Huskies Complete Double-Header Double Sweep
BOZEMAN, Mont. – 18th-ranked Washington Volleyball picked up its second sweep of the day tonight, claiming a tight first set but then rolling through the next two for a 26-24, 25-16, 25-12 win over Montana State at its Shroyer Gymnasium. The Huskies (7-2) saw contributions from up and down the roster for the second time today, after starting the day with a win over North Texas.
Similar to the day's first win, the Husky offense was solid throughout, hitting .389 for the night and the defense kept the Bobcats (4-7) to a .155 mark. All-American Ella May Powell distributed 41 assists in just three sets, with fellow senior All-Americans Claire Hoffman and Marin Grote on the receiving end. Hoffman hit .500 with 14 kills and two aces, while Grote hit .368 with nine kills and two blocks.
Opposite Madi Endsley converted eight kills on a .429 percentage. Endsley and Grote both surpassed 500 career kills tonight, just a couple minutes apart.
Sianna Houghton got her second-straight start at libero and led the back row with 12 digs. Defensive specialists Maeve Griffin and Kate Morin, who each saw their first playing time of their careers this morning, contributed again, as Griffin had three aces and three digs, including a huge ace that put UW up, 25-24, in set one. Morin had an ace and six digs and handled 10 serve receptions without an error.
"Really pleased with some of our younger athletes coming in and making contributions in much bigger roles than they're used to," said Head Coach Keegan Cook. "That's exactly what you'd hope for in this situation, as well as some nice leadership from the seniors."
UP NEXT: Washington closes out nonconference play with one more match in Bozeman tomorrow morning, taking on Boise State at 10 a.m. Pacific time. From there it's home to start Pac-12 play against Washington State next Wednesday, Sept. 21.
SET ONE: Claire Hoffman rocketed the first swing of the match off the defense and into the upper deck. Three early kills from Emoni Bush helped UW establish an early 5-2 lead. The first kills for Summers and Endsley had it at 8-4. Montana State took its first timeout at 10-5, but came out of the break with a 3-0 run to force UW to call time. Out of the break, Kate Morin had a perfect pass and Hoffman crushed a kill for 11-8. Grote then slide for three kills in a stretch of six points for a 14-11 lead. Maeve Griffin dropped in the first ace of her career for 15-11, and then Emoni Bush sent a tough swing up the line and down for 16-11. Endsley dropped a tip down for 18-13 to force MSU's final timeout. The Bobcats made a run back into it as the Huskies misfired on a few swings and lost a questionable challenge. Montana State got all the way back into a tie at 20-all. Hoffman tooled the block for the sideout and Grote had another tiebreaker for 22-21. Hoffman hit out of the back row for 23-21, but Montana State came back with a kill and an ace to tie it up again and force UW's last timeout. A Husky hitting error suddenly gave Montana State the first set point at 23-24, but Grote saved it by banging through the block for a kill. Griffin then hit a clutch float serve for the ace to put UW back in front, and on the next rally, Hoffman connected on the Powell pipe set out of the back for 26-24 to finish it.
The Huskies ended up being outhit in the frame, .355 to .293, but had a big edge in kills, 20-13, with six from Hoffman and five from Grote. Powell dished out 18 assists in the first set alone.
SET TWO: Kills from Endsley and Grote scored the first two points of set two. Hoffman added two more and UW's first block came from Hoffman and Summers to make it 9-5. Kate Morin dialed up an ace for 11-5, and then kills by Endsley and Hoffman built the lead to 14-6 as the Bobcats used their last timeout. Montana State got on a three point run out of that break but made an attacking error and then Grote had a transition kill for 16-9. Back-to-back aces from Hoffman pushed the Husky lead to 19-11. Bush blasted one from the left pin for 21-12. The Dawgs won a challenge reversal on a missed touch call to get Hoffman the kill and reach set point at 24-16. Hoffman got another on the next point to close out the win, 25-16.
Washington was red hot in the frame, hitting .565 with 14 kills and just one error on 23 swings. Hoffman finished five of eight attempts and Bush killed three of four.
SET THREE: UW switched things up a bit to start, with Molly Wilson and Audra Wilmes getting the start. Hoffman's 12th kill made it 1-1. The teams were even through eight points but then Wilmes notched the first ace of her career and soon followed it with her second to make it 7-4. Endsley found the floor and then teamed with Endsley to send one back down and force a MSU timeout at 9-5. Another blast from Hoffman's arm extended the lead to five at 11-6. The block got the Bobcats again for 13-7, with Grote and Wilmes assisting. Another ace from Griffin made it 15-9 and then the Dawgs had another 5-0 run to put it away. Wilmes and Summers put away Powell sets, and then Summers and Endsley rose up for a rejection to make it 19-10. Wilmes put one down from the right for 21-11. The Huskies reached match point at 24-12 on an Endsley kill, and then Houghton dropped in an ace for the cherry on top, 25-12.
The Huskies hit .385 in the set and got three blocks to hold Montana State down to -.080. Wilmes had four kills on 10 swings without an error, while Houghton had five digs.