SEATTLE -- Another 3-0 week is in the books for fifth-ranked Washington, after the Huskies took care of UNLV in straight sets in the nightcap of a double-header at Alaska Airlines Arena on Friday. Washington (9-0) defeated UC Davis earlier on Friday, and then secured the team title for The Invitational at Seattle with a 25-10, 25-7, 25-23 victory against UNLV (7-3) in front of 1,297.
The Huskies played two of their best sets of the season to take the 2-0 lead, then had to scrap to close out their sixth set win of the day. In the end, UW ended up with advantages across the board, outhitting the UNLV, .319 to .030, with 47 kills to just 21 for the Rebels, and 11.0 blocks to 3.0 for their opponent. All-American Krista Vansant led all players with 13 kills and added 13 digs for her second double-double of the season, while hitting .429. Junior setter Katy Beals had 21 assists and matched her career-high with 15 digs for a double-double of her own.
Freshman Tia Scambray hit .412 with nine kills and four blocks, and junior middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon was a force at the net with 10 block assists and six kills, hitting .455.
“Two really well played games in all phases,” said Washington coach Jim McLaughlin, looking at sets one and two. “We took care of the ball, we had good timing, played fast, got in good spots defensively, and put a lot of pressure on them. So we’re moving forward, and making progress. We need a little bit of rest and then we’ll work hard and get ready for Maryland and Wisconsin.”
Junior Melanie Wade also played a huge role, as she hit .455 with six kills but also triggered several long runs with her serving. She was at the service line for an 11-0 Husky run in the first set, a 6-0 run in the second set, and a 5-0 run in set three.
“Mel, serving the way she did, really opened it up for us,” McLaughlin said. “She has a lot of ability and can do a lot of things, but she also knows she has to make some improvements in her blocking and get better. But she did a good job this whole weekend.”