Seventh-ranked Huskies win 25-21, 25-20, 25-23, improve to 8-0
Too many weapons.
The Washington volleyball team benefited from quality play throughout its lineup Friday night to earn its eighth straight sweep with a 3-0 win over Long Beach State in front of 1,588 at Alaska Airlines Arena.
A breakout performance by freshman middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon helped the No. 7 Huskies (8-0) pull out a tight match against LBSU (2-5), helping UW win 25-21, 25-20, 25-23.
In her third start this season, the 6-foot-1 Sybeldon recorded 10 kills on 17 swings with just one error (a glittering .529 hitting percentage) and played with a savvy that belied her first-year status.
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“She’s got that feel for the game,” UW coach Jim McLaughlin said. “It’s only going to get better.”
Associate head coach Leslie (Tuiasosopo) Gabriel campaigned to have Sybeldon start after senior middle Kelcey Dunaway struggled Thursday night against Seattle U.
“Tui came into my office earlier today and said, ‘Hey, this kid’s a stud. She’s got all these values. Let’s go with her tonight.’ So Tui kind of talked me into playing her.”
Sybeldon confessed surprise that she is getting so much playing time early in her UW career.
“I did not, no,” Sybeldon said when asked if she anticipated seeing as much court time as she has. “I’m still not really sure how it all happened, but I’m content with it.”
McLaughlin is similarly content with Sybeldon’s output: “Hitting with just one error as a rookie, getting 17 swings? We need that. She’s only going to get better and better.”
Sophomore Krista Vansant led the Huskies with 12 kills on 27 attacks (plus three errors; .333) and senior Kylin Munoz hit .500 or better for the second straight night without recording an error. After finishing with an 8-0-14 line (.571) against Seattle U., Munoz had nine kills on 18 swings against Long Beach, again without an error.
Senior middle Amanda Gil posted eight block assists, many in the first set to help UW pull away from an 18-18 tie.
Junior Gabbi Parker opened the second set with a pair of errors, then bounced back with five straight kills.
“I believe in her,”McLaughlin said. “I believe she can come back like she did.”
The Huskies fell behind 7-1 in the third set, but Vansant and Munoz each recorded four kills, libero Jenna Orlandini produced six digs and Sybeldon skillfully mixed tips and attacks to keep LBSU off balance.