From Seattle – With a dominant third and fourth set, the No. 12 Washington Huskies (24-4, 17-3) beat No 21 Washington State (19-11, 13-7) in four sets to win the Pac-12 title.
It was a poor offensive showing for the Cougars who clearly missed Pia Timmer’s presence on the court.
Both squads started out with 4-0 runs to open the set to tie it at four. Then Washington ripped off a 4-1 run to take a 8-5 lead and force WSU to use its first timeout of the set.
The timeout didn’t help as Washington ripped off the next four points to make it a 9-1 run at 13-5. The Cougars scored their first point in the last ten plays, but they couldn’t string together a scoring run as UW scored another point to make it 14-6.
At 16-8 the Cougs cut the deficit to five with what appeared to be a 3-0 run, but a well time challenge reversed the point. The poor offensive performance continues to hamper the Cougars, along with consistent miscommunication on defense.
Washington State’s hitting percentage fell as low as .189 for the match. It would rebound above .200 by the end of the match thanks to a 3-0 run to cut the Husky lead to six. But it wasn’t enough as Washington won the fourth set 25-16 and the match.
After the humiliating third set, Washington opened up with a 7-1 run. While WSU managed to cut the deficit to five at 5-10, it was hard for the Cougs to climb back into it midway through the third set.
Unfortunately, the Huskies were able to push the lead back to out to seven and WSU was unable to string together a run of its own to truly get back into the set. UW’s defense at the net earned a few blocks in this set to get it north of ten total for the match and to prevent any real Cougar scoring runs.
The first set point for Washington came at 24-17 but that ended with a service error. At 24-18 the Huskies capitalized on the set point to win the third set at 25-18.
Washington State started off the second set on a 13-1 run and never really looked back. While he Huskies made some noise down the stretch the deficit was too big for them to come back as WSU won the set 25-18.
That lead was built off of sloppy play from Washington’s defense — the squads biggest weakness — and misdirection hits. WSU scored the first two points, then UW scored the next point; and the they wouldn’t score in the next 11. It was complete and utter domination in the first part of the set.
While Washington would outscore the Cougs 18-12 in last bunch of points, the Dawgs were so far behind that it wasn’t feasible for them to come back. The closest UW got was five before the Cougs closed it out with a 4-1 run of their own.
A service error by Norville put an end to any hope for a comeback as UW won the first set 25-22. Washington closed it out with a 4-1 run to put the first set away.
Neither team was able to build up much of a lead throughout the first set, the largest lead for either squad prior to the final UW run was two. While UW as the first to take the lead WSU went on a 4-0 run to take its first lead. But that didn’t last long as Washington caught right back up.
Both coaches used a challenge in the first set with Washington winning its challenge to make it 23-21 and WSU losing its to keep it 11-10.
Neither defense was particularly clean as WSU was hitting in the .390s at the end of the set while UW was in the .460s. But that had a lot more to do with how efficient both offenses were. The defenses were not given time to set up and it showed.