SALT LAKE CITY – Junior Kaleigh Nelson provided a big lift for the Husky offense, and the Washington volleyball team shook off its first loss of the season to knock off Utah in three hard-fought sets at the Huntsman Center.
Traveling from Colorado to Utah early Saturday morning, the road-weary Huskies fought for a 25-23, 25-15, 30-28 victory, led by Nelson’s 13 kills.
The No. 1-ranked Huskies are likely to lose their top billing after falling in four sets Friday night at Colorado. But the Huskies made the adjustments necessary to earn another key road win, improving to 11-1 on the year and 3-1 in Pac-12 play.
“I think we played well in spurts,” said UW coach Jim McLaughlin. “Game two was a complete game, start to finish. We had a rough start in game three, just missed easy plays, and that’s a concern. So I told the team it’s a good win, any win is good in the Pac-12, especially on the road and after last night.”
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The Huskies won despite being outhit in the first and third sets, but overall for the match the Dawgs led in attack percentage, .255 to .174.
Washington had 44 kills to 41 for Utah, and six service aces compared to two for the Utes. Nelson hit .385 for the night, and over the last two sets she had 10 kills and no errors on 15 swings for a .667 mark.
Krista Vansant added 10 kills and sophomore Melanie Wade had five kills on 10 swings without a miss. Sophomore Cassie Strickland had a team-best 14 digs.
Madi Cavell had 12 kills, and Nikki Lowell added nine while hitting a season-high .615 to help Seattle Pacific sweep Montana State-Billings in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference match.
• Emily Boerger had 10 kills and a match-high six block assists as No. 9 Western Washington swept visiting Central Washington in a GNAC match.
Washington opened up the Fall Classic at Husky Softball Stadium with a 4-1 win over Seattle University as Bryana Walker held the Redhawks to just four hits. In their second game of the day, the Huskies scored 14 runs in the first inning on their way to a 19-2 rout of the Wenatchee Valley Community College Knights.
Bryson Pavel headed in the equalizer 50 seconds into the second half as Seattle Pacific tied Western Washington 1-1 in a GNAC game at Interbay Stadium in Seattle.
• Miguel Gonzalez scored twice to lead Seattle U to a 4-0 victory at San Jose State in both teams’ Western Athletic Conference opener.
annah Huesers opened the scoring and assisted on the final goal as 23rd-ranked Seattle Pacific rebounded from its first GNAC setback with a 3-0 victory over Simon Fraser at Terry Fox Field.
The Falcons (8-2) improved to 5-1 in league play
• Forward Kristin Maris scored a pair of late goals, lifting No. 2 Western Washington to a 2-0 victory over visiting Central Washington in a GNAC game. The Vikings improved to 9-0.
• Washington State’s Maria Biryukova won the singles title at the WSU Invitational in Pullman, defeating teammate Elizaveta Luzina 2-6, 6-2 (10-6).
In No. 1 doubles, Seattle U’s Sarah Lucas, competing alongside Washington State’s Dajana Ognjenovic, defeated fellow Redhawks Kristen James and Anna Lambert, 8-6.
Kristen Hansen moved up four spots to tie for ninth as Western Washington placed third among eight teams at the Saint Martin’s Invitational at the Olympia Country and Golf Club.
The Vikings shot 319, seven strokes better than Friday’s first round, to finish with a 36-hole total of 645.
The Husky women’s team won Oregon’s Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, while Aaron Nelson earned his first individual victory for the Huskies in the men’s competition.
Amy-Eloise Neale, a Glacier Peak High School grad, finished third in her UW debut, with a time of 16:48 on the 5,000-meter course. Katie Flood was fifth in 16:54.
The men tied with Portland for third place behind second-place Boise State and Oregon.
From sports-information reports.