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Huskies Win Another 0-2 Comeback At No. 13 Oregon

Oct 14, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – Washington Volleyball's endless supply of perseverance paid off once again tonight, as the No. 10 Huskies came back from 0-2 down in a hostile Matthew Knight Arena to defeat 13th-ranked Oregon in five. It was the second 0-2 comeback for the Huskies in the past five matches, both coming against Top-15 teams, and the second five-set road win in a row for the resilient Dawgs.
 
Washington (12-3, 5-2 Pac-12) moved into a tie for second with Oregon (14-3, 5-2 Pac-12) as well as Stanford in the still-early conference race, half a game behind UCLA. The Huskies started their current five match win streak with an 0-2 comeback in Seattle against UCLA on Oct. 1, and was able to do it again on the road tonight, 17-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-8. Five of Washington's seven Pac-12 matches have now gone the distance, with UW going 3-2.
 
"Every match has a different theme to it," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "The fact that so many are going five is a testament to the level of play in the conference. We're going to hang in there no matter what happens early in a match. I just challenged them to fight more, I thought the tactics were starting to come into play and we made a few good changes. Just needed some intangibles after set two and they came, and it was a steady climb from then on out. A bunch of good serves and good swings, just felt like Washington volleyball from then on out."
 

 
The Huskies really saved their best for last, winning the final eight points in a row from 7-8 down in the final set. Third-year defensive specialist Sianna Houghton served the final seven points in a row, and fourth-year Shannon Crenshaw had multiple great digs to frustrate the Ducks into errors down the stretch.
 
Another big spark tonight was second-year outside hitter Emoni Bush, who came in to start the second set, and proceeded to hit .500 with 11 kills.
 
"We got a lot more balanced as things went on, and I liked Emoni's aggression, for her to play like that is exactly what we are hoping for," said Cook. "She really led the way taking some high hard swings. Shannon and Sianna made their presence known defensively. At some point we settled in and marched ahead point by point."
 
The Top-15 teams ended up with matching 62 kills and nearly identical attack percentages, with UW at .224 and Orgon at .230. The Ducks had 13.5 blocks compared to 10.0 for the Dawgs, but UW had a big edge in aces, 8 to 1. Washington had just two aces through two sets, but had six in sets three and four to key the rally.
 
Ella May Powell notched four of those aces to reach 130 for her career, moving up two more spots in the UW top-10 past Ashleigh Robertson and Jill Collymore for seventh all-time. Powell had 53 assists and nine digs and got four of her hitters into double-figure kill totals.
 
Claire Hoffman, a native of Pleasant Hill, Ore. right next to Eugene, had 20 kills in her homecoming to lead the Dawgs. Fourth-year middle Marin Grote turned in another stellar match on the attack, with 13 kills on a .571 percentage and four blocks. Samantha Drechsel had 11 kills and 15 digs with Bush getting 11 kills in four sets. Freshman libero Lauren Bays had a match-high 19 digs, and Lauren Sanders had five kills and five blocks.
 

 
UP NEXT: The Huskies will have two days of rest on the road leading to a Sunday 12 noon match against Oregon State in Corvallis. That match will be live on Pac-12 Networks.

SET ONE: The Huskies had a block by Grote and Hoffman on the first point of the match and their first kill came from Drechsel for 3-4 Oregon. The Ducks had a four-point lead, but Hoffman had two straight kills for 6-8. A 3-0 Ducks run made it 7-12 and forced UW's first timeout. Grote had a pair of kills for 9-13, but then Oregon had another five point run to open up a 9-18 lead. Washington pulled back within five points at 15-20, but got no closer as the Ducks took the set, 25-17. Washington hit just .086 in the set compared to .333 for the Ducks.

SET TWO: Emoni Bush started the second set and had a straight-down stuff with Sanders for 2-2. The first kill for Bush made it 5-3 Dawgs, but Oregon would tie and take the lead at 6-7. Powell dumped for a kill and Sanders and Hoffman rejected one for 10-11, but Oregon scored the next three to expand to a four-point cushion. Down 13-18, the Huskies used a 4-0 run to get back in it, with kills from Bush, Grote, and Hoffman, and then an ace by Crenshaw, forcing an Oregon timeout. The Dawgs grabbed a lead on an ace by Powell for 21-20, and Drechsel put one down for 22-21, but Oregon got a sideout and then blocked the Dawgs for 22-23. Bush crushed one for the tie, but netted on a block attempt for 23-24. The Ducks got another block to close out the set, 25-23, and take the 2-0 lead. The Huskies hit .275 in the set but Oregon was higher at .298. Grote kills all four of her attempts in the set and Bush had four on 10 swings without an error, with Hoffman also finishing five.

SET THREE: Despite the tough end to set two, the Huskies raced out to a 5-1 lead in the third to force a Ducks timeout. Sanders had two kills and a block in the run. Grote and Drechsel roofed one to make it 9-2 and Oregon already used its last timeout. Two kills from Powell to Grote and an ace by Crenshaw made it 13-5 Dawgs, but Oregon scored four straight to cut the lead in half to 13-9 and force a Husky timeout. Oregon missed three straight serves in one stretch as the lead fluctuated between three and four points. The Huskies made another push on a block from Grote and Drechsel, and then a Drechsel ace for 20-14. Kills from Bush, Drechsel, and Hoffman helped UW reach set point, and the Dawgs closed it on a Sanders-Hoffman roof for 25-18. UW hit just .172 but held Oregon to just .091.

SET FOUR: Just as in set three, the Huskies were sharp early as Powell fired back-to-back aces for a 3-0 lead, and then a Hoffman ace made it 5-1 once again. Oregon pulled within one point, but Hoffman had a kill from a Powell set and then Powell's next serve was overpassed and Hoffman put it down, and then Powell's third ace of the set made it 12-8 and the Ducks took time. The teams went back and forth until another Hoffman kill made it 18-13 Dawgs. Grote had a kill and Hoffman dropped one into the middle for a big point for 20-16. The Ducks scored twice for 20-18 and UW took time. Drechsel converted out of the break and then the Huskies won a big challenge, as a transition rip from Bush was ruled to have caught the block after being called out originally. Bush got another kill for 23-19, and then she added another to get to set point at 24-21. Oregon made an error on the next rally as the Dawgs had evened it up, 25-21. Oregon hit .286 in the set compared to .270 for the Huskies, but UW had four aces to none for Oregon, and 16 kills to 12. Bush went 5-1-7 in the set to hit .571.

SET FIVE: Oregon scored three of the first four points of the fifth, Hoffman getting UW's first kill for 2-3. Drechsel finished for 4-5, and Powell had a big solo block on the right pin for 5-6, followed by a Hoffman kill on an Oregon net error to tie it. Hoffman converted in transition for UW's first lead at 7-6, but Oregon countered with a kill and a block for 7-8 at the media timeout. Grote put down another slide kill for 8-all, and that sent Houghton to the service line and she would run the table. Oregon made two errors for 10-8 and took time, but Drechsel put one away out of that break and another Oregon attack went long for 12-8, and the Ducks used their last timeout. Big digs from Crenshaw in the back led to a Hoffman kill and another Oregon error and it was match point at 14-8. A dig from Hoffman led to a Sanders kill on a slide to end it, 15-8. Washington hit .333 in the fifth and held the Ducks to .048, with Hoffman getting four kills to help seal the deal.