The service game and lack of attack errors for the seventh-ranked Washington Huskies proved to be the difference Thursday night, as the Huskies hit .368 and earned 10 service aces to hold off a tough Seattle University squad, 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-21), in volleyball action at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Sarah Jaeckel (Littleton, Colo.) led all players with 10 kills, while Kaytlyn Dill (Bothell, Wash.) finished with eight kills and five defensive digs. Jacquie Brice (Fullerton, Calif.) dished out 18 assists, and libero Lani Beadle (Seattle, Wash.) led the backline with seven defensive digs in the match.
Back-to-back kills by Karina Miastkowska (Northbrook, Ill.) and Jaeckel gave Seattle U a 5-4 lead early in the first set, but Washington responded with three straight points, two of them on kills from Krista Vansant. A kill by Allison Farley (Happy Valley, Ore.) pulled the Redhawks to within one at 10-9 before the Huskies went on a 9-3 scoring run to open a seven-point advantage at 19-12. The Huskies scored the final three points to win the opening set.
After a kill by Jaeckel tied the second set at 5-5, Washington outscored the Redhawks 20-5 to cruise to a 2-0 match lead. The Huskies were led by Cassie Strickland, who earned three straight service aces during the middle set with her powerful jump serve.
Dill earned a kill early in the third set to give the Redhawks a two-point lead, but Washington would eventually respond with a block by Lianna Sybeldon and Kaleigh Nelson to put the Huskies ahead, 8-7. After a kill by Jaeckel pulled Seattle U into a 9-9 tie, Washington took the lead on consecutive kills by Sybeldon and Kylin Munoz.
Down 18-14 later in the third set, the Redhawks scored four unanswered points thanks to two kills by Jaeckel as well as a kill and a service ace by Dill. Back-to-back service aces by Kelcey Dunaway gave the Huskies a 21-18 advantage, but kills from Jaeckel and Miastkowska allowed Seattle U to score 20 points in a set against Washington for the first time since the teams started playing each other again in 2008. The Huskies would close out the set and the match on a kill by Munoz, her eighth of the contest to tie Vansant for the team lead.
Seattle U earned more digs than Washington (28-25) and was also able to take advantage of 11 service errors by the Huskies. However, Washington made only eight attack errors while collecting 36 kills, while the Redhawks made 17 attack errors to offset 24 kills.
Seattle University (4-4) opens the home portion of the schedule Saturday, Sept. 8, against Long Beach State at the Connolly Center starting at 7 p.m. That contest begins a four-match homestand for the Redhawks, including the first two Western Athletic Conference matches of the season against New Mexico State (Sept. 13) and against Denver (Sept. 15).
All fans who like Seattle U Athletics on Facebook will be eligible to win two tickets to one of three events of their choosing: the Sept. 13 volleyball match, the Sept. 15 volleyball contest, or the Sept. 16 men's soccer match against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara at Championship Field.