Huskies Hit Over .500 In Sweep Of Beavers
CORVALLIS, Ore. – With the offense and defense working in tandem at high levels, the 10th-ranked Huskies were able to breathe easy for the first time in Pac-12 play, rolling to their first 3-0 sweep in a month, 25-19, 25-15, 25-14, over Oregon State at Gill Coliseum. The Huskies (13-3, 6-2 Pac-12) hit a scorching .512 as a team in getting their sixth-straight win and finishing a challenging 4-0 road trip.
It was the highest attack percentage for the Huskies in Head Coach Keegan Cook's seven seasons, and the highest since a .519 mark against Seattle U. in 2014. It's also Washington's highest attack rate in a Pac-12 match since a .533 outing against Arizona State in 2005. It's also the highest attack percentage for any Pac-12 team this season.
"Be assertive from start to finish for each other," was the goal for the Huskies today, said Cook. "Credit to the players for having that come together, especially on the defensive side of the ball in sets two and three."
In spite of winning their previous five matches, the Huskies had lost the first set in all five and come from behind each time. The sweep was the first for the Dawgs since going 3-0 against Fresno State on Sept. 16.
Huskies holding nothing back. ??
With a 25-15 second set, @UWVolleyball leads OSU 2-0.
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??https://t.co/c57qZmFWl8#GoHuskies | #Pac12VB pic.twitter.com/BYUxd9GBYh
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) October 17, 2021
All-American Ella May Powell had five of her hitters finish with .500 or better attack percentages. She set 38 assists and served ace No. 131 of her career.
The hit parade was led by Claire Hoffman, who had 13 kills on 23 swings to hit .522. Samantha Drechsel hit .500 with 10 kills on 18 swings. Emoni Bush had eight kills and hit an even .500 for the second match in a row. Lauren Sanders had a season-best six kills on nine swings without a miss for a .667 mark, and in just one set, Madi Endsley had four kills on six swings to also hit .667.
Washington's defense was equally up to the task, outblocking Oregon State, 11.0 to 4.0, and leading in digs, 37-29. Sanders had seven blocks to get to 593 for her career. Freshman Lauren Bays was stellar with 18 digs, and put them in good spots for Powell.
"I was encouraged by the defensive effort today, both at the net and behind it," Cook said. "Lauren dug us back into system and Ella distributed well. Emoni took great swings, so it was great to see from the freshmen today."
Olivia Mikkelsen gets the ?? FIRST KILL ?? of her career!#PointHuskies pic.twitter.com/SW097Zwczf
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) October 17, 2021
UP NEXT: The Dawgs complete the first half of the conference schedule next week at home, taking on California and 18th-ranked Stanford. The Bears will come to town first, on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena.
SET ONE: Bush put down the first kill for the Huskies for 2-3 in the first. The teams were even at 5-5 and a throw down on two from Powell made it 7-6. Sanders and Drechsel hit down Powell sets to keep UW one up. Marin Grote and Bush rejected one for a 12-10 lead, but the Beavers rallied with a 3-0 run to take back the lead. Powell tossed one back over her head for her second kill on the dump, then Hoffman went up the line to finish a rally to put UW up, 15-14, at the media timeout. A couple OSU errors made it 17-14 Dawgs, but UW missed two serves trying to build on it. After a Drechsel kill, the next serve went for an ace, from Hoffman, to push the lead to 20-16 and force a Beavers timeout. OSU scored twice out of the break but Bush had a clutch swing on the left for 21-18. Grote then got one down and Bush hit down an overpass off the Bays serve for 23-18. An OSU service error made it set point and a final OSU miss ended it, 25-19. The Huskies hit .483 in the first set, with just one error and 15 kills.
SET TWO: Sanders had a rejection then a quick kill to start the Dawgs in the second. Two more kills from Drechsel and a Saners-Bush block quickly built a 7-2 lead. One more from Drechsel set by Powell forced a Beavers timeout at 8-2. Oregon State responded with three out of hte break, but Sanders and Bush squashed that with another block. Hoffman had a solo block on the left and then she ripped off two kills in a row as the Dawgs pushed ahead by seven, 14-7. Another Hoffman kill and another Sanders block made it 17-8 and forced the last OSU timeout. Bush had three more kills down the stretch to get the Huskies to set point at 24-13. Oregon State saved a pair but Drechsel rocketed one from the right pin to end it, 25-15. Again the Huskies were efficient with 18 kills in the frame, hitting .441, with Powell collecting 16 assists. Sanders had four blocks, and Hoffman and Drechsel had six and five kills, respectively. Bays added nine digs in the set.
SET THREE: Searching for the sweep, the Dawgs had two more early blocks to set the tone, with Sanders and Hoffman getting both. Madi Endsley started things off in the third and had her first kill for 6-3. A roof from Grote and Powell made it 9-4 Dawgs. Powell dialed up an ace for 12-6 and then Bays bump set Hoffman for a big swing high off hands for 13-6 and an OSU timeout. The Huskies added two more on kills from Hoffman and Sanders before OSU broke the 5-0 Husky run. But a Drechsel-Sanders stuff extended it to 17-7. Endsley had her fourth kill of the set for 21-12. Olivia Mikkelsen checked in at setter and she assisted a Grote kill for 23-13. Mikkelsen then called her own number and put down the first kill of her career to get to match point at 24-13. Hoffman finished a Mikkelsen set to end it, 25-14. The Huskies were even hotter than the first two sets, hitting .667 in the third, with 15 kills on 21 swings and just one error, plus another five blocks.