Drechsel Leads Husky Sweeping Of No. 16 Ducks
SEATTLE – Samantha Drechsel has done many things as a Dawg, but the First Team All-American had never hit .700. Until today. The Woodinville, Wash. product slammed 15 kills on 20 swings with just one error to hit an even .700 and lead 12th-ranked UW to an impressive sweep of 16th-ranked Oregon (20-8, 11-7 Pac-12). The Huskies (22-4, 15-3 Pac-12) earned their sixth-straight win and their 15th in their past 16 matches.
Washington remains tied with UCLA for first-place in the Pac-12 with one week, and two matches, left to play. Each team controls its own destiny for winning at least a share of the conference title. Washington State is now alone in third-place two games back and the only other team still alive in the conference race.
The Huskies dominated the first two sets and then used a late run to break open the third for a 25-12, 25-14, 25-21 win over the Ducks in front of 2,570 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena. The previous two meetings between the teams had gone five sets, and five of the past eight in the series dating back to 2017 had gone the distance, but Washington was unwilling to let the Ducks entertain thoughts of a comeback. The Huskies swept the season series with Oregon for the first time since 2019.
"It's the kind of volleyball you want to be playing in late November and December," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "Trying to be good in all phases, but especially in serve, serve-receive, and siding out, and I thought we did those three things at elite levels today."
?? With this kill on match point, Samantha Drechsel became just the 5th Husky in the rally scoring era with 15 kills and a .700 or better attack percentage.
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) November 22, 2021
Washington hit .397 as a team, its ninth time hitting above .300 during Pac-12 play, while holding Oregon to a .144 mark as a team. The service line played a big role, as UW fired 10 aces to just one for the Ducks.
Drechsel's .700 attack percentage was a career-high and made her just the fifth Husky in the rally scoring era to put up at least 15 kills on a .700-or-better attack percentage. She's now up to 1,420 kills in her Husky career and 1,631 overall.
Cook said of Drechsel, "She's just been one of the best opposites in the country for a number of years now, and shockingly underappreciated for all the things she can do. We ask a lot of her so you just want her to own matches like this because she's worked for it."
All-American Claire Hoffman also hit a milestone today, as she surpassed 1,000 career kills as well, becoming the 21st Husky all-time, which is fitting for the No. 21 Hoffman wears on her jersey. Hoffman had seven kills today and three aces.
Emoni Bush also had seven kills and Marin Grote had six kills on nine attempts without an error to hit .667. Ella May Powell had 25 assists and two aces with seven digs, while Lauren Bays had nine digs and six assists.
S2 | Coach Cook was loving this set and smart swing by Emoni. ????
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) November 21, 2021
UP NEXT: The Huskies go for a final road challenge to Boulder to face the Buffaloes this coming Wednesday before closing out the regular season at home with Washington State on Nov. 27. Wins in both of those matches will mean a repeat Pac-12 title for the Dawgs.
"They earned the right to play a great match on Wednesday, and if they do that they'll earn the right to play a great match next Friday," said Cook of the week ahead. "I told them to believe in what they can do against any opponent."
#?2?1? is now #?2?1?
Claire Hoffman today became the 21st Husky to reach the 1?0?0?0? career kills milestone!
— Washington Volleyball (@UWVolleyball) November 22, 2021
SET ONE: Both teams took a bit to get the offense going in the first set. Drechsel had UW's first kill for 3-3 and added her second for 5-3 Dawgs. Drechsel then hit an ace and Bush terminated a Bays bump set for 8-4 and an Oregon timeout. A couple Oregon errors made it 11-5 and UO called time again. Claire Hoffman's first kill doubled up the score, 12-6. Bush had a kill then Grote pounded down an overpass off Drechsel's serve for 18-10, then a Drechsel ace made it 20-10. It was 23-10 before Oregon scored to break the 7-0 run, but UW finished the set, 25-12, on a Grote slide kill. The Huskies hit .292 in the set and held the Ducks to a .000 mark. Grote's three kills on five swings led the offense.
SET TWO: Drechsel relaly got rolling in the second, with three kills in the first seven points. Bush finished another Bays out of system set and then Drechsel had another ace for 6-3 Dawgs. Shannon Crenshaw found the back corner for an ace and a 9-4 lead. Bays set Hoffman for a high-hands swing and a 12-6 lead, then Powell dropped in an ace for 13-6. Powell set Drechsel on the left for a hammer that made it 17-10. Crenshaw got another ace to the back line thanks to a replay overrule, making it 20-11. A couple kills from Hoffman helped UW reach set point, and Hoffman aced the Ducks to end it, 25-14. The Huskies rolled up a .520 percentage in the set compared to .103 for Oregon and fired five aces. Drechsel was unstoppable with seven kills on eight swings without an error.
SET THREE: Oregon got the first two points of the third but Powell dumped for a kill and then Drechsel tied it off a Crenshaw bump set. Bush and Lauren Sanders teamed for a block for 4-3. The teams went back and forth with tie after tie and several lead changes. Grote killed Powell sets for 8-8 and 9-9. The first two-point lead came for UW on a Bush kill for 15-13 at the media timeout. Oregon scored twice to re-tie it but Drechsel finished to make it 16-15, and then Grote had a solo rejection for 17-15. Sanders tipped one down for 20-18 then Powell served up a crucial ace for 21-18 and an Oregon timeout. Hoffman and Sanders had a big block on the right for 22-19, then Hoffman put an ace right on the sideline for 23-19 and the last Ducks timeout. But out of the break, Hoffman notched another ace for match point at 24-19. Oregon saved the first two and the Huskies took timeout, but on the next rally, after a brief back and forth, Powell set to Drechsel on the right again and she went off the block and down for 25-21. The Ducks hit .278 in the third but the Dawgs hit .379, with six more kills from Drechsel.