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Dawgs grind out close win over Iowa

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Ella May Powell digs the ball in Washington's game against Cal on Nov. 16, 2017. Powell had 16 digs in Washington's win over Iowa.

The No. 16 Washington volleyball team capped off its two-day stint in Iowa City with another close win, grinding out a four-set victory over Iowa 33-31, 25-23, 20-25, 25-23.

All three of Washington’s set wins came by the two-point minimum; the Huskies (4-1) only led by more than four points once all match long.

The first set was close — so close it couldn’t be decided until both teams passed 30 points. The Huskies led early, but Iowa pulled up to meet them with a five-point run to tie the match at 23-23. The two teams went back and forth for a long time, with the lead changing five times, until senior Kara Bajema put down a kill to put the UW ahead, and an Iowa mishandle gave the set to the Dawgs 33-31.

The second set was close throughout, but this time the Huskies were able to pull off a win in the normal time frame, although it was only by two points. The same happened again in the fourth, but  with the Huskies up 24-23, Bajema and Avie Niece combined on a block to put the match away.

Bajema and sophomore setter Ella May Powell carried a lot of the defensive load for the Huskies. Bajema had 13 digs in the match, and Powell had 16.

Powell’s serving also looked improved from last season. She finished with two aces, and the Huskies had six as a team. 

Redshirt freshman Dani Cole made her season debut, adding a kill and a block for the Huskies.

Washington’s next action will be in Omaha, Neb., for a three-game weekend with matches against Drake, Nebraska-Omaha, and No. 23 Creighton.

Reach Engagement Editor Hailey Robinson at Twitter: @haileyarobin

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