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On-Target Grote Leads Huskies Over No. 19 Illinois

Sep 4, 2022


BOULDER, Colo. – In an early season showdown between 2021 Sweet 16 squads, the 14th-ranked Huskies pushed past 19th-ranked Illinois to finish the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge with a 2-0 mark for the third year in a row. All-American middle Marin Grote had 13 kills without an error to help the Huskies (3-1) to a 25-12, 22-25, 25-22, 25-19 win at the CU Events Center.
In their first top-25 match of the season, the Huskies had a dominant first set on the home court of Colorado, but then had to grind the next three sets to complete the win. Grote led the way with her 13 kills on 21 swings without an error to hit .619. Claire Hoffman had a double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs, hitting .310. Madi Endsley added 14 kills and Sophie Summers had nine on a .294 percentage.
The Huskies hit .295 for the match, with Ella May Powell dishing 46 assists. The team had 56 kills compared to 47 for the Illini, and had a 50-45 edge in digs. The teams were even with 6 aces each, while Illinois had a 13.0 to 4.0 edge in blocks which kept them close after the early UW barrage.
The teams were even at 21-all in set three before a 4-1 Husky run to take the 2-1 lead. Then it was 19-18 Dawgs in the fourth before they closed on a 6-1 run to end it.

"In the first set we saw a glimpse of what we can be when both sides of the ball are at a high level," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "But we've had a long history with Illinois and we know how good they are and how well they are coached. They are defensively sound and responded very well and turned it back into a match. We had to work through the second and third and break through at end of the fourth. It was a good high-level match, glad to come away with a win."
Redshirt freshman Molly Wilson finished things off with her first career ace on match point in the fourth set. Wilson also had an assist and four digs.
"She looked like a veteran out there in a difficult role," said Cook of the Murrieta, Calif. native. "It takes some time to get comfortable but she made an impact right when she got out on the floor. She's been making an impact a long time in practice to get to this point."
UP NEXT: The Huskies will be in Alaska Airlines Arena for the first time, starting with a third-straight Big Ten opponent as Northwestern comes in to start off the Husky Invitational. UW and Northwestern go on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m.