The fifth-seeded Washington volleyball team upended No. 12 seed Utah, 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-16) Friday night in the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Huskies will now face fourth-seeded Nebraska at 8:30pm Saturday night in the Elite Eight match, setting up a re-match of the 2005 National Championship match. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Washington hit .413 on the evening, the second-best team hitting percentage during the NCAA tournament in Washington history. Sophomore Kindra Carlson led the Husky hitters in efficiency, notching 12 kills with just one attack error for a scorching .611 attack percentage. Junior Airila Salvo, facing her former team, had one of her best nights in the Purple and Gold. Salvo hit a season-high .483, her best hitting efficiency as a Husky, with a match-high 15 kills on 29 attacks with just one error. Sophomore All-Pac-10 selection Becky Perry also recorded 12 kills. Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree Bianca Rowland chipped in five kills on seven swings for a .714 attack percentage.
"It was a tougher match than the score indicated," said head coach Jim McLaughlin "Those guys are a good team and they have an offense that can really pressure you. We stayed on our priorities. We took care of the ball, we served tough, we hit in, and then we got on our assignments and we were in our spots. We touched a lot of balls on the block. I was working our girls the whole night that we have to be on a good offense-to-defense transition, and we were. Our create-count and our convert-count were very high. So we're happy."