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Dawgs Go Distance With Talented Italians

Jun 17, 2022

BASSANO DEL GRAPPA, Italy -- The Huskies had their most challenging match yet in Europe, taking on the Italian U17 National Team as it gears up for the European U17 Championships next month. Playing in Bassano del Grappa, at the Bassano Volley Arena, Washington had to fight its way back from an 0-2 deficit to win the match in five.
The travel plus the heat and the quality of the Italian squad made it tough for the Huskies to find their groove, as Italy won the first set, 25-17, and then nabbed set two with a 3-0 run after UW led, 23-22. The Huskies then trailed, 6-12, in the third set, but came back with vigor and an extended 13-2 run to win set three, 25-21. Washington then won the fourth, 25-23, and pulled away in the fifth set, 15-9.

Claire Hoffman led the Dawgs with 14 kills today, while Sophie Summers put away 10 kills on a .533 attack percentage. Shannon Crenshaw had nine kills, as did Marin Grote. Madi Endsley had eight kills. Emoni Bush, who joined the Huskies two days ago, coming off her Junior Pan America Cup run with Canada, had one kill in her first action.
The match turning point was the third set run when the Huskies were down by six. Summers and Endsley each had a couple kills and some UW roofs sparked a 9-1 run to take the lead, and then another push made it 19-14 and the Italian squad took timeout. Washington had multiple soft blocks that led to easy digs and transition kills. Hoffman finished the set with a kill for the 25-21 win.
Hoffman really caught fire late in the fourth set to carry the Huskies to the tight win. Washington was down 17-20, but tied it with three in a row, including Crenshaw and Grote kills. Then Hoffman hammered two in a row for 22-20, but Italy scored the next two to tie. Hoffman finished again for 23-22, then after a Crenshaw dig, Hoffman put another down for set point. Italy saved one, but Hoffman got her fifth UW point in a row to end it, 25-23.
In set five, Crenshaw got a big swing through the block for 5-3. Endsley connected on the right side for 7-6, and Crenshaw hit an ace for a 10-8 lead. Grote and Hoffman combined for a stuff for 12-8, and then an ace from Grote made it match point at 14-9, and the Dawgs closed it out.