No. 9 Huskies Top Mustangs For Pepperdine Title
MALIBU, Calif. – Washington's season-opening three-week road trek ended on a positive note this evening, as the Huskies handled Cal Poly inside Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse by a 25-17, 25-15, 23-25, 25-14 score. The Huskies improved to 5-1 and took the title at the Pepperdine Asics Classic.
"It was a nice response in the fourth set after a solid effort from Cal Poly defensively in the third," Head Coach Keegan Cook said. "We had a chance to continue looking at our depth and developing it, but I thought we could have played cleaner for longer stretches of time. But again, happy with the response in the fourth."
Setter Ella May Powell was named MVP of the tournament as she had 40 assists and 16 digs and tied her career-high with five aces. She now has 115 career aces, passing Krista Vansant for 12th on the Husky career aces list.
Claire Hoffman was also named to the All-Tournament Team with a match-high 17 kills, hitting .302 tonight. UW's third All-Tourney Team selection was Sophie Summers, who had a career-high in kills for the second-straight match, as she had nine kills on 16 swings to hit .438. Senior Samantha Drechsel also had a double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs, hitting .345, and Emoni Bush got the start and had seven kills and four digs.
Washington cooled off from its back-to-back over-.400 hitting percentages in its last two outings, but still outhit the Mustangs, .231 to .163. The Dawgs had 8 aces to just 2 for Cal Poly and a 61-59 edge in digs.
After three weeks on the road to start the season, Coach Cook says the Huskies have "a better understanding of what we're trying to do offensively and where we need to improve defensively. We're trying to get that defensive identity in place. We'll have one more week to develop our team before Pac-12 play and I'm looking forward to getting into the gym again."
UP NEXT: Washington finally makes its 2021 home debut next Thursday with a double-header at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies host Montana State first at 11 a.m. and then take on Fresno State at 7 p.m.
SET 1: Emoni Bush got the start today at outside hitter and she earned the first kill on the first point of the match. Bush tallied two more as the Huskies jumped ahead with a 5-1 lead. Marin Grote's first kill made it 6-3 Dawgs. Drechsel put one away and then Hoffman and Summers teamed up for the first block for a 9-5 lead. Hoffman had back-to-back kills for 11-7 Dawgs. Powell went to Bush for a transition kill for make it 14-9. Cal Poly got within two, but a Grote kill was followed by Powell calling her own number for a point, and then Bush fired an ace for 18-13, forcing a Cal Poly timeout. Grote added another out of the break for 19-13 to cap the 4-0 run. A Summers kill and a Mustangs error had it at 22-15, and Summers had another finish to get UW to set point at 24-17. A Cal Poly error ended it, 25-17.
SET 2: Grote had two kills to start the second set. Another Grote kill started a 4-0 run to open up a 7-3 lead as Summers and Powell teamed for a block. Drechsel sent a bump set to Hoffman who finished for 9-5, then Powell dropped in an ace to make it 10-5 and force a Cal Poly timeout. Hoffman finished out of the timeout, but Cal Poly got the next three points to cut the lead in half to 11-8. The Huskies pushed ahead again as Drechsel finished from the right side and then went back and served up an ace for 16-11. The Dawgs pulled away with a kill from Hoffman and Emma Calle notched an ace for 22-13. Hoffman closed out the set with a kill set by Powell for the 25-15 win.
SET 3: Summers opened the third set with a kill and Grote put one down for a 4-2 lead. Powell notched another ace and a setting error from Cal Poly made it 10-7 Dawgs and the Mustangs took time. But Cal Poly then made its best sustained run, scoring eight of nine to swing the set and open up an 11-15 lead. Madi Endsley broke the string with a kill for 12-15. Down as much as five, the Huskies fought back with a 4-0 run as Powell served up two more aces, and a kill from Summers tied it at 20-20. Summers tied it again at 22-all but Cal Poly got to set point at 23-24 with a kill, and then the Mustangs blocked a UW swing to pull out the set, 23-25, and extend the match.
SET 4: Two straight kills from Bush made it 3-1 to start the fourth. Kills from Grote and Hoffman made it 7-4 Dawgs. UW got the offense rolling again with kills on five straight points, three from Drechsel, to make it 12-5. Another Drechsel finish made it 14-7, but Cal Poly wouldn't go away, going on a 5-0 run to get right back into it at 14-12 and forcing a Husky timeout. A CP service error and a Drechsel kill put the lead back at four. Summers and Hoffman rejected one to make it 18-13 to force Cal Poly's last timeout. UW kept pushing out of the break, with kills from Summers and Powell and Hoffman breaking it open at 22-13. Summers had another block and on match point, Powell equaled her career high with her fifth ace of the match, ending it, 25-14.