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No. 7 Huskies Take Cal Opener In Three

Apr 1, 2021

BERKELEY, Calif. – Washington took a set to find its footing but after prevailing in the opener in extra points, the Huskies (16-3 Pac-12) rolled from there, taking the first of two road matches with California (1-20) by a 26-24, 25-13, 25-14 score. The Huskies can claim the Pac-12 title outright on Saturday at Haas Pavilion in the regular season finale.
 
Today a dozen Huskies were able to contribute to the win as the Dawgs got extended action in the final set for senior Maria Bogomolova, and redshirt freshmen Sophie Summers and Olivia Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen set up Bogomolova for the final kill of the match.
 
Washington hit .318 for the evening and gradually slowed down the Bears to started red hot with a .367 set one attack percentage but then hit .129 in the second and -0.083 in the third. Head Coach Keegan Cook said the Huskies had to reignite their defense between the first and second.
 
"Every team is struggling to be their identity in every single situation," said Cook. "The start of the set we weren't in our same defensive mindset as the last two matches. They snapped themselves back."

 
Claire Hoffman led the Huskies with nine kills and no errors on 18 swings to hit .500. Samantha Drechsel had eight kills and Madi Endsley and Lauren Sanders had seven each. Junior Marin Grote had five blocks while Drechsel set a career-high with five aces tonight. The Huskies held a 9-1 advantage in aces.
 
Pretty consistent service pressure from start to finish," said Cook. "Particularly strong were Claire and Sam which is something we've been after for a couple weeks. We had more success running offense to the middle tonight as well. The blocking improved through sets two and three which was good to see and Claire was her consistent, excellent self, keeping us steady through some up and down play in the first set."
 
Hoffman had six kills on six swings in the first set, as the Huskies had leads of 18-15 and 23-20 but a 3-0 Cal run evened things at 23-all. Cal saved one set point for 24-24, but then Hoffman got the sideout back and Cal made an error on the next rally as the Huskies took momentum with the 26-24 win.
 
Drechsel fired two of her aces in an early set two run to make it 10-4 and the Huskies kept adding on to the lead from there, hitting .406 in the set with 14 kills and just one error on 32 attempts plus three aces and four blocks to roll to the 25-13 win.
 
Set three saw Cal jump out to a 4-1 lead but the Huskies responded right away with a 5-0 run on Drechsel's serving. It was tied at 10-10 when Hoffman got the Dawgs on a big 8-0 run to put things out of reach. Bogomolova had two kills on her only two attempts, and added a block assist, just the fourth of her career. Mikkelsen had two assists in the set and also added her first career block assist.
 
UP NEXT: Washington needs one more win to lock up the Pac-12 Championship and secure the auto bid to the NCAA Championships. The Huskies face the Bears again on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the match will be live streamed on CalBears.com.