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New Faces Help Huskies To Season Opening Sweep

Aug 29, 2014

Northwest Challenge
Boise, Idaho - Bronco Gym

Friday, August 29, 6:00 pm - Portland State
Win - 25-19, 25-15, 25-16

Saturday, August 30, 11:00 am - Gonzaga
Live Stats - Live Video

Saturday, August 30, 4:00 pm - Boise State
Live Stats - Live Video

BOISE, Idaho – The new Husky volleyball season got off to a successful start as the fourth-ranked Dawgs swept Portland State in the 2014 opener for both teams. “New” was the operative word for the Dawgs, as six Huskies made their collegiate debuts with four first-time hitters combining for 14 kills.

The 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 Husky win was the first of three matches as part of the annual Northwest Challenge, hosted this year by Boise State in Bronco Gym. Washington will play Gonzaga next at 11 a.m. Pacific on Saturday and then face the host Broncos at 4 p.m.

Tonight marked the first appearance for redshirt freshmen Carly DeHoog, Bailey Tanner, and Jade Finau, and true freshmen Crissy Jones, Tia Scambray, and Courtney Schwan. The native of Auburn, Wash., Schwan got the start in the first set and the third set, with Scambray starting set two, and Jones getting significant time in all three sets. Tanner rotated at setter with Katy Beals and DeHoog checked in for the first time in set two, and Finau in set three.

Washington was very efficient in its first outing, hitting .448 with 49 kills and just six errors on 96 attempts, while Portland State hit .222. The Huskies had four aces against 10 service errors, with PSU earning one ace and missing seven. Washington led in digs, 38-36, and blocks, 6.0-1.0.

Junior middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon was on point with a team-high 10 kills on 14 swings for a .714 attack percentage. All-Americans Krista Vansant and Kaleigh Nelson each had nine kils, with Nelson hitting .421 and Vansant hitting .320. Beals set 22 assists and Tanner added 14. Melanie Wade was also on target, hitting .600 with seven kills and adding a team-high four blocks. Junior Cassie Strickland notched 12 digs in her first match as the starting libero.

“It’s good to get the first one under your belt,” said Head Coach Jim McLaughlin. “Our serve and pass got better as the match went on and we had some good individual performances. “We played a lot of people that are competing for spots. We’re looking at some different things. For the first time out we played well, but I think we can play a lot better.”

At some point over her college career, Scambray will probably have a swing that does not result in a kill, but tonight she put away every one, getting seven kills on seven attempts for a 1.000 attack percentage to go with an ace and four digs. But Coach McLaughlin was more impressed with another part of her game.

“Tia came in and what I liked even more than her swings was she started to make a good block move, and she passed well and showed good composure so I thought that was the biggest thing,” he said. “She and Courtney could battle for a while and could end up both being on the court if they both keep getting better. Then Crissy hit .250 on the right and is learning the system and when she gets it down and knows what to look at she will have a very high end.”

Schwan had three kills and an error on six swings to hit .333, while Jones had two kills without an error on eight attempts for .250. DeHoog also earned the first two kills of her career.