TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 8 Arizona volleyball team came ever so close to defeating undefeated and No. 2 Washington, falling in five games (19-30, 31-29, 21-30, 34-32, 16-18) at McKale Center tonight. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 15-4 overall and 7-3 in Pac-10 play.
Arizona, one of just three teams all season to take a game from Washington, hit .189 on the match, while the Huskies combined for a .234 hitting percentage. The Wildcats out-blocked Washington 17-9.5.
“It was a terrific match,” Head Coach David Rubio said. “We have shown a lot of improvement. During this week leading up to the match, I was curious to see if the gap between Washington and the rest of the group is closing, and I think it is.”
“Washington is a terrific team,” he continued. “There is a reason they’re ranked No. 2. The key for us is to keep getting better. I will continue to say that until the last match. We’re tough and competitive and we never expect to lose a match. That’s the mentality you have to have to go deep in the tournament.”
Senior Kim Glass led all players with a career-high 32 kills. She also added 15 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Senior Jennifer Abernathy added 19 kills and a career-high 22 digs for her eighth double-double of the year. She also added five blocks.
Sophomore Dominique Lamb tallied her first career double-double, tying her career highs in both kills and blocks with 11 and 10, respectively.
Washington led throughout game one, building its lead to as many as 12 and winning 30-19. The Huskies out-hit Arizona .333 to .200 and out-blocked the Wildcats 3.5-1. Washington also had four service aces. Glass led all players with six kills, while Abernathy had six digs on the game.
After trailing early in game two, Arizona scored five straight points to take a 5-2 lead. The Wildcats led by as many as five (15-10), but the Huskies quickly made it a one-point game, 18-17. Arizona answered with a 5-1 run to take a 23-18 lead, but Washington scored four in a row to make it 23-22. Both teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the game before Arizona prevailed with a 31-29 win.
The Wildcats hit .191 on the game, compared to the .116 of Washington. Arizona also out-blocked the Huskies 5-2. Glass tallied eight kills on the game to pace the Wildcats.
Washington came out on fire in game three, taking a 6-1 lead and forcing an Arizona time out. The Wildcats battled back, slowly chipping away at the Husky lead, making it a one-point game (17-16) and resulting in a Washington time out. The game was played close out of the time out before the Huskies scored seven straight points to go up 27-19. They went on to win 30-21.
Arizona hit .086 on the game, while Washington combined for a .237 hitting percentage. The Wildcats edged the Huskies on blocks, 4-3. Glass led Arizona with four kills.
The first half of game four was played closely, with no team leading by more than three points, until Arizona took a 17-13 lead, forcing a Washington time out. The Wildcats later led by as many as seven (28-21), but the Huskies scored five straight points to make it a 28-26 game. After a Kristina Baum kill, Arizona had its first of seven game points before it finally put Washington away, 34-32, on an Abernathy ace.
Arizona hit .155 on the game, compared to the .189 of Washington. The Wildcats out-blocked the Huskies 5-1. Glass had eight kills and Abernathy had five kills on the game for Arizona.
In the fifth and final game, neither team had more than a one-point lead until, after trailing 6-7, Arizona scored three in a row to go up 9-7, leading to a Washington time out. The Huskies scored three straight after the time out to take a 10-9 lead and force a Wildcat time out. Both teams traded points after the time out before Washington scored two in a row to take a 15-14 lead, giving it match point, and causing Arizona to use its final time out. The Wildcats scored two points out of the time out for their own match point, leading to a Husky time out. Washington then scored three straight points after the break to win the game 18-16.
Arizona hosts Washington State for a 7 p.m. match tomorrow, Oct. 28.