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NCAA Volleyball Tournament: San Diego eliminates Washington State; Washington advances

From staff reports

Washington State was unable to seize control of its volleyball match against San Diego and was eliminated in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Honolulu.

The Toreros’ Grace Frohling had 17 kills, and San Diego ended the Cougars’ season with a 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14 victory at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The teams were tied at 17 in the second set, but Hannah Pukis and Pia Timmer each recorded kills to help the Cougars surge ahead 21-18. Rozie Wilbin’s ace on set point pulled WSU (23-10) even at one set apiece.

The Cougars failed to maintain that momentum, however. San Diego reeled off eight straight points to break an 11-all tie in the third set, and the final set was punctuated by a 10-2 spurt by the Toreros (25-5) that led to a 12-6 advantage they would not relinquish.

Magda Jehlarova and Alexcis Lusby each posted eight kills for WSU. Pukis had 31 assists and 10 digs.

Katie Lukes added 14 kills for San Diego, and Anna Newsome had 56 assists and 15 digs.

San Diego advanced to Saturday’s second round to face the winner of the Hawaii-Northern Colorado match played late Friday.

Washington 3, Winthrop 0: The Huskies withstood the Eagles’ best punch in the opening set and went on to romp to a 25-23, 25-10, 25-10 opening-round sweep at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.

The Eagles led 23-22 in the first set, but UW’s Samantha Drechsel tied the score at 23 with a kill. Hannah Lackey added an ace, and Lauren Sanders ended the set with a kill for the Huskies (25-6).

Winthrop (24-5) provided little resistance thereafter as UW jumped ahead 11-2 in the second set. The Huskies scored seven of the first eight points in the third set.

UW’s Kara Bajema led all players with 18 kills on only 27 attacks, and she also had 10 digs. Setter Ella May Powell added 34 assists and 10 digs.

Nikkia Benitez paced the Eagles with six kills.

UW hosts South Carolina, which defeated Colorado State in five sets, on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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