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Huskies Make Most Of Second Chance At Fifth Set

Mar 12, 2021

Box Score PDF | Boxscore

SEATTLE – Sports has a weird way of giving second chances. That was what struck Head Coach Keegan Cook as the Huskies were faced with a fifth set after having held a 2-0 lead, for the second match in a row. Last Sunday, the Huskies dropped a match that they led 2-0 for the first time, shockingly, since 2011. Today in Alaska Airlines Arena, eighth-ranked Washington flipped the script and thwarted USC's comeback attempt. The Dawgs earned a Pac-12 leading 12th win, 25-23, 25-19, 24-26, 21-25, 15-12.
"In so many ways tonight's match felt exactly like Sunday's," said Cook. "We could have closed them out in three sets but we gave it up. I'm really proud of the way we responded tonight and showed some grit and determination to not let it happen again."
The Huskies appeared poised for a sweep up 2-0 and 22-17 in the third set. USC got closer but the Huskies still had two match points at 24-22. But the Trojans (3-6) got four straight points to steal the set and swing the momentum. It wasn't until midway through the fifth set that the Huskies began to take control once again.

Seniors Lauren Sanders and Samantha Drechsel stepped up in the fifth set, combining for seven kills on nine swings as the Huskies broke a 6-6 tie with a 4-0 run. USC pulled to within a point again at 13-12 but missed its next serve, and on the next point a USC dig went up above the net and Sanders went up and emphatically slammed it down with two hands to end it.
Numbers were close in several areas, as the Huskies outhit USC by a slim margin, .281 to .276. The Huskies had eight aces compared to six for USC, and UW had nine blocks vs. eight for the Trojans. USC had a 70-57 advantage in kills and a 71-55 edge in digs.
Freshman Madi Endsley led the team with 18 kills on a .366 attack percentage while Drechsel finished with 16 on a .231 clip and Hoffman had 13 on a .224 mark. Ella May Powell had her usual double-double with 46 assists and 13 digs and Shannon Crenshaw had 14 digs. Sanders finished with six kills and a team-high five blocks.

UP NEXT: The Huskies and Trojans will do it all over again on Sunday, with a 1 p.m. first serve.