- No. 7 Washington (18-2, 8-2 Pac-12) battles past Arizona (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) in four (26-24, 23-25, 28-26, 25-20)
A back and forth battle, led to a lengthy four set battle in which the Huskies came out on top.
Courtney Schwann led the way for the Huskies with 14 kills. A dominate double-double came from Crissy Jones with 14 kills and a career-best 12 blocks. Kara Bajema put down 12 kills and a .733 hitting percentage.
Kalei Mau produced a double-double with 23 kills and 20 digs making it her 17th in her career, six so far this season for Arizona. While Laura Larson picked up a season-best 23 digs. Kendra Dahlke helped in the Widcats efforts with 15 kills and three blocks. Penina Snuka also added a double-double with 54 assists and 13 digs.
Courtesy of Washington Athletics
TUCSON, Ariz. – Washington kept up its winning road ways this afternoon at the McKale Center, saving a couple set points in the pivotal third set and then closing out Arizona in a hard-fought four sets, 26-24, 23-25, 28-26, 25-20. The Huskies (18-2, 8-2 Pac-12) wrapped up the first half of Pac-12 play on a seven-match win streak and are 9-0 in true road matches, with two more coming right up this week.
Washington used an outstanding blocking effort, scoring a season-high 17, to limit the high-powered Wildcats (13-9, 5-5 Pac-12) to a .187 attack percentage for the match. The Huskies hit .255, with junior Bailey Tannersending out 51 assists and passing the 2,000 career assists mark during the match. She’s currently ranked 10th in school history with 2,049 assists.
Tanner’s balanced setting resulted in 14 kills apiece for Courtney Schwan and Crissy Jones, a career-high-tying 12 kills from freshman Kara Bajema (hitting a scorching .733), and eight kills each from Carly DeHoog and Tia Scambray. Jones had a new career-high 12 blocks as she continues to excel at middle blocker. Scambray also had a blocking career-high with seven, and shared the team lead with 14 digs, matching freshman Shayne McPherson.
“Student-athletes on both sides deserve a lot of credit for putting on quite a performance,” Head Coach Keegan Cook said post-match. “The match was played at a high physical level for really long periods of time, and I think everyone’s going to be pretty tired after that one, but pleased we were able to make it through to the end. We did a nice job at the net, Arizona was playing outstanding floor defense and we were combating that with some good play around the net.”
After pulling out the close first set, the Huskies looked ready to take a 2-0 lead, but Arizona battled back from 14-19 down in the second set to take it and even things. Arizona then had two set point tries that would have given them a 2-1 lead, but the Huskies saved both, then came through on their second set point try with a Scambray out of system kill. UW built a big lead in the fourth and closed it out.
Cook appreciated Tanner’s efforts as the junior also had nine digs and four kills while passing the 2,000 assist mark. “I think Bailey Tanner deserves a lot of credit for getting us through this point with us making lots of changes to the offense. She’s battling through some injuries and she showed a lot of courage today.”
The Huskies were a bit slow to start and Arizona took the first three points so Coach Cook took a quick timeout. On the next rally, Kara Bajema got UW on the board with a kill from the middle. A net violation on UW cost UW an Arizona error as the Huskies trailed 1-5. Scambray and Jones put down UW’s first block, and Schwan picked up her first two kills as the Huskies crept back into it. The Cats overpassed and Tanner blasted it down to get within a point at 6-7. Scambray punched a wide set back in play and eventually got the kill off the block to tie things at 10, and the Huskies took their first lead at 11-10 on a block by Scambray and Jones. Scambray dropped an ace to the back line for a 14-13 lead. Schwan tipped over the block and down to keep UW on top, 17-15. Arizona tied it up and UW was in trouble on the next point, but Bajema bailed UW out by pushing a free ball deep for a kill.Carly DeHoog and Bajema then teamed for a block on the right for 19-17 and Arizona took time. The Wildcats got the sideout after a back and forth, but Bajema put one down in serve-receive for 20-18. But Arizona scored the next two to tie it up at 20-20 and the Huskies called their final timeout. Arizona scored again to take a one point lead, but UW tied it at 21 on an Arizona double contact. Jones and Scambray then swung the Dawgs back up one with another rejection. Julye then floated an ace to the back corner for 23-21 and UA used its final timeout. Arizona got the kill in serve-receive to snap the 3-0 Husky run, but Scambray came back and hit off the block and out to get to set point, 24-22. The Huskies had a double contact on the first one, and then Huskies had a couple swings but were denied on the second chance as Arizona tied it up at 24. Another long rally had Schwan taking big swings on the left, and she stepped inside on her third one and banged off the block and out for a third set point try at 25-24. Jones then went back to serve, and for the third time in the set, the Wildcats let the serve go and it dropped on the line as the Huskies pulled it out, 26-24. Washington hit .343 in the set with four kills from Schwan and four from Bajema on four swings, and the three UW aces and six blocks also were crucial.
Washington picked up blocking where it left off in the first, as Jones sent back the first UA swing. DeHoog had a kill on the right in transition and the Dawgs then posted another block to end a long rally for a 3-0 lead, an in a reversal of the first set it was Arizona taking the early timeout. Arizona got the next pair of points but Scambray waited on a long set and converted off the block for 4-2. Arizona tied it up but UW answered with a Jones tip and block by Schwan and Jones for 6-4. A tough Jones serve produced a Wildcat error and an 8-5 lead. A slide kill from Bajema and an Arizona error made it 10-6 and UA used its last timeout. The Huskies continued to extend the lead on a couple Arizona errors and some tough Tanner serving; it was a 5-0 run and a 13-6 lead before Arizona got a kill. UA got two more off the lead before Bajema killed it to the floor in serve-receive for 14-9. A DeHoog swing up the line made it 16-11 Dawgs, but Arizona pushed back with a 3-0 run to force a Husky timeout at 16-14. A perfect pass from Schwan let Tanner go to Jones for the needed kill, and then Julye backed that up with another line drive ace for 18-14. The five point lead was cut to two points again after another 3-0 Arizona run, but Scambray got a kill up the line for 20-17. But back-to-back Arizona aces suddenly found the Huskies trailing, 20-21, and UW used its final timeout as the Wildcats were on a 7-1 run. Jones got a kill on a disputed touch call to tie it at 21, but she then served long. Schwan rolled one over and down from the right side for 23-23. Another disputed call then went in Arizona’s favor on a shot called just in for set point Arizona, 23-24. The Huskies were out of sorts and tipped over on their play, and Arizona converted to take the set, 23-25. The set slipped away despite UW outhitting Arizona, .184 to .132.
A diving dig from Bajema led to a stuff for Scambray and Jones and a 2-0 lead. Scambray had a kill on the left and Tanner won a joust on a tight pass for a 5-3 advantage. A tough Tanner float was free balled over to UW and DeHoog finished in transition for 8-4 and the Wildcats called for time. Arizona got within a point but then made a few errors as UW got back up 11-7. Jones and Scambray had a big roof straight down for 13-8 and the Wildcats used their last timeout. Tanner took a big swing to put away an Arizona overpass for 14-9. She ended another long rally by hanging for a block on a Wildcat tip attempt, but Arizona mounted a 3-0 run to cut the lead to 15-13 and the Huskies used their first timeout. Schwan had the big swing on the left off the block out of the timeout to steady the Huskies. A tough Bajema serve was passed too tight and the Wildcats couldn’t keep it alive for 19-15 Dawgs. Jones missed one swing wide, but Tanner went right back to her on the next point for a kill and 20-17. Washington let an ace drop in and couldn’t finish with good looks on the right side and Arizona came through in transition to go on a 4-0 run and suddenly take the lead, 20-21, forcing UW’s final timeout. Jones terminated in serve-receive to tie things at 21, but Arizona had its own quick kill to stay on top. Jones had another shot straight to the floor, and then Schwan leveled it from the left side after Jones covered a tip. Arizona got a set point try at 23-24, but Schwan wiped off the block on a tight set to tie it again. At 24-25, Bajema slammed the Tanner set in the middle. A wild rally on the next point was finished by DeHoog stuffing down a 50-50 ball to get the Huskies a set point. UA saved it, but DeHoog earned another at 27-26 with a booming crosscourt kill from the right. On the next point, Tanner got a dig up the sideline, and Schwan bump set back across the court to Scambray, who waited and got a good swing, putting it to the back line for the win, 28-26. Washington hit .265 and Arizona hit .255, with UW getting three more kills, 20-17, to pull it out. Jones had five kills and Schwan and DeHoog had four apiece, with Scambray digging six.
Jones had three kills early in the fourth set and also teamed with Tanner for a rejection as the Huskies had an early 5-2 lead. Bajema got her 10th kill down inside the block and she then teamed with DeHoog for a rejection and a 10-6 lead. An Arizona error and a Jones slide kill made it 15-10 Dawgs at the media timeout. UW’s defense forced two more Arizona errors as the lead grew to 17-10. Another Jones slide kill made it 18-10 with Arizona calling for time. The Wildcats converted out of the break but Schwan answered by tooling the block for 19-11. Schwan added another two points later for 20-12. A transition blast to the corner from Bajema got it to 21-12 and Arizona used its final timeout. A 3-0 Arizona run cut it to 21-15, but Bajema put another down to stop that run. Tanner found Scambray on the left past the blockers for 23-17. A block by Jones and Scambray got the Huskies to match point at 24-18. The Wildcats saved the first two, but on the third chance, Schwan rolled one out of the back row down for the kill to end it, 25-20. Jones had five kills in the last set, hitting .417, as UW hit .231 and held Arizona to just .050.
Washington will be back in Seattle tonight and rest up Monday before going right back on the road for a Wednesday night match at Stanford, starting the second half of Pac-12 play.
Courtesy of Arizona Athletics
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona took seventh-ranked Washington to four sets, losing by two in pair of sets, but fell to the Huskies (26-24, 23-25, 28-26, 25-20).
Kalei Mau had 23 kills and 20 digs in the match to lead the Wildcats, while Laura Larson tallied a season-high 23 digs, but their efforts weren’t enough as the Huskies prevailed in four.
Mau’s 23-kill, 20-dig match was her first 20-20 match of her career. Mau has 17 double-doubles in her career, six of which have come this season.
Penina Snuka also notched a double-double, her 14th of the season, including one in five straight matches. Snuka had 54 assists and 13 digs.
The Cats kept it close for the majority of the match, matching the Huskies nearly point for point. The first three sets were all decided in deuce, with Washington finding ways to put away sets where Arizona could not.
Arizona out-dug and out-killed the Huskies, 77-61 and 62-60, respectively.
It was at the net that Washington dominated. The Huskies blocked 17 of Arizona’s attempts, compared to just 5.5 blocks for the Cats. Crissy Jones had 12 blocks to go along with 14 kills. UW middle blocker Kara Bajema had 12 kills on .733 hitting.
Despite the offense posting 19 kills on .293 hitting in the first set, Arizona dropped the opening set 26-24. Washington notched six blocks and three aces to Arizona’s zero combined.
Washington surged in front to start the second set, leading by as many as seven early on. After Arizona cut the lead to two, Washington ripped off three straight points to take a 19-14 lead. Arizona scored seven of the next eight points to take the lead. Kalei Mau had six kills in the set, including the final three that gave Arizona a 25-23 win in the second.
The once again erased a large deficit in the third, coming back from down five to take a 21-20 lead. The Cats would earn a pair of set points, but could not convert either as Washington outlasted Arizona, 25-23.
The Cats ran out of gas in the fourth. Washington won 25-20.
UP NEXT: Arizona will face Oregon and Oregon State on the road to start the second half of Pac-12 play this week.
FOLLOW THE CATS: For continued coverage of Arizona volleyball, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram (@ArizonaVBall).
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