in its home opener against Gonzaga (25-10, 25-14, 25-16) as part of the Northwest Challenge. The Huskies are 3-0 so far on the young season and will play two matches Friday in the second day of the two-day tournament.

Collymore's six aces marked a new personal best for the Bellevue, Wash. native.

'It's all about mental control,' said Collymore of her performance. 'I have a pre-serve routine and it gets me mentally centered.'

The Huskies tallied 14 service aces for the match, including four by junior redshirt outside hitter Airial Salvo. As a team, Washington hit an outstanding .346 for the match and was led by sophomore Kindra Carlson, who notched a .476 attack percentage, connecting for 12 kills on 21 swings. Sophomore Becky Perry added another five kills on seven swings for a .429 average. The Huskies held Gonzaga to a .086 hitting percentage, including a .000 in the first set.

Washington recorded 36 kills to the Bulldogs' 20 and outblocked the Zags 7.0-4.0. The Huskies also held the advantage in assists (32-21) and in digs (33-30). All but two of Washington's assists came from sophomore Jenna Hagglund.

'We were okay tonight,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'We took care of business. We're not a great team yet. When I study tape tonight, I will see some good things and I will see some not so good things. But I did see improvement in the areas we worked on in practice this week.'

Washington struggled with some sloppy play in the third set, allowing the Zags to take an early lead. Through the set's first 18 points, the teams battled through six ties and the Huskies fought to take control of the set. Finally on a service ace by Salvo, momentum began to swing back in Washington's favor and the Dawgs rallied off three straight points. After giving three points back, the Huskies pulled away on a four-point run and finally closed the set with another four straight points.

In the second set, Washington rattled off four straight points to open play and never let Gonzaga get closer than two points behind. Twice the Huskies managed four-point runs, distancing themselves from the Bulldogs and taking early control of the set.

Washington opened the match by taking the first point off a kill by Carlson. The Zags tied it on a service error by Washington, but the Huskies were able to quickly open up a lead off three straight points. Though Gonzaga managed to get within a point, the Huskies opened a huge lead, taking 11 straight points, including Collymore's six service aces. The Zags tried to cool Collymore off, calling both timeouts during the run, but her serve was simply too much for the Bulldogs to handle.

The Huskies are back in action Friday morning at 11am as they face Boise State (0-4). In the nightcap, Washington will take on Portland State (3-1) at 7pm in the Bank of America Arena to wrap up the Northwest Challenge.

For the complete schedule and ticket information, log on to GoHuskies.com.

NORTHWEST CHALLENGE RESULTS
Match 1: Portland State def. Boise State, 3-0
Match 2: Washington def. Gonzaga, 3-0

Match 3: Washington vs. Boise State, 11am, Friday, Sept. 5
Match 4: Portland State vs. Gonzaga, 1pm, Friday, Sept. 5
Match 5: Gonzaga vs. Boise State, 5pm, Friday, Sept. 5
Match 6: Washington vs. Portland State, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 5

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