Oct. 24, 2009

Courtesy of Washington

PULLMAN, Wash. - Unable to find the range at the service line, the fourth-ranked Husky volleyball team fell, 3-1, against Washington State tonight at Bohler Gym. Washington (17-2, 7-2 Pac-10) lost to the Cougars (16-4, 5-4 Pac-10) for the first time since 2002, snapping a 12-match winning streak over their rival.

A season-high 18 service aces accounted for nearly a fifth of WSU's total points, as the Cougars overcame a first-set loss to win 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22. It is the first time all season the Huskies have lost three-straight sets, and will be a tough loss to swallow as the Dawgs had late leads of at least three points in each of the final three sets.

Washington led in nearly all statistical categories, earning more kills than the Cougars (58-53), leading in attack percentage (.239-.219), assists (57-48), and blocks (11.0-10.0). The Huskies also had five aces to three for Wazzu, but it was the 18 service errors against just four for WSU that prevented UW from sustaining long runs.

Sophomore Bianca Rowland led the Huskies with 15 kills while hitting .393. Senior Jill Collymore (12 kills, 11 digs) and junior Kindra Carlson (11 kills, 11 digs) both had double-doubles, but each hit under .200 overall. Junior Jenna Hagglund had 47 assists while senior Tamari Miyashiro led all players with 28 digs.

In the first set, UW came right out and asserted itself, opening up a 6-2 lead that started with a solo block by Rowland. Salvo had a kill followed by a block assist with sophomore Lauren Barfield to make it 8-3, and after WSU pulled within two, Collymore keyed a 3-0 Husky run with two kills and the Cougars called time down 13-8. Collymore sparked UW again with a kill and an ace, then Salvo and Rowland teamed up for a block to make it 17-10. Washington State would get no closer than five the rest of the way. Salvo finished off the set, 25-18, with a solo block. Washington hit a sizzling .467 for the set to just .143 for the Cougars. The Dawgs also posted six big blocks with solos from Rowland, Carlson, and Salvo.

Set two was even at 11-11 when Washington went on a 4-0 run and looked to be seizing control of the set up 15-11 and the Cougars needing timeout. Collymore had a kill and an ace in the run and Salvo finished one point with a swing and another with a block along with Rowland. But Washington State won five of the next six points to tie things up at 16-all. Junior Becky Perry and freshman Jenni Nogueras checked in and connected for a kill to help UW retain the lead, but with the set tied at 20-all, the Huskies couldn't find the floor with their swings. They had two service errors, and at 24-22, WSU's Rachel Todorovich and Brittany Tillman blocked a Salvo attack for the win. The Cougars outhit the Huskies, .400 to .194, with Tillman and Cassie Robbins accounting for nine kills on 10 swings.

The next set followed a nearly identical pattern, with Washington breaking open an airtight set but Washington State responding immediately. Washington strung together four-straight points with a finish from Collymore, a WSU miscue, a block from Hagglund and Rowland, then a Rowland put-away to take a 15-12 lead and force a WSU timeout. Out of the break, the Cougars won three-straight themselves to tie things, leading to a UW timeout, then took the next two points to cap a five-point run and take a 17-15 lead that wouldn't be relinquished. UW saved three set points including a kill from redshirt freshman Kelcey Dunaway, but WSU ended things with a kill to take the set, 25-21.

Once again, the Huskies came out on fire early in the next set, taking a 3-0 lead with finishes from Rowland and Collymore. WSU needed an early timeout as the Huskies took an 8-4 lead, but still, all four of WSU's points up to that point came on UW service errors, letting the Cougars stay in contact. Carlson put one down for an 11-6 lead, but just like the last set, the Cougars went on a 5-0 run to level the set. Washington came back to take a three-point lead on several occasions, the last one at 19-16 on a Dunaway blast. A Cougar flub had the Huskies ahead 21-19, but it came unraveled from there, as WSU had three-straight kills and then an ace from Oceana Bush for a 23-21 lead. Rowland stopped the run, but committed UW's seventh service error in the fourth set on the next point to lead to match point, which WSU converted on an Albright kill.

The Huskies will head home and look to regroup before another road trip to the desert next week to start the second half of Pac-10 play. Washington will be at Arizona next Friday, Oct. 30, for a 7 p.m. match-up.