Huskies Respond With Sweep Over No. 18 Bruins
SEATTLE – Adjusting from match one to match two has been a new storyline during this Pac-12 volleyball season, as teams now play twice in one week. So far the Huskies have made the right tweaks, as UW bounced back from a five set loss on Friday with a 3-0 sweep of 18th-ranked UCLA at Pauley Pavilion today.
The 10th-ranked Huskies are now 4-0 in the second meetings this season, including twice now responding from first meeting losses, to get to 6-2 overall on the season. The emphatic 25-20, 25-21, 25-13 win was Washington's first this season against a ranked opponent. UCLA dropped to 5-3 with the defeat.
The Husky serve-receive was much more solid today than on Friday, when UCLA had nine aces in the five sets. Today UCLA got just two aces. The one area that the Huskies controlled on Friday manifested itself again today, as the Husky block was dominant again, with 12 blocks helping hold UCLA to just a .043 hitting percentage. The Huskies hit .245 today and had 38 kills compared o 28 for the Bruins.
— NCAA Women's Volleyball (@NCAAVolleyball) February 15, 2021
"That's the foundation of your game," Head Coach Keegan Cook said about Washington's passing. "We made some changes that allowed us to stabilize and from there we did what we didn't do Friday in terms of running offense through the middle. Lauren (Sanders) and Marin (Grote) showed what they're capable of."
"Our outsides can hit with more discipline and once we do that we'll be a major threat, but certainly happy to get the split today."
Sanders and Grote each had five kills today from their middle blocker spots, with Sanders hitting .364 and Grote hitting .417. Grote had a new career-high seven blocks, and Sanders had four stuffs. Claire Hoffman's nine kills led the team and she had 10 digs and four blocks. Samantha Drechsel had eight kills and Madi Endsley had seven.
Ella May Powell quarterbacked the Huskies well with 30 assists, three kills on six attempts, one ace, and two blocks. Junior libero Shannon Crenshaw had 11 digs and an ace.
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) February 14, 2021
UP NEXT: Washington stays on the road next week, traveling to Boulder for two matches against the Buffs. The first meeting will be Friday, Feb. 19, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time.
SET 1: A couple early aces for the Huskies by Sianna Houghton and Ella May Powell got the Huskies a 6-5 lead in the first set. Sanders got in on two straight blocks to help UW establish a three-point lead at 11-8, and then consecutive kills from Endsley and Drechsel made it 13-9 and forced a UCLA timeout. Sanders killed a slide from Powell for 14-11. Grote had a block teaming with Hoffman, and then Powell set Grote for a finish to keep the three point lead. The teams traded sideouts until a UCLA error was followed by a Hoffman kill in transition for 23-19 and UCLA used its last timeout. Powell dumped one to end it on UW's second set point, 25-20.
The Huskies hit .200 in the set and held UCLA to .074 and six different Huskies had at least one kill.
SET 2: After trailing 3-5 to start the second set, the Huskies went on a 7-0 run on the serving of Powell. Grote had three kills and two blocks during the run to 10-5. Another Husky 3-0 run on two Hoffman kills and one from Drechsel made it 13-6. Sanders and Powell had a big stuff on the right pin to keep the big lead at 17-10. A couple UW errors made it 20-15 and the Huskies used their first timeout. Endsley had a big swing to push it back to a five-point lead at 22-17, then a Sanders put-away got the Huskies to set point at 24-18. UCLA saved three straight to force the last Husky timout at 24-21, but after the break, Powell went to Sanders again who converted for the 25-21 win.
Washington outhit UCLA, .225 to .121 in the set with three kills apiece from Sanders and Grote and 14 big assists from Powell.
SET 3: Powell ended a long rally by punching down an overpass for 3-3 and then Drechsel finished to help UW take the early lead. Suddenly the Huskies put on another big run just like the second set to break it open. Starting at 7-6, with Hoffman serving, the Huskies scored nine in a row, with Drechsel killing three in a row from the right side to help jumpstart the run. Then the Husky block really came through, with three in a row, two credited to Endsley-Grote and one to Drechsel-Grote. Endsley got an unassisted kill and then another Husky block made it 16-6. Sophie Summers subbed in and killed one in the middle for 22-9, and the Huskies finished it off with one final block from Drechsel and Grote for 25-13.
Washington had six blocks in the third set, four apiece from Drechsel and Grote. The Huskies hit .312 with four kills from Drechsel and three by Endsley. Crenshaw had seven digs in the set.