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No. 16 Huskies Fend Off Rally From No. 12 Ducks

Oct 9, 2022

SEATTLE – Emphatic turned into gritty today for the 16th-ranked Husky volleyball team, as the Dawgs nearly had a sweep on their hands against 12th-ranked Oregon, but instead had to withstand a couple big rallies before finally securing a major victory in five sets. Claire Hoffman's 22 kills helped the Huskies (13-3, 5-1 Pac-12) finish off the Ducks (10-3, 4-2) by the count of 25-20, 25-18, 22-25, 21-25, 15-12.
 
A season-high crowd of 3,981 helped the Huskies right the ship after the Ducks had won sets three and four to take it to the deciding fifth. The Dawgs knocked Oregon out of a first-place tie in the Pac-12 race, and remain even with Stanford and USC at 5-1.
 
Washington won the first five points of the fifth set, and built a lead up to 11-3. The Dawgs had been just five points away in the third set, up 20-17 and going for the sweep, when Oregon fought back to extend things. Now in the fifth, Oregon made another last gasp run to cut it to 12-9, before kills by Emoni Bush and Hoffman got them to match point at 14-9. Still Oregon saved three Husky chances to reach 14-12, but an Oregon attack error on the fourth chance wrapped it up, 15-12.
 
"A match that showed off some of the best of Pac-12 volleyball. I thought it took everything we had in terms of skills and intangibles, and I thought Oregon responded fantastic after the first two sets. These are the moments that you want to show up for and be a part of. This is why you play in this conference and come to Washington."
 
The Husky offense continued to dominate in sets one and two, picking up where it left off from the past two matches. Washington hit .394 in the first and .441 in the second to take the 2-0 lead. But Oregon held UW under .200 in the third and under .100 in the fourth to claw back. In set five, neither team hit efficiently, but UW did damage with its serve, starting with the opening 5-0 run with Audra Wilmes getting a key ace and keeping the pressure on.
 
The Dawgs finished hitting .260 overall compared to .229 for the Ducks. Hoffman had 22 kills with 14 digs, and Bush finished with 14 kills, three blocks and two aces. Wilmes, in her third career start, had five kills without an error on 19 swings and had a career-high four aces. Marin Grote picked up 11 kills on a .474 attack percentage, and Lauren Bays earned 15 digs. Ella May Powell added another 45 assists and had her one and only kill at a big moment in the fifth, throwing down for a 3-0 lead that forced the Ducks into an early timeout.
 
UP NEXT: Washington has a tough road trip ahead, starting with a stop in Salt Lake City to take on Utah on Friday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. Then it's on to Colorado for a Sunday matinee with the Buffaloes.