Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pac-12 | Washington volleyball wins twice, but it isn’t easy

Vansant “okay” after injuring ankle; Huskies need 5 sets to beat Gonzaga
  • #5 Washington def. Portland State 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-10)
  • #5 Washington def. Gonzaga 3-2 (25-18, 25-21, 26-28, 30-32, 15-9)
  • next: Seattle University @ #5 Washington | September 3 |7PM

Maybe it’s the state of Oregon.

Last season, Krista Vansant left the Huskies’ home match against the Oregon Ducks with an ankle injury. Led by her substitute, Oregon native Gabbi Parker, Washington staged an historic comeback, knocking off the Ducks in five.

This afternoon in Portland, Vansant left the match against Gonzaga with an ankle injury. Once again, her sub was Parker, and once again the match went five. And, you guessed it, the Huskies won.

Washington coach Jim McLaughlin tells Volleyblog Seattle that Vansant’s ankle injury “will be okay.”

Washington's Kaleigh Nelson had 7 kills against Portland State and
18 more against Gonzaga
-photo by Shutter Geeks Photography
Vansant was having a monster weekend, the kind that gets noticed for Player of the Week honors. She had 11 kills in Friday’s 3-0 sweep of Boise State, and added 17 earlier Saturday against host Portland State. Before she left with her injury, Vansant had 16 more, for a weekend total of 44 kills.

Washington had cruised through the first two sets against Gonzaga, but then did something it had never done before while competing in the preseason Northwest Challenge over the past six years: it lost a set. After going 53-0 over 17+ matches, the Huskies dropped set 3, squandering two match points.

Vansant’s ankle injury came with the Huskies ahead 10-9 in the fourth set, as Vansant rotated to the middle of the back row. Up 24-21, UW wasted 2 more match points, allowing a 4-0 Bulldog run. Washington couldn’t convert yet another two match point chances, while stopping four of five Gonzaga set points.

Zags’ sophomore Savannah Blinn was the match’s dominant player, recording 26 kills on 54 attempts. Kaleigh Nelson led the Huskies with 18 kills on 38 attempts. Kylin Muñoz, with 11 kills, continued the blocking power she showed last season with 6 block assists. Middle Lianna Sybeldon also had big numbers, with 13 kills and 5 block assists. Setter Jenni Nogueras continued her torrid serving with another 3 aces; she had 37 assists.

In the Portland State match, Washington trailed 20-22 in the first set. Cassie Strickland headed to the service line and launched five consecutive bombs, resulting in an ace, four Vansant kills, and a 25-20 win. Washington had little trouble with the Vikings after that.

Ducks clobbered at home
Oregon—last year’s national runner-up—hinted how much they miss departed seniors Alaina Bergsma, Kathleen Fischer and, perhaps most of all, libero Haley Jacob. The Ducks looked shaky Friday in a 3-0 win against lowly Eastern Washington. Tonight in Eugene, #8 Oregon was hammered by unranked Ohio, 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-19). Oregon hit just .200 (to .336 for Ohio); much of their misery seemed to start with poor passing and defense.

Pac-12 goes 25-3 in first week
Oregon’s loss was one of just three for the Pac-12 conference this weekend: Kansas beat Arizona 3-1 (25-27, 25-15, 25-23, 25-20) tonight, and Colorado lost to St. Mary’s 3-1 last night. The Buffalos, however, avenged that loss, beating St. Mary’s in a Saturday rematch, 3-1 (25-21, 25-23, 25-21, 25-22). #4 USC had the most impressive weekend, knocking off two nationally-ranked teams, #16 Purdue and #21 Western Kentucky. Arizona State could move into the top 25 with its 3-0 sweep of #24 Wichita State.

Seattle U bounces back
The Redhawks start the season 2-1 after sweeping UC Riverside 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-17). Martina Samadan had 15 kills and just one error on 24 attempts (.583). Seattle U visits Alaska Airlines Arena Tuesday for a cross-town match against Washington.

Photos courtesy Shutter Geeks Photography

No comments:

Post a Comment

[It's okay to comment as "Anonymous," but please feel free to share your name and/or alias.]

Have your friends discovered Volleyblog Seattle? Number of unique visits: