Oct. 1, 2010

SEATTLE, Wash. - For Husky fans hankering for some live volleyball over the past month, Friday night packed all the emotions they were missing into one thrilling Washington victory. The 10th-ranked Huskies (13-1, 2-1 Pac-10) handed fifth-ranked USC (12-1, 1-1 Pac-10) its first loss of the year, outlasting the Trojans in front of 3,611 fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. After letting a two-set lead slip away, the Dawgs came back to fire away in the fifth, and secured the 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 18-25, 15-5 victory.

Senior Becky Perry had a season-high 20 kills tonight to go along with 12 digs for her third double-double of the year. Junior Bianca Rowland matched her career-high with 17 kills while hitting .306, and senior Jenna Hagglund had her first double-double this season with 44 assists and 11 digs. Washington outhit USC .192-.171 for the night, and made its move in the fifth set when UW hit .304 compared to -.188 for the Trojans. Washington also controlled the net with 16.5 blocks to 10 for USC. This was the second-straight five-set win for UW at home against USC.

"It was a good match to win because you can learn some lessons on that thing either way, and it's a real painful lesson if you lose it," said head coach Jim McLaughlin. "I think we can learn some lessons on maintaining our composure and being mature enough to stay on things. Once we locked in in game five that was our best game by far. We were good in game one and game two and then we just laid two eggs. They're a very physical team, so I'm fired up for the win."

With the match tied at two sets apiece and USC owning the momentum, Washington clamped down on defense, coming up with some huge digs to get on the offensive. USC managed only one kill in the fifth set. UW ran off three straight with big swings from Perry and Carlson on consecutive points, then a deafening rejection from Carlson and Barfield gave them a 4-1 lead. A great dig from Hagglund on the next point led to a tough Perry swing that found the floor. USC broke the run, but Perry flew in on the next point and annihilated Hagglund's set straight to the floor and the team's switched sides with UW up 8-2. Hagglund went back to Carlson on the right side for a big swing off the block and down as UW grabbed a 10-3 lead, but USC picked up two straight to cut it to 10-5 and the Huskies called time. Then it quickly turned into the Gabbi Parker show, as the freshman finished two-straight points with difficult swings off the Trojan defense that fired up the team and the crowd. Match point came soon after, and Rowland got credit for the finish on a USC block error.

"Becky got us going right away, she was hot, and we served better and kept pressure on them the whole time. We served tough and dug some balls. Gabbi came in and did a good job, here's a pure freshman coming in and she just took some heavy swings and was aggressive and hit high and deep. Those were major kills," said McLaughlin.

In the first set, USC opened up a two-point lead that it fought to maintain through the middle part of the set. Perry drilled a couple huge kills to give UW its first lead since 6-5 at 17-16. Carlson flew in from the right side for another rocket to move the Huskies up 19-17 and force a USC timeout. Out of the break, Dunaway and Carlson stood strong at the net for a roof, then a Trojan misfire made it 21-17 Dawgs before USC broke the run. Kylin Mu├▒oz put one high off the block and down, then Rowland planted one out of the middle for a 23-19 lead. USC crept within one point and the Dawgs called time, but UW broke the run as Rowland ran around the right side and finished another for set point. Perry capped off an outstanding set with a crosscourt kill on the next point and the teams switched sides with UW owning the 25-22 win. Perry hit .600 in the frame with six kills, and Rowland had six kills on seven swings for an .857 percentage.

The teams traded three-point runs to start the second set, then Rowland floated a tip down for the kill for a 4-3 edge. Another stuff from Hagglund and Rowland, followed by a Rowland swing on an overpass tied it back up at 6-all. The Trojans opened a 9-6 lead prompting a Husky timeout. USC misplayed a Jenna Hagglund serve and Perry tipped it down to make it 10-9 USC. Washington caught back up with the Trojans once again at 17-17 after a Perry kill and a Trojan miscue, forcing the Trojans to take time. The Huskies grabbed a brief lead at 19-18 as Carlson took an overpass and sent it straight down. But USC came back with two straight points by Jupiter and the Dawgs took time down 21-20. USC missed its next serve, then Carlson disrupted the Trojan defense with two-straight powerful serves that sent the USC offense reeling. Jupiter was rejected by Hagglund and Rowland to put UW up 23-21 and prompt the Women of Troy to call their last timeout. Another powerful Carlson serve forced USC to send a free ball over on the next point, and Hagglund went to Bianca on the quick set for another kill to bring up set point. Maybe a little too fired up, Carlson missed her next serve, but UW took the next ball and went to Rowland on the slide for her fifth kill of the set and another 25-22 UW win. Washington had five critical blocks in the set and outhit USC .222-.135.

UW took an early 3-2 lead in the third set, but USC came back with a 4-0 run to force the Huskies to call time. Jupiter's serve took UW out of its offense and the Trojans opened up a 10-4 lead before a Perry kill broke the string. Washington began to climb back into things with a solo block by Munoz, followed right up by another block Rowland and Carlson to pull within 13-9, but the Huskies made a service error, and USC's Olgard fired an ace for a 16-9 lead and the Huskies needed time once again. Carlson ended the run with an opposite side swing, and then Rowland and Munoz were up to the task at net once again to make it 16-11, but back-to-back aces from USC's Kirby Burnham broke it open once again and USC went on to the 25-15 win. The glaring stat against the Huskies was five USC aces in the third.

Carlson and Rowland got UW on the board in the fourth with another authoritative block, and two points later it was Perry and Rowland once, and Perry and Rowland twice with block assists for a 4-2 lead. Perry came up from behind Hagglund for her 14th kill, and a USC miscue tied it at 8-all. Rowland sent one off the USC defense and into the seats to make to 10-10, but USC went on a 3-0 run helped by two UW errors for a 13-10 lead, forcing a UW timeout. USC extended the run two more points before Rowland stopped the bleeding with a big swing out of the middle. UW cut into the lead further, and a rocket down the line from Perry made it 17-15 Trojans. Washington then cut it to one, but UW went outside the lines on its next two swings and needed a timeout down 19-16. The Huskies had some miscommunications on offense down the stretch and USC closed out with a 6-2 run to bring on the fifth set, but UW would battle back in the end to wind up on top.

Washington will be back in action against 12th-ranked UCLA tomorrow night at 7 p.m. The Bruins swept WSU in three sets in Pullman tonight. Husky legend Laurie (Wetzel) Hayward will also be honored between the first and second sets.