Huskies Take It To Five But Fall Short At No. 18 UCLA
SEATTLE – It was a back and forth battle worthy of two top-25 teams tonight, but the Husky volleyball team ended on the back and 18th-ranked UCLA got the final forth, winning the first of two weekend meetings by a score of 25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 24-26, 15-11 at Pauley Pavilion.
"You always like to win close sets and execute under pressure. That's something we've wanted to see from this group and learn about them, so to come out with the second and fourth sets was exciting to see," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "But we let the third set get away from us and it cost us in the end."
Washington (5-2) saw its five-match win streak snapped as it lost on the road to UCLA (5-2) for the first time since 2012. The Huskies had the Bruins' number for the last six road meetings, and it appeared they might get it done again tonight, as they had dramatic second and fourth set wins to tie up the match.
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) February 13, 2021
But the fifth set wasn't up to UW's standards and four service errors helped UCLA take the last set despite the Bruins hitting .000 in the frame. Washington also held a six-point lead early in the third set but let the Bruins back into it rather than stepping on the gas pedal.
Still it was another good learning experience for a Husky team with many players still adapting to new roles.
"It's a preview of what's coming and what we've got in store for us the next couple months," said Cook. "Pac-12 teams that are going to serve tough and battle and it will be a familiar environment for us here."
The Bruins held the edge in overall kills, 62-53, and outhit the Huskies overall, .177 to .147. Washington was also out-aced for the first time all season, 9-5. The Dawgs had a big season-high blocking effort with 17, compared to a dozen by the Bruins.
Claire Hoffman's 15 kills led the attack and Samantha Drechsel added 14, with Ella May Powell collecting 42 assists. Lauren Sanders had a season-high 10 blocks with Marin Grote adding seven. Emma Calle had a career-high three service aces and Shannon Crenshaw led with 14 digs.
UP NEXT: Washington will look to salvage a split in the weekend series for the second time this year after it bounced back from a season-opening loss to Arizona State to win the rematch. The second match against UCLA will be Sunday at 3 p.m. and it will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.