No. 7 Washington Rallies From Down 2-0 for 5-Set Win over ASU

  0 Wendy Mayer | September 24th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, News, Pac 12


  • No. 7 Washington def. Arizona State 3-2 (22-25, 17-25, 25-17, 25-17, 15-10)
  • Washington moves to 12-1, 2-0 Pac-12; Arizona State falls to 10-4, 0-2 Pac-12
  • Tempe, Arizona
  • Attendance: 1,202
  • Box Score


TEMPE, Ariz. – Senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro notched a school rally-scoring record tying 30 kills and 17 digs, but it was not enough to lift Arizona State to an upset over No. 7 Washington. The Huskies rallied from two sets down to steal away the win in five sets and claim their 10th straight victory.

Washington used 15 blocks (to ASU’s 5) and four aces (to 3) to overcome a 61-55 deficit in kills. The Huskies outhit the Sun Devils .196 to .176 thanks to eight more ASU errors (30-22).

After hitting .343 in the opening set, the Sun Devils declined throughout the rest of the match, hitting .000 in the final stanza. Meanwhile Washington started with a .294 effort, hit just .026 in Set 2 and peaked with a .343 Set 3 effort.

Arizona State scored four straight in Set 5 to overcome a 4-1 deficit. Washington answered with five of the next six points to turn a one-point margin into a 9-6 lead. Senior outside hitter Carly DeHoog recorded two kills and two ASU errors aided the run. The Sun Devils were within one at 9-8 and 10-9, but couldn’t keep pace with the Huskies, which closed out the match with a 5-1 run. Three ASU miscues, including a match-clinching service error, aided UW in the final stretch.

DeHoog led Washington with 13 kills, while Courtney Schwan (11) and senior outside Crissy Jones (10) also added double-digit efforts. Freshman middle Lauren Sanders and sophomore middle Avie Niece followed with seven kills apiece. Sanders put up a team-best nine blocks, while Schwan added two aces and 14 digs. Senior libero Tia Scambray notched 23 digs, followed by Jones (16) and Schwan.

Okaro had help from two other players with double-digit kills in freshman outside Griere Hughes (12) and sophomore outside Ivana Jeremic (11). Okaro did it all for the Sun Devils, adding a team-best two aces and team-high four blocks to her 30-kill, 17-dig double-double. Senior libero Halle Harker notched a team-leading 23 digs, followed by Okaro, sophomore setter Nicole Peterson (12), sophomore defensive specialist Courtney Leffel (11) and Jeremic (10).

Set 1 featured eight ties, last at 20, and three four-point scoring runs. The teams played to a 13-all tie, before Hughes put down two kills and Okara put up a solo block to give ASU a 17-13 edge. Down 19-15, Washington rallied to tie it up at 19 and 20, thanks to two kills each by DeHoog and Marion Hazelwood. The Sun Devils scored five of the next seven, including three UW miscues, in the 25-22 win.

Arizona State worked its way to a 9-5 lead in Set 2 with help from three UW errors and two Okaro putaways. Up 13-10, the Sun Devils tacked on six more points to boost the margin to eight at 19-11. Three Okara kills and two by Jeremic guided the run. Washington managed back to back points, but soon found itself down 23-14. The Huskies scored three of the next four, including kills by Jones and Sanders, thwarting two ASU set-point tries, before succombing to another Okara kill in the 25-17 loss.

Washington turned things around at the break, snapping a 4-4 tie and vaulting ahead 15-7 to start Set 3. The Huskies spread the ball around with Niece, DeHoog, and Schwan each accounting for two or more kills, while Schwan notched two aces. The teams traded points before a kill and a block by Okara pulled ASU within six at 22-16. Putaways by DeHoog and Sanders set up a Sun Devil error which gave UW the set to keep the match going.

ASU shook off the loss, scoring four of the first five points in Set 4 as Okara dropped four kills. The Sun Devils boasted a 10-7 lead, before Washington turned it on with 16 of the next 10 points. Three blocks, kills by five players and six Arizona State errors gave the Huskies the 23-14 edge. Another Sun Devil miscue put UW on the hill at 24-15. A pair of hitting errors kept the set going, before DeHoog evend the match with the 25-17 win.




Courtesy: Washington Athletics

Knocked off balance by a hot-hitting Sun Devil squad on its home court, seventh-ranked Washington hit the reset button and worked its way out of a 0-2 hole, taking the final three sets to stave off the ASU upset bid. The Huskies improved to 12-1 on the year and 2-0 in Pac-12 play with their first comeback win from two sets down since 2014.

After dropping the first two sets, 22-25 and 17-25, the Dawgs were able to ramp up their pressure with serving and defense and controlled most of the next two sets, winning both 25-17. Leading 10-9 in the fifth, UW won five of the final six points to finally put away the Sun Devils (10-4, 0-2 Pac-12). The experience of Washington’s senior-laden roster came into play in turning things around, said Head Coach Keegan Cook, who got his first win from down to sets.

“You can find yourself in bad situations, and there’s usually an equally positive opportunity,” said Cook. “The opportunity that was there for us was to make a five set comeback. We got ourselves in that situation, but there’s not a lot to talk about there, so we had a chance to make a memory, and like seasoned players do they did a good job of that.”

It was a full team effort as five Huskies finished with at least seven kills. Senior Carly DeHoog had 13 and three blocks, senior Courtney Schwan had 11 plus 14 digs and two aces, and senior Crissy Jones had 10 kills and 16 digs for her second-straight double-double since returning to action. Freshman middle Lauren Sanders had seven kills, hitting .417, with nine blocks, and sophomore Avie Niece provided a big spark off the bench with seven kills, hitting .400. Sophomore Kara Bajema also came in for just one play, but she provided a crucial kill on her only swing late in set five.

Senior setter Bailey Tanner had 45 assists and went past the 3,000 career assist mark, just the fifth Husky ever to tally that number. She also added eight digs and five blocks. Senior libero Tia Scambray led the back row with 23 digs.

“When you focus on those last three sets, I thought there were a lot of good things going on,” Cook said. “Avie had a nice performance, Kara came off the bench and made a big play in the fifth set, and we did a better job on an ASU team that was consistently playing well pretty much the whole night.”

It’s the first comeback from down 0-2 for the Huskies since Oct. 3, 2014, a home win over UCLA.

Crissy Jones had the first kill for the Huskies for a 2-1 edge early in the first set. Sanders put a slide kill off the block for 4-4. Down 5-6, Coach Cook took an early timeout to iron a few things out. DeHoog landed her first kill up the right sideline for 8-9. Jones in transition put one away from the left to tie it up at 10-all, but the Sun Devils won three of the next four points. Schwan put away a Tanner set to tie it at 13-all, but ASU answered again with a four point run and the Huskies had to call their final timeout at 13-17. Marion Hazelwood tipped for a kill to snap the run out of the break, then Tanner got an ace rolling over off the tape for 15-17 and ASU took its first timeout. ASU came back with two points but the Huskies then had consecutive kills from DeHoog and Hazelwood to get back within a pair. DeHoog had another transition finish from Tanner and then Hazelwood put another away out of the middle and the Huskies had evened it at 19-19, forcing the last ASU timeout. The Huskies were called for a double on the next point, but Jones came right back with a kill through the block for 20-20. But the next run of points went awry for UW, with a service error, a miss wide on a serve-receive attack, and then an ASU ace. Down four set points at 20-24, DeHoog saved one with a kill, and saved a second with a block from Tanner and Sanders, but the Huskies then served long to fall short, 22-25. The Huskies hit .294 in the set but Arizona State hit .343.

The Huskies fell behind early in the second set, 3-6, struggling to get the ball down in serve-receive. Sanders fired the Huskies up with two straight rejections to cut the deficit to one at 8-9, but the Huskies gave three points back to fall back down 8-12 and Cook took time. Sanders had a nice cover of an ASU block and Jones hit down the second chance for a kill to stop the ASU run. Washington still couldn’t get the offense on track, however, and went down 10-17 to need its last timeout. The Dawgs were unable to string points together to mount a comeback and ASU took a two sets to none lead with a 17-25 final in which the Huskies hit only .026.

Schwan got the third set started off well with a service ace. DeHoog had a rightside finish and Sanders and Tanner teamed for a stuff for a 4-2 lead. Schwan got a kill high off the block and ASU missed a set connection for a 7-4 lead and an ASU timeout. Sanders had a bump set assist to Schwan for a 9-5 lead. A dig from Jones and a soft block from Niece helped lead to a DeHoog right side blast and Niece finished two straight points to get a 14-7 advantage and force an ASU timeout. Out of the break, Schwan drove a serve low that was shanked for an ace. Niece pounded down another quick set from Tanner for 16-8. Jones used the block for a kill to keep UW moving at 19-11. A smash from DeHoog on the right made it 23-16 and a Sanders finish got UW to set point and an ASU double contact ended it, 25-17. Washington finally clicked on offense in the third, hitting .343, to .194 for ASU, with Schwan getting five kills and Niece putting away four of five attempts to hit .800, while Jones also had nine digs in the third set alone.

The Sun Devils opened with a 3-0 run to start set four. UW clawed back with a Sanders slide kill and a block by Schwan for 3-4 Sun Devils. DeHoog planted a huge rejection for 6-7, but ASU came back with a pair to open up a three-point cushion. Back-to-back roofs both from DeHoog again got the Dawgs within one at 9-10. Jones tipped for a kill and then hit off the block and out on the next point to give the Huskies their first lead of the set at 12-11. McPherson then got an ace to drop down on the tape and just trickle over to push it to 14-11 before ASU broke the 5-0 Husky run. A dump from Tanner made it 15-12 Huskies at the media timeout. Tanner got the most of a roof out of the break and then ASU hit long for 17-12 and the Devils called timeout. The run continued with an ace from Jones out of the break for 18-12 before ASU got a sideout. A Julye serve was overpassed and Niece hammered it down for 20-13 Dawgs. Niece turned on a transition set in the middle and finished for 23-14. Washington got to set point on an ASU error, and DeHoog finished it with a right side kill, 25-17. Five big blocks in the fourth set helped the Huskies pull it out, holding ASU to a .075 percentage in the set.

DeHoog got the Dawgs off on the right foot with a transition kill to start the fifth, then a double was called on ASU for 2-0. Niece crushed another quick from Tanner for 3-1. ASU seized momentum with a 4-0 run to take the lead, 4-5, but DeHoog had a smart wipe off the block to tie it up, and then she put the Dawgs back up one, 6-5, with a kill on the next point. Sanders and DeHoog ended a frantic rally with a rejection for an 8-6 Husky lead at the changeover. A huge solo stuff from Sanders on a pipe try from ASU made it 9-6 and forced the Devils to take time. Kara Bajema subbed in as the Devils cut it to one, and Tanner went to her on her first chance and Bajema killed it for 10-8. Washington played the point of the match for 12-9, as Julye and Niece miraculously covered a block and punched it over, then Jones dug the ASU swing and a Niece attack was overpassed which Schwan slammed down, forcing an ASU timeout. Another big block, this one from Niece, earned another big point, and an ASU error got the Huskies to match point at 14-9. ASU saved the first, but then served into the net to end it, 15-10. Washington hit .182 in the final set but held ASU to .000. DeHoog had three kills and the two blocks from Sanders and Niece proved huge.

Washington will be road tested again next week as they head to Los Angeles to take on UCLA next Friday, Sept. 29, then USC on Sunday, Oct. 1.


Courtesy: Arizona State Athletics

The Arizona State volleyball team (10-4, 0-2 Pac-12) put up a tough fight against No. 7 Washington (11-1, 1-0 Pac-12), battling the Huskies to five sets but ultimately falling, 25-22, 25-17, 17-25, 17-25, 10-15, on Sunday afternoon in Wells Fargo Arena.

“The cool thing is that now we see what we’re capable of,” said head coach Sanja Tomasevic. “We always talk about improving a little bit every day, and after we lost to Arizona on Thursday we got in the gym the next day, watch film and worked on certain things trying to improve. We always talk about improving one percent every day in practice and trying to get one percent better. We got better since Thursday and that showed today in parts of the game.”

Oluoma Okaro was a bright spot in the Sun Devil’s offense, recording a career high 30 kills on .414 attacking. The senior’s 30 kills tie for the most kills in a single match for a Sun Devil in the rally scoring era (since 2001) with current assistant coach Macey Gardner (9/24/14 at Arizona) and former standout Sarah Reaves (9/20/08 vs. W. Kentucky). Okaro now holds the season best mark for kills in the Pac-12 Conference, surpassing Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer’s 27 kills from Sept. 1. Okaro has posted double-digit kills in 13 of the 14 matches this season.

“I think Oly was steady throughout the whole match,” said Tomasevic. “She was good. Maybe we could have set her even more. There was a point where I was like ‘Just give the ball to Oly’ because she was on fire today and I think Washington had a really hard time stopping her.”

Okaro also posted 17 digs for her fifth double-double of the season.

Sophomore setter Nicole Peterson recorded a career high 51 assists and added 12 digs for her third career double-double and her second this season. Sophomore Ivana Jeremic had 11 kills and 10 digs for her second double-double of the season. Freshman Griere Hughes added 12 kills for the Sun Devils.

Senior Halle Harker notched 23 digs, amounting to 1,677 career digs to her name. Her mark remains the third-best in program history.

For the Huskies, Carly DeHoog posted 13 kills while Courtney Schwan added 11.

Up next, the Sun Devils have a short week as they hit the road for the first time in conference play to take on the defending National Champions, No. 4 Stanford Cardinal (9-2, 2-0 Pac-12) on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. PT and the California Bears (9-4, 0-2 Pac-12) on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. PT. Wednesday’s game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network.

Match Notes
Kills: Okaro (30), Hughes (12), Jeremic (11)
Attacking Percentage: Okaro (.414; 30 K, 6 E, 58 A)
Digs: Harker (23), Okaro (17), Peterson (12), Leffel (11), Jeremic (10)
Assists: Peterson (51)
Double-Doubles: Okaro (5th, 30 kills and 17 digs), Jeremic (2nd, 11 kills and 10 digs), Peterson (2nd, 51 assists and 12 digs)
Blocks: Okaro (4; 3 BS, 1 BA)

ASU Single-Match Kills (Rally Scoring Era)
1. Oluoma Okaro (9/24/17 vs. Washington) – 30
Macey Gardner (9/24/14 at Arizona) – 30
Sarah Reaves (9/20/08 vs. W. Kentucky) – 30
4. Macey Gardner (11/21/14 at WSU) – 29
Macey Gardner (10/24/13 at Utah) – 29
6. Macey Gardner (11/15/14 vs. Oregon) – 28
Macey Gardner (8/31/12 at UC Irvine) – 28
Sarah Reaves (9/27/07 vs. Oregon) – 28
9. Macey Gardner (9/26/14 at USC) – 27
Macey Gardner (12/6/13 vs. BYU) – 27
Macey Gardner (9/30/12 vs. Stanford) – 27
Ashley Kastl (11/12/11 vs. Utah) – 27
Ashley Kastl (11/4/11 vs. Oregon) – 27
Juliana Escobar (10/18/02 at Oregon) – 27

ASU Career Digs Leaders
1. Sydney Donahue, 2004-07 – 2385
2. Stephanie Preach, 2010-13 – 2010
3. Halle Harker, 2014-present – 1677
4. Christy Nore, 1985-88 – 1597
5. Jami Coughlin, 1998-2001 – 1528

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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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