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Washington falls in four sets to Hawaii

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Hoffman 9/1

Claire Hoffman sets up to swing at the ball last season for the Huskies. Hoffman was one of the lone bright spots for a Washington team that struggled against Hawai'i Sunday night. 

The No. 13 Washington volleyball team lost to Hawaii in four sets on Sunday, due in part to passing struggles and difficulty getting past the Hawaii block. Unforced errors by the Huskies (2-1) also led to the four-set loss (20-25, 12-25, 25-20, 16-25) that capped off the road trip. 

Washington hit .062 through the match, hitting in the negatives in sets two and four thanks to a high volume of errors, both forced and unforced. The Rainbow Wahine (3-0) had 18 blocks against the Huskies, a key factor in their dominant win. 

The Huskies had 11.5 blocks, in line with their two earlier performances this season, but they also had four block errors. Senior Avie Niece led the team with eight total blocks, just one below her 2018 season high. Junior Sam Drechsel also contributed five total blocks. 

Success on the block wasn’t enough when Washington couldn’t make it past its opponents block. The Huskies had 32 attack errors in the match, with 12 coming in the fourth set alone. The Hawaii block forced many of those, but the Dawgs had nearly as many unforced errors. They struggled to pass effectively, and to score in general.

Senior Kara Bajema led the Huskies in scoring as usual, but she matched her 14 kills with 14 errors for a .000 hitting percentage. Washington’s best offensive performance came off the bench in the form of sophomore Claire Hoffman, who made her season debut with 11 kills and a .320 hitting percentage after entering the rotation in the second set. 

Freshman Sianna Houghton was also the first of UW’s three freshmen to make her season debut, in a defensive specialist role in the back row. 

After two rough sets, the Huskies seemed to rally in the third set, at one point leading by seven points before they won by five points. They managed to get their attack errors under control, with a match-low five in the set. The strong serving Washington is known for showed up, with all three of the UW’s aces coming in the third set. 

However, it didn’t last. The fourth set started out close, but Hawaii pulled away with an eight point run that included four unforced errors by the Dawgs. The Huskies couldn’t get out of the eight point hole, and fell in four sets. 

Washington will stay on the road next week, heading to Iowa City to play No. 6 Illinois and Iowa. 

Reach Engagement Editor Hailey Robinson at Twitter: @haileyarobin

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