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Thriller Season Continues In 3-2 Comeback Over Bruins

Oct 1, 2021

SEATTLE – Husky Volleyball fans had seen this movie before, but the ending this time earned rave reviews. The Pac-12 season so far has been a two-week thriller-fest for the Huskies, as No. 13 Washington went the distance for the third time in three matches, and finally was rewarded for its determination with a huge 21-25, 21-25, 25-13, 27-25, 15-12 win over 15th-ranked UCLA at Alaska Airlines Arena.
It was a typically gritty and resilient effort from the Dawgs (8-3, 1-2 Pac-12) to earn their first Pac-12 win and get some payoff after two painful five-set losses lost week against Utah and Washington State. The Huskies dug out of the 0-2 hole to hand the Bruins just their second loss (9-2, 2-1) and first Pac-12 defeat.
It's the first win from 0-2 down for the Huskies since coming back to beat Pittsburgh in five sets in last spring's NCAA Elite Eight match that got UW to the Final Four.

While trailing 0-2, the Huskies were playing great offensive volleyball, hitting .356 at the time, so Head Coach Keegan Cook told the team at the break, "All the improvement we saw from our offense and defense, we were throwing it all away in the serve/serve-receive game, and what a tragedy it would be if we didn't get to show off the progress we'd made. So a vote of confidence and a lot of trust that once we started getting our serves in we would have a chance."
The Huskies banded together and dominated the third set, and then survived a match point to win the fourth and set up yet another set five sprint. The Bruins held an 11-8 lead in the fifth, but the Huskies had a 5-0 run on Ella May Powell's serve to jump back in front, and Washington won on an ace from Shannon Crenshaw for 15-12 in the end.
"We've always been a team that can chase people down," said Cook. "We've talked about trying to be better from the start, which I thought we were in every space but serve-receive. But it's just another example of us having some grit to hang in there and come back after being down 0-2."

Washington wound up hitting .273 for the match and held UCLA to a .204 mark. Through two sets, UCLA had served 8 aces and the Huskies had just one, but over the next three sets the Huskies had five aces and the Bruins got just one more. Washington's block also made a big impact tonight, with 16.0 total blocks compared to 9.0 for the Bruins.
Fourth-year Claire Hoffman tied her season-high with 20 kills and hit .308 with a couple aces, and fifth-year Samantha Drechsel hit .433 with 15 kills plus nine digs and four blocks. Fourth-year Marin Grote had a rare double-double in kills and blocks, as she had 10 of each. Emoni Bush had nine kills and four blocks, and first-year libero Lauren Bays had 13 digs and six assists. All-American setter Ella May Powell notched 47 assists and 11 digs with 5 blocks.
UP NEXT: The Huskies will next host USC on Sunday, Oct. 3, at 1 p.m. as the Trojans come in off a big road win at Washington State on Friday night. The match will be televised again on Pac-12 Networks.