No. 4 Huskies Open With 3-0 Win Over Bobcats
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Washington Volleyball won its season-opener for the 19th time in the past 20 years today, knocking off the Ohio Bobcats in straight sets at Nationwide Arena. The fourth-ranked Huskies (1-0) were able to see fourteen players take the court and the team maintained an efficient attack on the way to a 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 victory.
Washington will now prepare for a big early season test on Saturday against 11th-ranked Ohio State on the same Nationwide Arena floor that will host the Final Four at the end of the road this season. First serve against the Buckeyes tomorrow will be 4 p.m. Pacific.
Today, the Huskies put their 2021 spring Final Four appearance in the rearview mirror and began working on a new script, though with many of the usual suspects involved. Fourth-year All-American Claire Hoffman was the offensive driver today with 13 kills and no errors on 22 swings, hitting .591. Fourth-year All-American setter Ella May Powell led the team in assists as well as digs, with 27 assists and 11 digs.
Second-year Madi Endsley was an efficient seven kills on 10 swings with just one error for a .600 percentage, and middle blocker Marin Grote killed six of eight attempts to hit .750.
Head Coach Keegan Cook said he was able able to stay with his script, "which can be hard to do in your first match of the season. I really enjoyed seeing such a large number of athletes compete; different lineups in every set. Some moments of adversity in the first and second sets but some nice responses by the group."
Washington hit .382 for the match compared to a .258 mark for the Bobcats, and UW served up nine aces and missed just six serves while also holding a 38-27 edge in digs and a 4.0 to 1.0 edge in blocks.
Two Huskies made their collegiate debuts, as second-year outside hitter Emoni Bush started in the second set and had two kills and two aces. First-year defender Lauren Bays played sets two and three and had a pair of digs.
UP NEXT: Two of the last 16 teams in last spring's NCAA tournament meet tomorrow as the Huskies face No. 11 Ohio State at 4 p.m. Pacific time, streamed online via BTN+.
SET 1: The first Huskies to take the floor were Claire Hoffman and Samantha Drechsel at the pins, Sophie Summers and Marin Grote in the middle, Ella May Powell setting, Emma Calle at DS, and Shannon Crenshaw at libero. Hoffman and Samantha Drechsel delivered on the first two swings of the season for the first two points. Sophie Summers put down her first kill and Powell aced the Bobcats as the Huskies went up, 5-1. Endsley tipped over and down for a kill and Grote put down UW's first block followed by an ace for Drechsel to build an 11-4 lead and force an Ohio timeout. Sophie Summers hammered a slide set from Powell up the line for a kill to make it 14-8. But Ohio went on a 6-0 run with some tough serving to get all the way back even at 14-all before Hoffman ended the run with a right side kill. Grote slammed a slide for 18-17 and then Endsley dialed up an ace. Drechsel had a strong dig that led Powell to Hoffman for a punishing swing, and Hoffman came back with another on the next point for 22-19. A service error got UW to set point at 24-21 and Hoffman finished it with another kill off a Crenshaw bump set.
The Huskies hit a scorching .615 in the first set with Hoffman going 7-0-8 and Powell dishing 14 assists.
SET 2: Washington brought Emoni Bush and Lauren Bays in to start set two. Ohio, however, came out hot and build a 6-1 lead over UW. Drechsel served the Huskies on a big 7-0 run to get back into the set, with consecutive aces during the run. The first two kills of Bush's Husky career put the Dawgs up, 10-9, and forced a Bobcats timeout. Ohio responded with three in a row out of the break, but UW answered in kind. An ace from Bush put the Huskies back up, 13-12 and she soon followed with a second for 15-12. Powell saved a dig from flying out around the net post, redirecting it with one hand in for a kill to make it 17-13, and Ohio called time. Ohio got within one point at 20-19, but Grote finished two straight slide kills and then an Ohio setting error made it 23-19. Two Ohio errors ended the set, 25-20, for the Huskies.
The Huskies were outhit in the set, .273 to .172, but UW had four aces and no missed serves, compared to two aces and three errors by Ohio, plus a couple ball-handling errors.
SET 3: Dani Cole and Lauren Sanders got starts for the first time in the third set. Madi Endsley and Marin Grote teamed for a block for an early 3-1 lead, but Ohio scored four straight to go on top by two. Sanders and Endsley roofed one for 6-6. Powell somehow deflected a shanked pass off one hand straight up for a perfect set and Hoffman crushed it for 11-9 Dawgs. The Huskies then began to stretch the lead with a 4-0 run as Endsley hammered two kills and Hoffman fired an ace for 15-10. Crenshaw aced the Bobcats for 17-11. Olivia Mikkelsen checked in and her serve led to three-straight points with Sanders and Endsley earning another rejection. At match point, Sanders ended a long rally by dumping a slide set into the campfire for her first kill to end it, 25-14.
Washington hit .381 in the third compared to .129 for Ohio with Endsley getting six kills and hitting .556 and Hoffman adding three more.