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Washington gets less active players on court in sweep of Drake

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Claire Hoffman sets up to swing at the ball last season against Arizona. Hoffman got the opportunity to start for the first time this season against Drake on Friday. 

The No. 12 Washington volleyball team swept Drake with the help of several of its less active players, who saw the court a lot more than normal on Friday. 

While four of Washington’s six starters against the Bulldogs (5-3) have started every game this season, sophomore hitter Claire Hoffman, sophomore middle blocker Marin Grote and redshirt freshman hitter Dani Cole made their first starts of the season. It was Cole’s first career start. Hoffman started several games late in the season last year, and has seen the court quite a bit this season as a sub, but had yet to start a game. 

Seniors Shayne McPherson and Avie Niece, along with sophomore setter Ella May Powell are now the only Huskies to start every game this season. All three are key players, and Powell and McPherson are the only Dawgs with regular experience at their role, making them irreplaceable even when Washington is resting other members of its core. 

Also making appearances for Washington were three defensive specialists: senior Cailin Onosko, junior Emma Calle, and freshman Sianna Houghton. Junior Maria Bogomolova made appearances in two sets in a serving specialist role. 

All four have made appearances this season, but saw more time on the court than usual against Drake. 

The Huskies were missing senior hitter Kara Bajema, and juniors Samantha Drechsel and Lauren Sanders against Drake. With a doubleheader against Nebraska-Omaha and Creighton tomorrow, Washington was most likely resting the three players, who have been the top-three members of the UW offense so far this season. 

The Huskies will play Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday at 8 a.m., and Creighton at 5:30 p.m. Both matches will be streamed through Creighton’s website. 

Reach Engagement Editor Hailey Robinson at Twitter @haileyarobin

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