Despite being outplayed in many areas, the third-ranked Huskies dug deep and gutted out a 3-1 win over the Utah Utes on Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Dawgs were in a dogfight for most of the night before finally putting away the Utes 25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 25-22.
“They outhit us, they outblocked, they outdug us,” Huskies coach Jim McLaughlin said. “But we won, we got the big stat that counts.”
After breezing through the opening set, the Utes and their quick sets got the best of the Dawgs in set two and had the Huskies on the ropes in the third set. But some timely serving and good defense helped the Huskies grab the third set and the Dawgs slowly took control in the fourth set to win the match.
“We won a tough dogfight,” McLaughlin said. “Sometimes it doesn’t come easy, but you got to get it.”
Krista Vansant had a match-high 22 kills, while Kaleigh Nelson added 20 kills on just 42 attempts. The Huskies were outhit .270-.246, but hit pay dirt at the service line, recording seven aces to six service errors while the Utes committed 11 service errors.
“Everybody served great,” McLaughlin added. “When we serve tough, and it is part of our identity, we can make some things happen.”
The Huskies improved to 18-1 and 10-1 in Pac-12 play. The Dawgs host Colorado on Sunday afternoon.