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Volleyball returns to Elite Eight

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Kara Bajema claims the single-season kill record as #8 UW gets past #9 Kentucky

UW Athletics

#8 Washington advanced to their first Regional Final since 2016, knocking off #9 Kentucky in four on Friday afternoon: 25-16, 26-24, 15-25, 25-22.

Senior outside hitter Kara Bajema kept up her amazing hot streak, recording 24 kills on .400 hitting percentage to go with a team-high 13 digs and 2 blocks. With her 21st kill, she became UW’s single-season kill record holder, adding 3 more to set the new mark with 577, displacing one of just two volleyball players to have her jersey retired at Hec Ed, 2011-14 OH Krista Vansant.

Senior middle blocker Avie Niece was stellar in limited usage for the Huskies, recording 8 kills on 13 attempts for .538 hitting.

Kentucky’s season ends at 25-7, 16-2 SEC. Washington (27-6, 15-5 Pac-12) advances to the Regional Final round for the first time in three seasons, having been eliminated by Nebraska three straight years from 2014-16, with ‘15 & ‘16 being in the regional finals. UW will face top overall seed Baylor (28-1, 15-1 Big 12) on Sat, 12/13 at 1 p.m. Pacific, which can be seen live on ESPNU.

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to Vansant as the only player to have a jersey retired at UW. This unfortunately omitted Courtney Thompson, the starting setter on UW's 2005 national championship squad.