Huskies Take Tourney With 3-0 Nightcap Win

8/29/2009

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SEATTLE - The fourth-ranked UW women's volleyball team picked up its first tournament win of the season this evening, laying claim to The Invitational At Seattle, Washington with a straight-set 25-17, 25-19, 25-17 defeat of San Diego State at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies swept all three of their matches over the two days, including a win at Seattle U. earlier today, to come out on top in the tourney co-hosted with the Redhawks.

This was the 200th win for ninth-year head coach Jim McLaughlin in his time at Washington. The three-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year now stands at 200-54 at UW, an incredible .787 winning percentage. He is the fifth current Pac-10 coach to reach the benchmark at their current schools.

Washington exhibited the balanced attack that the team hopes can carry it far this season, with three players reaching double figures in kills. Senior Jill Collymore led the way with 16, junior Becky Perry tallied 11, and senior Airial Salvo had 10.

Collymore had three of the Huskies' first six kills in set one. Washington engaged in its most exciting rally of the young season at 6-6, when the teams went back and forth before Becky Perry finally put an end to the string with a powerful kill down the right sideline on UW's ninth attack of that point alone. SDSU later took a 12-10 lead, but Airial Salvo nailed a crosscourt kill, followed by a middle net block from Salvo and Bianca Rowland. Perry then racked up her first ace of the match to put UW in front, 13-12.

A big momentum boost came when Becky Perry dove for a pancake dig, leading to an eventual Collymore kill. The senior from Bellevue followed up with another powerful blast on the next point, giving UW its largest lead to that point at 19-14 and leading to San Diego State calling its first timeout. The Aztecs wouldn't get closer than four the rest of the way. Set point came courtesy of an ferocious block from Salvo and Kelcey Dunaway, and Salvo earned her third kill of the set on the next point to give UW the 25-17 win. Collymore led the way with eight first set kills, hitting .467. All 16 of UW's kills in the set were assisted by junior Jenna Hagglund.

The Aztecs pieced together three points to take a 12-11 lead, but Salvo snapped the run with her fourth kill. Salvo didn't stop there; she hammered another kill on the next point and then tipped one up and over to stake UW to a 14-12 lead. At 15-15, the Huskies won four of the next five points with one kill each from Perry, Rowland, Dunaway, and Collymore, forcing SDSU to take time. Washington went up 24-19, and SDSU took its final timeout, but the extra planning amounted to little, as Perry hammered down the next ball for a 25-19 win. Washington controlled the hitting in the second set, .278 to .051.

Wsahington charged out after the intermission to a 7-2 lead, and the Aztecs relented with their first timeout. The teams had a short run of errors before UW made another small charge with back-to-back kills by junior Kindra Carlson following a Collymore kill for a 12-5 lead. Freshman Jenni Nogueras assisted on all three kills in the run. Another true freshman, Kelly Holford of Long Beach, Calif., made her UW debut as she subbed in to serve during the latter part of the set.

Washington closed out the match with four-straight points in typically diverse fashion. A Salvo kill was followed by a Perry put-away, then an ace from Miyashiro and finally a block from Perry and Rowland. The Husky attack was at its most lethal in the third set, as they converted on 15 of 29 swings with only two errors for a .448 percentage. The offense was spread as equally as can be, with four kills each for Carlson, Collymore, and Salvo, and three for Perry.

The Huskies finished the match right at .300 for their attack percent. Collymore turned in her second double-double of the weekend, with a team-high 16 kills to go with 13 digs. Miyashiro had a season-best 22 digs, and Hagglund's 38 asssists were also the most for her in the early season.

"It was good for us to get the first match jitters out," said Hagglund on the weekend as a whole. "We've got a lot to work on. It's really fun to come out and start playing because it tells you what you need to work on more. We're ready to go back to the chalkboard on Monday. Our serve-receive is going pretty well. We're passing really nicely so far."

It will be some time before UW next salutes the home crowd, as the Huskies take to the road next week to start a 10-match stretch away from home. First up is the Northwest Challenge in Portland, where UW will first play Boise State, Friday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. at the home of Portland State.

Article courtesy of the University of Washington Athletics

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