SEATTLE – Behind multiple career-high efforts, the No. 17-ranked Utah Utes (13-3, 4-1) outlasted the No. 9-ranked Washington Huskies (13-3, 3-2) in a five-set thriller (27-25, 26-24, 21-25, 23-25, 16-14) Friday night at the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
After leading the match 2-0 and dropping the next two sets to force a fifth set tied 2-2, the Utes' five-set win marked the first time in history that Utah has beaten Washington in Seattle. Utah also snapped a three-game losing streak against the Huskies.
Utah and Washington traded points to open the match until the Utes led 13-12 and the Huskies rattled off three straight points to head into the media timeout leading 15-13. Utah responded out of the timeout, scoring six of the next eight points to lead 19-17, forcing a Washington timeout. A kill from Berkeley Oblad gave Utah set point at 24-21, but Washington scored two straight points which would lead to a Utah timeout. The Huskies scored two unanswered points out of the timeout to continue its momentum and Utah would take its final timeout trailing 25-24. A kill and a block from Utah gave the Utes set point and Adora Anae recorded the final kill to give Utah the set, 27-25. Oblad registered seven kills in the opening set, while Anae added in six kills for the Utes.
After going back-and-forth early in the second set, Washington put together a 4-0 run to take the lead 11-8, but Utah responded with a 4-0 run of its own to regain the lead at 12-11. Both teams continued trading points until the set was tied 18-18 and Utah took the lead 22-18 after recording three kills and a block during the 4-0 run. An Anae kill led Utah to its first set point, leading 24-20, but another late rally from Washington tied the second frame back up at 24-24, which would force Utah to call its second timeout. Carly Trueman recorded a kill out of the timeout and a hitting error from the Huskies would give Utah the second set 26-24 and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set proved to be like the previous two with neither the Utes nor the Huskies building any separation early in the set. Utah took a 15-13 lead heading into the media timeout, but the Utes would find themselves tied with Washington late in the third set, 19-19. Washington then went on a 5-0 run to record its first set point, 24-20, and force the second Utah timeout of the set. Utah scored two points out of the timeout, but it wasn't enough as Washington would take the set, 25-20, off a kill from Tia Scambray.
Tied 11-11 in the fourth set, Utah went into the media timeout on a 4-1 run ending with a block from Oblad. The Huskies rallied and scored four straight points which would call for a Utah timeout with the Utes trailing 16-15. Washington recorded two blocks out of the timeout, but a service error from the Huskies would end the 6-0 run. Tied 20-20, both teams went point-for-point until Washington registered two kills in a row to lead 24-22. A kill from Tawnee Luafalemanacut the deficit to just one point, but Washington recorded a kill the next point to take the set 25-23 and force a fifth set.
Utah built a lead in the fifth set after putting together a 4-0 run to lead 9-5, but a 3-1 run from Washington cut the Ute lead to just 10-8. Utah countered with back-to-back blocks from Oblad and Kenzie Koerber which pushed the Utah lead to 12-8. The Huskies scored four consecutive points to even the set at 12-12 and would lead Utah to call its final timeout. Tied 14-14, Dani Barton tallied two consecutive kills to help the Utes pick up the win in five sets, 16-14.