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No. 3 Washington cruises into second round with sweep of Alabama State

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The third-seeded Washington Huskies advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a sweep of Alabama State on Friday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.

In front of a paying audience of 2,730 people, Alabama State was no match for the Huskies athleticism and depth. The Huskies hit .372 for the match, recording 42 kills to 10 errors in the 25-11, 25-5, 25-16 win.

Cassie Strickland and Krista Vansant both recorded a match-high 10 kills for the Dawgs.

The first round match in Seattle was the furthest trip of the season for the Lady Hornets, who used it as a learning experience. Each member of the team wore Seatown Strideline socks during the match to help commemorate the trip.

“I think it was a great experience for my very, very young team,” Alabama State coach Penny Lucas-White said. “It is the start of a great tradition at Alabama State. We couldn’t have played against a better team. To me, you play against the best if you expect to be the best. I am very, very proud of my young ladies.”

Luiza Griz, the only senior on Alabama State, led the Lady Hornets with six digs.

“She (Griz) means everything to the team,” sophomore Myla Marshall said. “She is the communication, the backbone.”

The Huskies lead throughout, comfortably advancing to the second round where they will face LSU. The Tigers came back from a 2-0 deficit to knock off Michigan in the opening round.

“For our team, when we get it going, it’s a good deal,” Huskies coach Jim McLaughlin said. “Game two, end of game one, we were just in a nice rhythm.”

The Pac-12 performed well in the opening round, winning eight of nine matches. The lone defeat was courtesy of BYU, who knocked off Arizona State in five games.

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