Huskies Mix It Up In Scrimmage
SEATTLE - Two weeks into training and with just one week to go until the season opener, Washington Volleyball donned its jerseys for the first time this evening for a Purple-Gold scrimmage at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies mixed and matched and battled for four sets in front of a group of season ticket holders, with Purple ultimately taking three of the four closely contested sets.
Every Husky saw action today with the exception of second-year libero Maeve Griffin, still progressing back from an injury sustained last year. Ella May Powell, Claire Hoffman, Samantha Drechsel, adn Shannon Crenshaw, all starters from the spring squad, were constants on the purple team for all four sets, and helped get three out of the four.
Keegan Cook, the 2020 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, was pleased with the day's work. "A lot happened in a short amount of time," he said. "A fantastic opportunity to see the action back in a home environment, in jerseys, to see how they respond. How you are when the lights are on is what matters most. It was a little messy early on with some unforced errors which is a standard August thing that we try to get ahead of, but after that some great play along the net from both sides."
Second-year Madi Endsley and Drechsel both had 16 kills apiece while fourth-year Dani Cole put away 12 kills. True freshmen Audra Wilmes, Molly Wilson, and Lauren Bays donned jerseys for the first time today as well and all contributed significantly. Wilmes had 11 kills today.
Fifth-year Emma Calle has been impressed with the freshmen thus far. "The freshmen have made great improvements," she said. "They were thrown into the fire and have been all in on it, learning to communicate and do things the Washington way. As far as our play goes, I thought we got better through the four sets, fixing little things that we didn't start off great at. It also showed the depth of our roster, how we kept changing the lineups but the level of play stayed solid."
Washington will open its 2021 fall campaign next Friday, Aug. 27, against Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio before taking on 11th-ranked Ohio State on Aug. 28.
Heading into the first "match week," Cook said, "We feel organized, which is what you want to feel at this point, but I don't think we have our identity totally carved out in terms of the intensity that we play with. We have a nice intensity for how we want to play, but we need to add that layer of grit and intensity that brings it to life."