If the first rally of the match was any indication of things to follow, the Washington Huskies were in for a dogfight against California.
The Bears won a marathon opening point, pushing the Huskies in every set before falling 25-23, 25-21, 25-20 to the sixth-ranked Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena on Wednesday night.
The Golden Bears used the early momentum to jump out to a 7-2 advantage in the opening set. The Dawgs battled back, slowly carving into the Bears lead before finishing with a flurry, winning three of the final four points to grab the opening set. The Huskies won the set despite committing six errors and hitting .234.
The second set was just as tightly contested as the first, as the Dawgs were able to use another late run, allowing the Huskies to grab the second set 25-21. The Dawgs picked up their play in the second set, hitting .323 and committing just two errors.
The Dawgs continued their strong play in the third set, hitting .342 with 15 kills to just two errors. The third set featured eight ties and was a seesaw battle until the jump-serve of Cassie Strickland got going late in the set, allowing the Dawgs to run off four straight points to help hold off Cal to complete the sweep.
“Cal is really good,” Huskies head coach Jim McLaughlin said. “They are the best team we have played this far. We just had to do what we do, believe in what we do, and stay consistent.”
Washington improved to 14-1 and 6-1 in Pac-12 play. The Huskies host Stanford on Sunday.