No. 2 Washington 3, Washington State 0
PULLMAN, Wash. – The Pac-12 opener is always a big date on the schedule for the Huskies. Add to that the challenge of opening on the home court of rival Washington State, in front of a rowdy crowd of 1,846 fans at Bohler Gym, and the fact that the Cougars and Huskies were the last two unbeaten in the Pac-12 this season. All that made second-ranked Washington’s 25-17, 25-17, 25-17 victory extra meaningful.
Washington (9-0, 1-0 Pac-12) never quite took the crowd out of the match, but turned the volume down a bit with three-set victory. The Huskies ran their offense at a fast pace all night, passing well to set up outside hitters Krista Vansant, Kylin Muñoz, and Kaleigh Nelson, who all had great nights. Vansant led all players with 13 kills and hit .440, while Nelson had nine kills without an error for a .562 mark, and Muñoz notched eight kills, also without an error to hit .444. Sophomore Melanie Wade had six blocks as UW won the blocking battle, 7.0 to 1.0.
The Huskies had 46 kills to the 32 of Washington State (13-1, 0-1 Pac-12). Senior Jenna Orlandini had 13 digs and sophomore Cassie Strickland added 12. Keeping the offense dialed in were Jenni Nogueras (24 assists) and Katy Beals (16 assists). Washington has now won eight in a row against their cross-state rivals.
No. 4 USC 3, No. 11 UCLA 1
LOS ANGELES -- In the 100th rivalry meeting between USC and UCLA, the fourth-ranked Women of Troy (11-1, 1-0 Pac-12) earned a four-set win (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-16) against the 11th-ranked Bruins (9-2, 0-1) at Galen Center on Wednesday, Sept. 25. The Trojans won their fifth consecutive match and improved to 10-3 in conference openers under head coach Mick Haley.
Freshman outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu acted as the catalyst for USC's 9-1 run in the fourth set that sealed the Bruins' fate. Nwanebu completed the evening with a career-best 17 kills (4e, 31att, 18.0 points) and posted a .419 hitting percentage. The Trojans were able to effectively run their middle attack against the UCLA defense and senior Alexis Olgard feasted as she came up with a career-high 13 kills (1e, 22att, .545) and added six blocks to match a career best with 16.0 points.
USC also got nine kills from sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio who added two service aces and six digs. Senior outside Sara Shaw had seven kills and a pair of service aces to go with three blocks. Junior middle blocker Hannah Schraer chipped in seven kills (0e, 12att, .583) and had three blocks while junior outside Emily Young had six kills (.231) and three blocks.
Defensively, All-America senior libero Natalie Hagglund put up 20 digs and picked up five assists on the night. USC's setters were toe-to-toe on the stat sheet as junior Hayley Crone dished out 27 assists to go with seven digs and a service ace and freshman Alice Pizzasegola had 26 assists with three digs and an ace.
For the Bruins, Karsta Lowe led the way with 15 kills (7e, 30att, .267) while Kelly Reeves put up eight kills (3e, 31att, .161) and led UCLA with 14 digs. Claire Felix was efficient on the slide as she came up with 12 kills (2e, 20att) to hit .500 in the match and added seven digs and three blocks. In the middle, Zoe Nightingale had nine kills (1e, 16att, .500).
No. 5 Texas 3, TCU 0
FT. WORTH, Texas -- Texas began the 2013 Big 12 Conference season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-15) sweep against TCU on Wednesday. Junior All-American Haley Eckerman led the Longhorns with a match-high 13 kills in the win, while senior setter Hannah Allison and Eckerman added a match-high 25 assists and 10 digs, respectively.
Texas (7-2, 1-0 Big 12) broke a 5-all tie in the first set with a slight 3-1 run spurred by a stuff by sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage. The Longhorns narrowly sustained their lead in the next few rallies, but the Horned Frogs came back to tie the match at 11 after a pair of hitting errors by Eckerman and a service error from Kat Brooks. Texas climbed back on top for a 15-13 lead after a three-point rally of its own that included an ace and kill by Khat Bell and a block from McCage and Allison. The Horned Frogs answered the rally with their own 4-0 run for a 17-16 advantage, but the Longhorns shut down their opponent with a 9-2 finish to take the first set.
UT never trailed in game two and built a five-point lead near the halfway mark of the set, 14-9. TCU (11-4, 0-1 Big 12) closed the gap to 14-12 with a three-point rally that included two kills and a block, but Texas came out of a timeout and took advantage of a pair of TCU hitting errors to build its lead back to 16-12. The Longhorns cruised to a 25-16 game two victory while hitting 41.7 percent (12-2-24) to the Horned Frogs' 16.1 (11-6-31).
Game three was much of the same story for the Longhorns as they jumped out to a 8-2 lead. Down 11-4, TCU clawed its way to a three-point deficit at 11-8 before Texas called timeout. Following the timeout, TCU closed the gap to one, 13-12, but that's as close as the game would get as Texas put the match out of reach for its first conference opponent.
No. 7 Stanford 3, Cal 1
BERKELEY, Calif. –- Seventh-ranked Stanford held off rival California 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 28-26 on Wednesday, in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. The Cardinal improves to 8-2 on the season and 1-0 in the Pac-12, while the Golden Bears dropped to 7-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Five different Cardinal players recorded double-digit kills. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Burgess led the team with a season-high 14 kills on a .406 attack percentage. Senior middle blocker Carly Wopat also tallied 14 kills and seven blocks. Senior Rachel Williams registered her team-best fifth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs to go with four blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Brittany Howard finished with her third double-double of the year with 11 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Megan McGehee, starting for Inky Ajanaku who was out sick, finished with career highs of 11 kills, six blocks and a .562 attack percentage, which led all players.
Sophomore setter Madi Bugg recorded a career high 55 assists to with four kills and three blocks. Junior libero Kyle Gilbert collected a season high 29 digs. As a team, Stanford hit .314, while holding Cal to a .216 attack percentage. The Cardinal also tallied 15 team blocks, while the Bears had six.