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Husky Volleyball Outlasts Oregon in Rivalry Duel

It took 5 sets, but 14th-ranked Washington managed to push past the #15 Ducks in even match with many runs by each team.

Washington volleyball players Lauren Sanders (1, near left) and Crissy Jones (near right) successfully block an attempt by an Oregon hitter during their October 11th match. Washington won the match, 3-2.
Ed Strong

On Wednesday night, #14 Washington defeated #15 Oregon at Alaska Airlines Arena in 5 sets (20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 24-26, 15-13). Five Huskies were in double figures in kills, led by 15 each from Courtney Schwan and Crissy Jones. Carly DeHoog added 12, Marion Hazelwood had 11, and Tia Scambray had ten in just her second game back at outside hitter.

Lauren Sanders led the Huskies (15-3, 5-2 Pac-12) with seven blocks, while Hazelwood and Jones factored into in five more each. Oregon (10-5, 3-4) outhit Washington for the match by a noticeable margin, .257 to .219, but Washington had a large edge at the service line. Each team had six aces, a solid number for five sets, but Oregon had 12 service errors, a somewhat high number, while Washington committed just three, an impressively low total for five sets.

Freshman setter Natalie Robinson had a nice match for the Huskies, picking up a double-double with a team-high 29 assists, 10 digs, and tied for the overall match-high with 2 aces.

Interview with Head Coach Keegan Cook

On five hitters having double-digit kills:

“It means the setters are doing a nice job. They have confidence in a range of hitters. You don’t have to avoid setting anybody, so you can be less predictable.”

On Marion Hazelwood’s strong match, including the final kill:

“Thought she had a really good match, but she just missed that play before by like an inch, so I asked her ‘Do you want to make a memory?’ and we called that play for her and she went for it and got it.”

On defending against Oregon’s unique style of offense (Ducks run a lot of slower-developing plays that involve misdirection, like a play-action pass in football. Husky MB Lauren Sanders was caught flat-footed a couple of times in the first set, but played better the rest of the match):

“You have to take gambles when they’re passing the ball really well. It’s a high-risk, high-reward offense. Your best defense, of course, is serving. Keep (the setter) off the net and reduce their options.”

On the best service game the Huskies have had in a while:

“Three errors in five sets is pretty darn good, and still getting some aces out of that (too). We weren’t trying to get ten aces in this match, but we wanted to make sure to serve well enough to get them off the net so we could block some balls.”

On Crissy Jones, who had one of her stronger matches since starting a month late (15 kills on .333 hitting, 5 digs, 5 blocks):

“She certainly deserves a lot of credit; she’s been coming back from an injury that had her sidelined for a month and returning to form. She’s a leader for our team and she’s carried a heavy load. In this match she was outstanding.”

What’s next

The Huskies finish their four-game homestand against Oregon State (11-7, 1-5 Pac-12) on Friday night before hitting the road next week to face the Bay Area schools. Huskies and Beavers play at 7 PM Friday. There will be no TV broadcast, but there will be a live stream available at pac-12.com/live/university-washington