Once again opening with a worrisome first set, the No. 11 Washington team did exactly what it was trying to avoid in Sunday’s game against Arizona State.
Hitting zero overall and making error after error, the UW dropped the first set for the fifth game in a row. It took longer for the Huskies (11-3, 4-2 Pac-12) to dig out of the first set deficit Sunday, but they still managed to come back again, taking the game to a close fifth-set and winning.
The first set woes truly remained in the first set, as Washington’s hitting jumped to .371% and communication immediately improved to shut down Arizona State in the second. UW limited ASU to just 15 points in the second, and then won the third.
The Sun Devils (8-9, 1-5 Pac-12), who are currently ninth in the Pac-12, battled back to take the fourth and force a tiebreaker set.
Both teams stayed close in the finale, with the set tying back and forth. ASU looked threatening as it shuffled between ties and picking up momentum, the UW managed to reel back control when it mattered, taking the set 17-15.
The Huskies had a double digit day in serving, recording 10 aces over the Sun Devils’ five. Three of those came from junior setter Ella May Powell, who also found three kills.
Washington leaves Arizona with two more conference wins, putting itself in a much more stable position within the conference as it prepares to take on the leader of the conference next week. With first serve against Oregon set for Thursday at 7 p.m., the UW has a short week to prep for another road trip south.
Reach Co-Sports Editor Sydney Nash at email@example.com. Twitter: @sydneym_nash
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