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Baylor ends Washington’s season in Elite Eight

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Drechsel Baylor

Outside hitter Samantha Drechsel spikes the ball during Washington's sweep of Oregon on Nov. 7, 2019. 

The No. 8 Washington volleyball team put up a fight, but couldn’t overtake No. 1 Baylor in the Elite Eight, falling in four sets (20-25, 25-21, 19-25, 18-25) to the Bears. 

Baylor seemed to have senior outside hitter Kara Bajema figured out early in the match, but junior opposite Sam Drechsel took the offensive load early on, getting 12 kills on 16 swings through the first two sets. She finished with 15 kills, hitting .520. Later on in the match, Bajema started getting past the Baylor defense as well, finishing the match with 20 kills, adding two aces as well. 

The Washington serve was possibly the best it had been all season, especially early on. The Dawgs finished with five aces, four in the first two sets, and seven errors. Baylor had 11 errors and only two aces. 

One thing the Huskies couldn’t get going was the block, which couldn’t stand up against Baylor’s lineup of great hitters. They got up only four blocks against the Bears in the entire match. 

Washington got off to its traditional slow start, and while a 5-0 run including back-to-back aces from senior libero Shayne McPherson kept the Huskies in the game they couldn’t pull off a comeback. In the second set a combination of Baylor errors and the Dawgs getting their offense going turned things in their favor, tying up the match. 

In the third set Baylor hit .615, and the Huskies couldn’t do much to combat that stellar Baylor offense. While the Huskies hit a solid .324 and kept down errors, the Bears were on fire. Baylor setter Hannah Locklin got the Huskies with a few sneaky digs, getting seven kills on seven swings. 

The Bears held onto the momentum for the fourth set and advanced to the Final Four in Pittsburgh.  

Reach Engagement Editor Hailey Robinson at Twitter: @haileyarobin

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