Third-Ranked Huskies Thrash No. 4 Florida, 3-0
Sept. 12, 2009
TAMPA, Fla. - Washington volleyball pummeled the fourth-ranked Florida Gators this evening, capturing the Tampa Twice Tournament title in resounding fashion. The Huskies remained perfect on the year at 8-0 and still have yet to drop a set after slamming the Gators 25-17, 25-10, 25-19. The loss was the first for Florida (6-1).
The Huskies came to South Florida's Sun Dome this weekend looking to fortify their No. 3 national ranking as they had yet to face any ranked teams. But with sweeps over No. 9 Minnesota last night and now No. 4 Florida, Washington is looking very strong. Florida teams may have seen enough purple for a while as UW softball swept the Gators for the national championship back in June.
The stats were overwhelmingly in UW's favor, with the attack percentage the most telling statistic. Washington hit .359 for the match while Florida was held to .067. The Huskies committed just seven attack errors on 103 attempts compared to 22 on 105 for UF. Senior Airial Salvo filled up the box score with a match-high 12 kills and 10 digs, and committed no errors for a .387 hitting percentage. Becky Perry also had 11 kills while junior Jenna Hagglund had a season-high 35 assists along with five kills on five attempts, and senior Tamari Miyashiro picked up 20 digs.
'We had a good one tonight,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'We're capable of that but we're just in and out of our awareness and we need to stay sharp and put pressure on teams and we did a better job of that tonight. The girls are beginning to understand the process and have a greater feel of what their responsibilities are.'
Sophomore Bianca Rowland was Hagglund's go-to weapon in the first set, as she amassed six kills on seven swings to lead UW to the first set win. The teams traded points early, Washington taking its first least at 5-4 and taking an 8-6 lead following consecutive kills by Perry and senior Jill Collymore. Florida kept it close, until Rowland's fifth kill of the set gave Collymore the ball serving at 13-11 and Washington started to catch fire. Hagglund earned her first kill and then assisted another Rowland shot and the Gators quickly called time. But out of the break, Florida committed an error and then Collymore fired an ace against her older sister Jane's former team. Next came another kill from Hagglund on an assist from Collymore, reversing the usual trend, and UW was up 18-11. Collymore missed her next serve, but Salvo scored on the next point and UF's Kelly Murphy had a bad set for 20-12 and the Gators took their final timeout. Still the Huskies took the next three points, including a Salvo kill and a block from Hagglund and Kelcey Dunaway, and had set point up 24-13. Washington had a hiccup closing it out with three straight errors but Salvo finally ended things at 25-17 with her fourth kill of the set.
The three errors on set point were Washington's only three of the set, as they hit .300 compared to .056 for Florida. Salvo hit .333 (4-0-12) and Rowland was red-hot at .857 (6-0-7). Hagglund led the offense with 13 assists.
Set two has typically seen the Huskies' best play early on this season, and today was no different. The Dawgs led the entire way, starting things off with a block from Dunaway and Perry and followed by a kill from Salvo for a 2-0 lead. At 4-2, Collymore earned the put-away and followed that with a block to the hardwood along with Rowland, and the Gators had to call time. But again it was Washington that excelled after the break, as Miyashiro continued to serve and the Gators made three errors on the next five points, the other two ending in kills by Becky Perry. At 11-2, Florida acquiesced with their last timeout. At 14-6, Salvo started another run with a kill and then Perry found a variety of ways to win the next four points. First she teamed up with Dunaway for a block of Colleen Ward, following up with a kill. Perry then blocked Betsy Smith with Dunaway again, and finally she even provided an assist on a kill by Salvo. Rowland brought UW to match point with a slam and Collymore ended the 25-10 set emphatically with an ace.
UW's stats in the second set were nothing short of phenomenal against a team the caliber of Florida. The Dawgs hit .538, with 15 kills and only one error on 26 attempts, and Florida was held to -.030 (7-8-33). Perry had six kills and Salvo had four, and the two combined to hit .714. The Huskies also outblocked the Gators, 4.0-1.0 in the set.
Things didn't start as well in the third set, as Florida came out of the intermission with four of the first five points, the last two at the hands of the Gator block. The Huskies called time and regrouped, and came back to knot the set at 6-6 on the back of a Perry kill and a block by Hagglund and Rowland. At 8-8, Hagglund snuck in another kill, and a Florida error made it 10-8 Huskies. They traded points until 12-10, when Washington won eight of the next 11 points to take a 20-13 lead, with Florida calling two timeouts during stretch to try and quell the uprising. Perry, Rowland, and Collymore all had kills during the run. Kills by salvo gave UW its 22nd and 23rd points, and Collymore finished off the win with her sixth kill of the match.
Three Huskies had double figure dig totals: Miyashiro (20), Collymore (12), and Salvo (10). McLaughlin singled out the senior from Utah for her all-around performance.
'Airial was awesome,' he said. 'She passed well, served well, dug well. She did everything well. She's that type of player, and is capable of that every night.'
Even with the win over a top-five team, McLaughlin said the team was just as excited to hear the winning Husky football score.
'We got into the locker room, someone announced the football team had won and the place went crazy. It was a big time thing.'
Washington concludes its non-conference schedule next weekend with the UTSA Classic in San Antonio.