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Drechsel’s Heavy Lifting Leads To Five Set Win Over ‘Zona

Jan 30, 2021

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Senior Samantha Drechsel was having a career night, but still wanted it to be over with, so it was fitting that Drechsel was the one to put an end to 11th-ranked Washington's nailbiting five set win at Arizona. Drechsel's career-best 24th kill came after a long rally at 14-13 in the fifth set, and got the Dawgs out of the desert with two wins in two days.
Washington (3-1) had to play from behind most of the match at the McKale Center, losing sets one and three, but the Huskies hit .353 in the fourth set and .381 in the fifth to spoil Arizona's upset bid, and extend the winning streak in the series to 19 in a row. The final tally was 19-25, 25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 15-13.
This was the second straight week that Drechsel had a career-best outing in the second of the weekend's matches. Last week she tied her career-high with 21 kills in UW's home win over Arizona State. Tonight she surpassed that total by three, and also added two aces, 14 digs, and five blocks.

"We've spent a big portion of this early training block just trying to side out at a high level in that phase of the game," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "Late in the fifth set we sided out really well. We've got to serve tougher. A lot of people are getting larger roles as servers and we need more from them. Arizona was in system most of the night. But this match could have gone the other way, so it's impressive to see us get through it. Sam was great again tonight and now I'd like to see her impose herself on a team in the first meeting."  
Junior setter Ella May Powell also set a new career-high with 55 assists, and she added 14 digs while setting UW to a season-best .324 attack percentage. Lauren Sanders hit .467 with nine kills and five blocks, and freshman Madi Endsley had a season-best 11 kills, hitting .222.
Coach Cook also had positive feedback about junior Claire Hoffman and her 18 kills on .310 percent hitting.
"Claire was noteworthy. She was really steady when some of her teammates were not so much. She was good the whole match."
UP NEXT: Washington will be back in Alaska Airlines Arena next week for a pair of matches against Oregon State. It will be a Thursday-Saturday week for the Huskies and Beavers, with Thursday night's first meeting set for 6 p.m.