4th-Ranked Dawgs Fall In Five Sets In L.A.

Nov. 13, 2009

LOS ANGELES - For the second-straight match, the 4th-ranked Washington volleyball team found itself in a fifth-set battle, but unfortunately the Huskies came up two points short on the road at 17th-ranked USC. The Trojans (xxx) came back from 2-1 down to beat the Huskies 25-18, 24-26, 23-25, 25-21, 15-13. Washington falls to 20-4 on the season and 10-4 in the Pac-10.

The Huskies hit a season-low .196 for the match, but still were just a couple points from victory. Three of UW's four losses have come in five sets this year, and this is the first time all season the Huskies have lost consecutive matches.

Senior Airial Salvo had one of her best performances of the year despite the tough result, racking up 17 kills and 18 digs and hitting a team-best .390. Junior Becky Perry saw her most action of the Pac-10 season, and responded with 13 kills, while junior Kindra Carlson also tallied 15 kills. Sophomore Lauren Barfield's 11 blocks were a career-high and the most by any Husky this year. Alex Jupiter had a match-high 21 kills to lead the Trojans to the upset.

In the first set the Huskies trailed early, 8-2, and never quite recovered. Twice UW pulled to within three points, once at 12-9 and again at 20-17 but the Trojans used a 5-1 run at the end to pull away for the 25-18 victory. USC outhit UW, .276-.075 in the set as they blocked five UW balls and UW committed 11 total errors.

The second set didn't start a whole lot better for the Huskies as the Trojans opened up a 7-3 lead, but a kill by Perry followed by an ace from senior Jill Collymore made it 10-9 USC and the Huskies were back in the match. USC maintained the lead and twice pulled out to a four-point margin, but after a UW timeout with USC up 18-14, Washington walked down the Trojans. Perry had a put-away followed by a Carlson ace, and senior Tamari Miyashiro registered a very rare kill from her libero position to make it 19-17. USC pushed back up to a 22-18 lead, but then the Huskies staged a 4-0 run to tie it up, with two kills from Salvo, a USC error, and a block from Barfield and Carlson. The teams traded sideouts, with the Trojans earning a set point at 24-23, but consecutive Jupiter miscues gave a set point to Washington, and Perry leveled the match with another finish. Washington limited USC to .091 hitting in the set and Salvo and Perry had four kills each.

USC led early in set three but never by more than three and Washington came back to force the first of 12 tie scores in the third set alone at 10-10. The final tie score came at 19-all, then UW had a 3-0 run keyed by a block by Rowland and Perry that forced a Trojans timeout. The next point ended in a Perry putdown as well and the Dawgs were up 22-19. USC got back to within one at 23-22 and UW took time, but out of the break, Salvo polished one off and then Barfield and Jenna Hagglund came through with another rejection at net to give the Huskies the 25-22 win. UW hit .250 to .133 for the Trojans and Perry and Salvo combined for 10 kills with just one error.

Washington finally got a quick start in set four, building a 6-2 lead on two kills from Perry and one each by Rowland and Hagglund. USC bounced back quickly though with five of the next six points to tie it at 7-7. The lead went back and forth, with UW taking an 11-10 edge on a Barfield kill. A USC error made it 14-13 UW, but then the Trojans went on a pivotal five-point run to take an 18-14 lead. A Salvo kill got the Dawgs back within one at 20-19, but four of the next five went USC's way, and Jessica Gysin ended the set, 25-21, in USC's favor. UW's .300 hitting percentage was its best of any set, but the Trojans had their best offense as well at .393.

USC's Lauren Williams helped her team out to a 3-0 lead in the decisive set with a kill and solo block. USC stretched its lead to 10-5 on another kill by Williams. Carlson got UW back moving forward with a kill, and then Rowland came through with back-to-back blocks, one with Collymore and one with Carlson to make it a 10-8 game and force a USC timeout. Soon after, a three-way block by Rowland, Salvo, and Hagglund brought UW to within 12-11 and the Trojans took their last time. USC earned two match points at 14-12, before a Carlson kill saved one. The Trojans went back to Jupiter, however, on the following point and she ended the match with her 21st kill.

Washington will try to regain the conference lead tomorrow night as they visit 6th-ranked UCLA for a 7 p.m. match.

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