Huskies Can’t Close Out Ducks, Fall In Five
SEATTLE – The Huskies looked well on their way to another big road win and another weekend sweep today, but 20th-ranked Oregon rallied out of an 0-2 hole and snapped Washington's six-game win streak, 25-27, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-10 at Matthew Knight Arena. The Huskies (11-3) had to settle for a split in Eugene as the Ducks (9-3) stayed firmly in the mix at the top of the conference.
It was Oregon's first win at home against the Huskies since 2012. Washington also lost after leading 2-0 for the first time since the second round of the 2011 NCAA tournament at Minnesota.
After starting out hot on offense, picking up where they left off on Friday, errors started to creep in and rallies went longer and longer. Washington made a big run in the third set, nearly coming back and completing the sweep. In that set the Huskies were down eight points as late as 16-8, but got all the way back within a point at 24-23, before Oregon won to snap the string of five straight Husky set wins.
Oregon then took control in the latter half of the fourth set, going from 14-14 to up 20-17 and finishing it off. Washington then was unable to regain its rhythm in the fifth, getting just three kills and making six errors, in the final set.
"You want to get better as matches go on and you want to make adjustments but we didn't do that today," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "I liked our fight in the third set. We got down big and clawed back to 23-25, but we didn't do enough so disappointment is part of the deal."
Oregon wound up outhitting the Huskies .276 to .202 for the match, and had a big lead in kills, 82 to 61. The Dawgs controlled the service line, with seven aces compared to one, and the teams were even in blocks, 11.0 each, while Oregon had 89 digs to the 80 for UW. The match was essentially won for the Ducks by outside hitter Brooke Nuneviller, who posted one of the best stat lines ever for a Husky opponent, with 35 kills and just one error to hit .523.
"There's a lot of talented players in this conference and she went for it, from the back row, front row, left and right. We weren't able to key in on her. I thought we had enough to withstand that, but we didn't have quite enough."
Washington was led by Samantha Drechsel's 19 kills on a .312 attack percentage with 16 digs. Claire Hoffman had 18 kills and three aces. Lauren Sanders posted eight kills and six blocks. Ella May Powell had 49 assists and 16 digs and Shannon Crenshaw had a career-high 22 digs.
The Huskies will return home to take on USC next week on Friday and Sunday.
"We're getting into the stretch here and there's a lot of matches upcoming and we need to make the jump from great to special," said Cook. "There's a lot of uncomfortable growth we still need to make, a lot of great matches I'm looking forward to."