Huskies break 3-year losing string in Eugene, could be nation’s top team this week
On a night when #1 Penn State fell at home to Michigan State, here are a few quick impressions, moments after the end of #2 Washington's win over #21 Oregon in Eugene:
|Washington wins match point against Oregon at Matt Court|
WASHINGTON’S SERVE CAME UP BIG
For most of the match, Oregon’s passers were on their heels, keeping their offense out of system. Special kudos to Katy Beals for her beautifully-located short serves to the 10-foot line, and to Cassie Strickland for her huge jump serve run in the decisive fourth set.
OREGON’S PREDICTABLE ATTACK COULDN’T MATCH WASHINGTON’S MULTIPLE WEAPONS
The Ducks’ talented Liz Brenner was asked to do it all. She had an exhausting 64 attempts (23 kills, 15 errors, .125) and almost single-handedly won the marathon third set with her serving and defense (aided by a questionable line call.) All-American setter Lauren Plum looked positively average, sending set after set into the teeth of double-blocks, as the Huskies (unofficially) recorded 21.5 stuffs, led by 11.5 block assists from Lianna Sybeldon. By comparison, UW’s attack was varied, as 7 hitters had double-digit attempts, led by Krista Vansant (17 kills, 4 errors on 44 swings, .295)
THE HUSKIES PLAYED DEFENSE
At critical moments, Washington players kept rallies alive with heads-up saves. The team’s 57 digs included 27 from libero Jenna Orlandini, and a few wonderful plays by Strickland and Beals.
Last season in Eugene, the Ducks handed the Huskies their first loss of the season. This year, Washington’s undefeated streak continues.
- In Boulder, Colorado came from behind to get its first-ever win against UCLA, 3-2 (27-29, 25-15, 24-26, 25-23, 15-12)
- In Palo Alto, Stanford has a surprisingly easy sweep against once-beaten Arizona State, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-22)
- In Berkeley, the Bears surprised Arizona 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-23)
- In Corvallis, Washington State outlasted Oregon State 3-2 (26-24, 25-20, 20-25, 26-28, 15-9) despite the Cougars’ 16 service errors.
- Tomorrow, USC plays Utah in Salt Lake City to see who joins Washington and Stanford at the top of the conference standings.