SEATTLE — Washington greeted its home fans for the first time this season, and the 1,338 in attendance were treated to a 3-0 victory against Seattle. The fifth-ranked Huskies (7-0) came out on fire with a 25-5 first-set win, and then mix and matched the lineup in the final two sets, posting 25-19 and 25-15 set wins.
Freshman Krista Vansant led the way with 11 kills in her first match at Alaska Airlines Arena. Senior Lauren Barfield had seven kills on just nine swings to hit .778 with five block assists. Freshman Summer Ross had six block assists and six kills while hitting .357, and senior setter Evan Sanders and freshman outside hitter Kaleigh Nelson also made their home debuts a successful one.
Head Coach Jim McLaughlin thought the Huskies could have stayed on task better at times.
“We came out with good intensity and good focus, but we lost it a little bit. I don’t think the match reflected the week of practice we’ve had, which was our best week of practice, so we’ve got to learn to do those things on gameday,” said the 11th-year coach. “We can go on some runs, and we did, but we were on our heels when we didn’t pass well. This team is capable of being a great passing team, but we’ve got to stay focused.”
Barfield and Ross got the right side block on the first point of the match, and Barfield had UW’s first kill a point later. It was Barfield and Ross again for the block, and then Barfield notched her second kill for a 5-1 edge. A Muñoz swing from the left side made it 6-1 and forced the Redhawks timeout.
Out of the break, Muñoz put down the overpass for her second kill. Vansant tossed in an ace as the run continued, pushing out to 12-1 before it finally ended on a service miss. After another Redhawks error, they took their last timeout, with UW up 14-3. Rowland’s first kill out of the middle made it 18-4, and then Ross served up an ace for a 19-4 edge. Muñoz had a kill and an ace to bring up set point, and Seattle hit into the net to end the set, 25-5, in Washington’s favor. Muñoz had five kills on eight swings in the set to lead the way, as UW hit .588 while the Redhawks were in negative numbers.
Washington began set two with a 3-0 run, started by a Vansant kill and followed by a block assist from Barfield and Ross. Seattle U. kept it close, equaling its first set score through just 11 points this time. Vansant found the floor up the line for her fifth kill to keep UW up 9-7. Nelson got the first kill of her home career for a 12-10 edge.
The Redhawks kept coming though, and tied it at 13-all after UW left early on its serve-receive. But a block from Barfield and Sanders got the Huskies back in front. Vansant placed one on the back line to crack open a three-point lead at 17-14 and Seattle U. took time. Sanders came out of the break with an ace off the defender deep. An off-speed swing from Barfield still bounced around and down for a 20-15 edge and the Redhawks went back to their huddle again.
|Four top-10 teams are set to clash at the Big Four tournament in Palo Alto, Calif., this weekend. However, they are hardly the only show in town. Get yourself a quick glance at the action to follow.|
|• Complete preview, click here|
Ross and Rowland got a block on the right side for a 22-16 advantage. Nelson put down consecutive kills to bring up set point, and Rowland and Sanders met Sarah Jaeckel at net and crushed the shot straight back for the final point of the 25-19 win.
Despite the closer margin, Washington still outhit Seattle, .519 to .143 in the set. Sanders had 13 assists and five digs in the set, and Vansant led with five kills. Nelson terminated four of her six swings to hit .667.
UW made several lineup changes to start the third set. Sophomore Jenni Noguras came in to set, junior Kelcey Dunaway started in the middle, and sophomore Gabbi Parker lined up at outside hitter for the first time.
Seattle U. started things on a 4-0 run until they missed a serve. A great scrambling save from Seattle U. was not rewarded, as Ross swooped in from the right side for a finish. Jaeckel then hit into the Barfield-Ross block on the next point. UW tied it up on a 4-0 run, started by a Barfield slide block. Two Redhawks errors were followed by a Vansant back-row kill, and then Ross dialed up the ace for the lead. Parker sent in a rocket for a 9-7 lead, and Seattle U. called time.
Seattle U. tied it at 10, but Vansant regained the lead with a cross-court shot from the left, then Orlandini’s ace pushed it to 13-10. Vansant continued a great run of swings, and she finished a long rally from the right, followed by a Dunaway finish from the middle for a 17-13 lead and a Seattle U. timeout. Seattle had a chance to cut it to one, but Dunaway and Ross stepped up on the block, then Dunaway put an ace in the middle of the floor to retake a 19-15 lead. Great serving from Dunaway kept the Huskies running away late, all the way to match point at 24-15. Ross then took a right-side set and put it high off the block and out for the final point.
Vansant had five kills in the set and Nogueras had 14 assists.
Washington closes out its non-conference slate tomorrow night against Fresno State. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.