After dropping a tight fourth set, the Huskies responded by jumping out to a big lead and holding off Stanford in the deciding fifth set, winning 14-25, 25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 15-12 in a crucial Pac-12 showdown.
The Dawgs laid an egg in the opening set, starting slowly and never challenging Stanford as the Cardinal cruised.
The Dawgs once again started slowly in the second half. Trailing 17-13, the Huskies won nine of ten points, fueled by a strong Krista Vansant serve, grabbing the second set and leveling the match at a set apiece.
The Dawgs didn’t let up in the third set, grabbing control right from the beginning and never looking back. The Huskies hit .400 in the third set, adding five aces while committing just four errors.
But the Cardinal bounced back, winning a tight fourth set and pushing the Huskies to a deciding fifth set.
Washington started strong in the first-to-15 fifth set, grabbing an 8-2 advantage. The Cardinal slowly clawed their way back in to the set, eventually trailing just 13-12. But Vansant took over from there, recording the final two kills as the Huskies picked up a huge Pac-12 win to remain unbeaten at home.
“We played uncharacteristically,” Huskies head coach Jim McLaughlin said, referring to the Huskies slow start in the opening set. “We got good, talented people, got a good system in place, and once we settled down and just hit the shots in our toolbox, we were good.”
“We won some critical points, we made some plays, and I think we made a few more plays then Stanford did, and that’s why we won.”
The Huskies moved to 15-1 and 7-1 in the Pac-12. Washington hits the road next week, playing at UCLA on Friday night.