Washington Advances To Regional After Knocking Off Santa Clara, 3-0

Dec. 6, 2008

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SEATTLE - Washington volleyball reversed its curse Saturday, defeating Santa Clara, 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-21), to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Huskies (26-4) will now face Utah next Friday at 8pm in Bank of America Arena.

Senior Jessica Swarbrick picked up four block assists in the match, putting her in third place all-time in total career blocks with 476.

Sophomore Becky Perry led all players with a match-high 16 kills on a match-high 42 swings for a .286 hitting percentage. Kindra Carlson went eight for 16 with one error with a .438 clip. Swarbrick added six kills and Airial Salvo chipped in five more. Jenna Hagglund picked up an even 30 assists in the match, leaving her 274 short of becoming the fourth Husky to break 3,000.

The Huskies' serve was on Saturday as Washington tallied eight service aces. Junior defensive specialist Megan McAfee served up a season-high three aces, tying her career high set last year. Swarbrick and Hagglund each recorded two aces and Jill Collymore added another.

Perry registered Washington's only solo block Saturday and also put up two block assists. Swarbrick led the team in blocking with a match-high four block assists. Hagglund tallied two block assists and Carlson put up another.

Tamari Miyashiro led the Huskies with 14 digs, while Salvo registered another 10. McAfee chipped in seven more and a season-high four assists.

As a team, Washington hit .303, while holding Santa Clara to .136 on the evening. The Purple and Gold also led in kills (39-34), assists (36-32), aces (8-4) and blocks (5.5-3.0).

The Huskies came out a little sluggish in the third set, but managed to take an early 3-1 lead. Santa Clara took two back and threatened to take control of the set, but Washington strung two points together off a kill by Carlson and an attack error by the Broncos. Santa Clara struck again to get within a point, but back-to-back Bronco errors put Washington on top, 7-4. A kill by Anna Cmaylo followed by a Cmaylo ace again put Santa Clara within a point. Twice more, Washington tried to pull away and twice more the Broncos got within a point. The Huskies pulled out a three-point run on a Swarbrick ace and a Perry kill to go up 12-8. Santa Clara never got closer than within four points again. Washington led 21-14 going into the final stretch of the set. A Swarbrick kill followed by a Santa Clara attack error and an ace by Swarbrick gave Washington match point, 24-16. But the Broncos refused to lie down. Santa Clara reeled off five straight points to drive the score to 24-21. A cross-court attack by Salvo ended the set and match for Washington, 25-21.

Carlson went three-for-five (.600) in the second set to lead the Dawgs, who hit .414 as a team with just two errors. Perry recorded six kills to lead all players and Hagglund dished out 10 assists. Santa Clara had eight kills, but also tallied eight attack errors for a .000 attack. The Broncos struck first in the second stanza, going up 3-1, before Washington took control with a four-point scoring drive. Santa Clara tied the set at 5-5, but the Huskies reeled off another five straight points, including a service ace by McAfee. The Huskies were able to use four two-point mini-runs to go up 20-11 on the Broncos, forcing Santa Clara into its second timeout. A kill by Brittany Lowe drove the score to 20-12, but Washington closed out the set on a five-point run, including back-to-back kills by Swarbrick, an ace by Collymore, a block by Hagglund and Swarbrick and a kill by Salvo.

Washington came out swinging in the first set, recording a team attack percentage of .424 with only one error. Carlson landed four of her six attacks for a .667 hitting efficiency and Perry tallied five kills. Hagglund and freshman Bianca Rowland each went two-for-two in the set and Swarbrick chipped in another kill. The Huskies built a quick 9-5 lead, using a two- and then a four-point scoring drive, causing the Broncos to take a timeout to regroup. Santa Clara used a two-point mini-run to get within two, at 12-10, but Washington would not relent. The Huskies took three straight, then pieced together two more points to go up 18-12, forcing the Broncos into their second timeout. The teams traded points before Santa Clara went on its longest run of the evening with four straight, forcing Washington into a timeout, up 20-16. The Huskies took the next two before giving up a point. The teams traded points again, but Washington closed with a kill by Perry, 25-19.

Elsewhere in the Huskies' bracket, Utah defeated Clemson, 3-0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-21) and Nebraska downed UAB, 3-0 (25-14, 25-15, 25-12). Michigan defeated Saint Louis Friday to advance to the Regional round of 16.

Michigan and Nebraska will face off Friday, Dec. 12 at 6pm, while the Huskies will take on Utah at 8pm Friday. The two winners will meet Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8:30pm at Bank of America Arena. For tickets, visit GoHuskies.com.

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