Huskies Stay Hot, Take Down No. 22 Waves
MALIBU, Calif. – After a second-straight match of outstanding offensive execution, Husky Head Coach Keegan Cook first cited the team's defense.
"We talked a lot about seeing the game at a high level on the defensive side. I thought we had the right focus tonight," said Cook, after the ninth-ranked Huskies grabbed a big road win over 22nd-ranked Pepperdine. "Pepperdine's a nice sideout team with a lot of ways to score, so I was impressed with our ability to make some defensive plays in the third and fourth sets after they were hot to start the match."
The Huskies improved to 4-1 and got their first win over a top-25 opponent this season, handing Pepperdine (6-1) its first loss, 25-16, 22-25, 25-12, 25-19 at Firestone Fieldhouse.
During last spring's 20-4 season and trip to the Final Four, the Huskies had a season-best team attack percentage of .356. In their previous outing last Saturday, the Huskies hit .495 against Iowa. Tonight they hit at a .439 clip with another balanced attack. The last time UW hit over .400 in consecutive matches was on Sept. 4, 2015, in double-header sweeps over Buffalo and Murray State.
All-American Ella May Powell produced 47 assists and libero Shannon Crenshaw handled half of all reception attempts and got UW in-system. That led to big numbers for the Husky hitters. Second-year Madi Endsley pounded 15 kills without making an error, on 28 attempts, to hit .536. Her counterpart on the left pin, fourth-year Claire Hoffman hit .421 with a team-high 18 kills on 38 swings with just two errors.
Sophie Summers had a career-high seven kills, and they came on just eight swings, as she hit .875 and also had a team-high five blocks. Marin Grote also had eight kills and hit .375 with three blocks. Samantha Drechsel added seven kills on a .211 percentage with eight digs. Fifth-year senior Emma Calle had 13 digs plus a pair of aces.
"Sophie's been prepared for a long time, and she stepped in to a large role and it looked like it's looked in practice for a long time now," said Cook. "Madi has been working really hard and not every day has been perfect, but she always wants to keep working, and she was really outstanding tonight."
UP NEXT: The Huskies will be back in action at 6 p.m. tomorrow against Cal Poly, again at the Firestone Fieldhouse. No live stream will be available.
SET 1: Marin Grote got the first kill for the Huskies for 1-2 in the opener. Emma Calle got a nice welcome home to SoCal with consecutive aces for 3-2. Sophie Summers got the most of UW's first block, and then put down a joust at the net for 6-3. Summers then ended a long rally with a third-straight point for 7-3. Hoffman tallied two more as the Dawgs got to ten first with a 10-5 edge. After trading sideouts for six points, the Huskies had another 3-0 run with a dump kill by Powell, a Waves error and then a Powell-to-Hoffman finish for 16-9. Drechsel converted and Summers landed one to keep the seven-point lead at 19-12. Grote finished a slide and a net violation on Pepperdine gave UW eight set points at 24-16, and they used just one as Pepperdine had an error on the next rally to end it, 25-16.
SET 2: Grote scored the first UW point of the second as she did in the first. Pepperdine got out to an early lead, 2-5. Endsley tallied a couple more kills to keep UW in contact at 6-8. A kill from Hoffman and a Pepperdine error got the Huskies back even for the first time at 11-11, but Pepperdine answered with a kill and an ace to retake the lead. Drechsel pounded a couple kills to keep UW moving, and then Crenshaw fired back-to-back aces to put the Huskies up, 16-14, and force a Pepperdine timeout. The Waves got a kill out of the break and tied it again on a Husky error. A rip up the line from Endsley stopped the 3-0 run for 17-all. But Pepperdine ran off three more and a UW challenge did not go its way for 17-20. Powell dove to save one rally and it ended in a Hoffman kill for 19-21, then Summers and Powell teamed for a rejection to pull UW back within a point. Hoffman tooled the block off a Crenshaw bump set for 21-22. Summers and Drechsel had a block for 22-23, but Pepperdine converted its next attempt to reach set point, and then blocked the Huskies on the first chance to win it, 22-25.
SET 3: Hoffman blasted for a kill in serve-receive to open the third. Summers put down a quick from Powell for 3-1. Endsley banged into the block and it went out on UW's side for 7-3. Another kill from Endsley and a slide kill in transition for Grote made it 9-4 Dawgs and forced a Pepperdine timeout. Hoffman found the back line to make it 11-5 and then Grote and Powell assisted on a straight-down stuff. The next point was put away by a Grote slide for 13-5 and Pepperdine used its final timeout. Summers converted another quick set for 15-8 Dawgs. A Drechsel kill and a couple Pepperdine errors had the lead at 18-10. Grote and Powell roofed one and then Grote spotted a Pepperdine sneak attack during a scramble for another solo stuff to make it 22-12. Washington rolled off the final three points to close it out, 25-12.
SET 4: Sianna Houghton opened the fourth with an ace and then Hoffman went offpseed through the block for 2-0. Summers found the sideline for 4-2 Dawgs. Summers and Drechsel stuffed one for 5-2. Drechsel soared on the right for a crushing swing and a 8-4 lead. A couple Pepperdine mistakes made it 10-4 and the Waves needed time. Endsley lasered one crosscourt for 11-5, but then Pepperdine had a couple kills and an ace for a 3-0 run to get back into it at 11-8. Hoffman pounded another from the left and then Powell got one back with an ace for 14-9. Drechsel took a great swing from the left and then Crenshaw aced the Waves for 17-11. Endsley banged through the block in transition for 18-11 and the Waves used their last timeout. Pepperdine earned the next three out of the break but Endsley snapped it with a big swing off the block, and then she tallied another after a long rally to make it 20-14. The Waves inched within four points but Hoffman crushed a bump set from Drechsel and then Houghton quickly followed with an ace for 23-17 Dawgs. Summers and Powell stuffed one to get to match point at 24-18. Pepperdine saved the first but Hoffman finished from the right side on the second as the Huskies closed it out, 25-19.