Batters react as Huskies win Arkansas rematch

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Washington’s outside hitters hit their stride today, and deservedly the hometown hero Ella May Powell found themselves with an open net for a match point kill, as the Husky volleyball team (1-1) earned their first victory in a rematch with Arkansas after the Razorbacks won Game 1 on Friday night. Today the Husky attack hit 0.351 with impressive outs of Claire Hoffman, Madi Endleyand Emoni Bushand 54 assists from Powell.

The Dawgs dropped a hard-fought first set that could have led to a second straight upset against the SEC preseason No. 4 team, but UW dominated the second set, then won the third and fourth sets hard fought for a 25-27, 25-13, 25-22, 25-20 win at Barnhill Arena.

The head coach Kegan Cook said his team was much better in the areas they valued. “We are trying to decide which team we are going to be and we have young athletes who are developing,” he said. “So you have to decide what your identity is as a team and I thought we found that tonight with our serve and our reception and our outside hits. The big chunks of the game last night were missing. We made a lot of high level last night but we didn’t do the simple things right. Today we made sure we did the simple things right and build on top of it.”

Hoffman had a double-double with 22 kills and 10 digs, hitting .304 with three aces. Endsley hit .500 with 17 kills on 30 swings with just two errors and three aces, and Bush had 12 kills on 24 swings and just one error for a .458 percentage, and she also landed three aces and a career-high 11 digs for his first double-double.

Sailor Cave had eight kills and a big eight blocks. Five Dawgs had double-digit dig totals as UW passed Arkansas, 73-55. Libero Laurent Bays had 14 digs and Shannon Crenshaw was 13.

NEXT: Washington will be in Boulder, Colorado next week, but not to face the Buffs. Colorado hosts the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge where the Huskies will face Iowa on September 3 and a ranked team from Illinois on September 4.

SET A: Emoni bush had the first kill for the Dawgs on the first point. Claire Hoffman hammered two in a row for a 5-4 Husky lead. UW then had its first block from Endsley and Grote, and a kill from Endsley made it 7-4. Another block and finish from Hoffman increased the lead to 10-5. Endsley then found the back line for an ace for 13-7. The Razorbacks responded with three to cut the lead in half, but Summers ended that with a serve-reception kill. Washington’s lead was gone, however, as UW won three straight for 14-14. Bush had a kill to take the lead at the media timeout by one. Endsley hammered the block for 17-16. Arkansas took its first lead since 3-4 at 18-19, but Endsley tied it with a blast down the line. The Razorbacks took control with a run to get the set point at 20-24, but the Huskies fought back by saving three to force a timeout at 23-24, with Hoffman crushing a kill to cap the run. On the next rally, a long and impressive rally with big swings and saves from both teams was won by the Dawgs on a UA error for 24-all. Arkansas got the next side, but UW also saved that set point on a Grote kill. The Huskies missed serve for a sixth chance in Arkansas, however, and this time they couldn’t save it, with a Razorback block finishing it, 25-27.

The Dawgs lost the set despite averaging .390 to Arkansas’ .245. Bush, Endsley, Hoffman and Summers all had four kills apiece, but UW was ace four times and also missed four serves while Arkansas only missed one serve and was ass once.

SET TWO: Endsley had a kill and an ace to restart the Huskies in the second. Grote stuffed one down the middle for 4-2. Bush had another ace for a 6-4 lead. Hoffman had two aces and the duo of Endsley and Grote had two dismissals as the Huskies advanced, 11-5, and forced a timeout from Arkansas. Hoffman finished off another set from Powell for 14-7, then the Dawgs went on another 4-0 run to push the lead to ten at 18-8. Hoffman had two more kills during the race and Bush had his sixth. Grote was quickly killed by Powell, then hammered an overpass for 21-10, and Arkansas took their final timeout. An ace from Bush and a kill from Hoffman made it 23-11. Powell threw his first kill of the day on set point to end it, 25-13.

Washington hit a sizzling .579 in the second set, with 5 kills on 7 hits from Hoffman. The Huskies turned the serving tables, landing five aces.

SET THREE: Arkansas came back strong with a 5-1 run to start the third. A Grote kill and an ace for Bush made it 3-5. Another Husky ace from Hoffman made it 5-7. Washington even got 7-all and Endsley got his first lead, getting one in the block for 9-8. Teams went back and forth for a long stretch, with two more big wins for Endsley. Arkansas held the one-point lead in the media timeout, 14-15. A few errors from Husky forced them to a timeout at 15-18. Endsley got it back, tapping one over the net. Endsley dropped another on the seats, then had a hard serve leading to a loose ball and a kill from Hoffman for 18-19. The Dawgs even came back to 20-20 on a huge Hoffman-Grote dismissal, forcing a timeout from Arkansas. Coming out of the break, UW was killed by Bush after a tough rally and then Hoffman finished the next point for 22-20 and a 4-0 run, the last three on by Sianna Houghton serve. Hoffman killed two more as the Huskies reached set point at 24-21. Arkansas saved one, but Hoffman delivered again to end it, 25-22.

Strong late strikes took UW to a .310 mark for the set, compared to .261 for the Razorbacks. Hoffman led with eight kills and Endsley had five more, hitting .556 in the set. Powell had 16 assists in the frame.

SET FOUR: A 3-0 Husky run gave them a 4-3 lead in the fourth, with two kills from Hoffman. Shannon Crenshaw got his first kill from the back row, then Powell found Hoffman for a transition kill for 7-5. Hoffman and Endsley made the block in back-to-back rallies for 9-6. The Huskies had a 3-0 flurry with kills from Endsley, Summers and Bush, two of them assisted by Bays, to make it 12-7 and force a timeout from Arkansas. Coming out of the break, Endsley hammered the block for another big run for 13-7. An ace for Endsley made Dawgs 15-9. Arkansas scored a few goals but Summers struck fast for 16-11. Bush hit the block for 17-12. Arkansas went 3-0 to cut UW’s lead to 18-15 and UW took a timeout. A crucial point with some exceptional digs from Bush led to a block from Grote and Powell to break the run. Arkansas kept up the pressure but UW responded with big swings for the sideouts. Endsley added two more and Bush hit an overpass on the right pin for 23-19. Hoffman wore down the block to reach match point at 24-20. On the following rally, a Razorback dig took place over the and Powell saw the perfect opportunity to complete it in his hometown. She jumped up and pinned him with no block in front of her for the end 25-20.

Endsley had six kills in the final set with .455, Bush adding four for a mark of .429. Powell and Bays had six recoveries apiece in the set.

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