No. 10 Huskies Win Seventh-Straight
SEATTLE – All-American outside hitters Samantha Drechsel and Claire Hoffman both put on an offensive show tonight as the No. 10 Huskies held off a challenge from California and posted a 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, 25-23 win for their seventh victory in a row. The Huskies (14-3, 7-2 Pac-12) remain in a three-way tie for first in the Pac-12 and will host another first-place squad on Sunday when No. 15 Stanford comes to Alaska Airlines Arena for a 12 noon match.
Today the Huskies won a battle of the attacks to keep Cal just at arm's length. The Huskies hit over .320 in three of the four sets, and finished at .331 for the match, while Cal hit over .300 the first two sets but was slowed by the Husky defense down to .111 in the third and .226 in the fourth.
Drechsel and Hoffman were consistently clutch. Drechsel had consecutive kills from 23-all to win the first set, 25-23, and Hoffman had the final swing at 24-23 in the fourth set to seal the victory. Hoffman finished with 17 kills on a .405 attack percentage, and Drechsel had 16 on a .517 clip.
Ella May Powell set 46 assists and had two aces plus three blocks. Junior middle Marin Grote delivered eight kills on a .467 percentage with six blocks in a showdown with her younger sister Lydia, who had 11 kills for the Golden Bears.
I think it's going to be one of the matches of the year in Alaska Airlines Arena. Hoping we get the same support that we had tonight.
In the seven-match win streak, only one has come by sweep, and Head Coach Keegan Cook acknowledged, "Every team has played us tough up to this point. What happens over the course of this month is a big deal. We need to have our biggest amount of growth over this next month.
Sunday should bring another opportunity for growth against a talented Stanford squad. "I have a lot of confidence in our group heading into Sunday, I think it's going to be one of the matches of the year in Alaska Airlines Arena. Hoping we get the same support that we had tonight," Cook said.
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) October 23, 2021
After Cal evened the match at a set apiece, the Huskies dominated in the third, with a .533 attack percentage and holding Cal to .111 with three blocks and 17 digs in that set. But the Bears responded in the fourth set, jumping out to a 9-3 lead. The Dawgs dug in again, and went on an 11-3 spurt to catch Cal and take a 14-12 lead. The Huskies couldn't break open the set, but sided out consistently down the stretch to finish out the win.
"I challenged our team to be better defensively in that third set and was really excited by what I saw. A glimpse into what we're capable of. Then we did enough in the fourth set to walk away with the win.