WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20
#3 Washington at #5 Stanford • 7:30 p.m.
Palo Alto, Calif. • Maples Pavilion
Live on the Pac-12 Network
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22
#3 Washington at #23 California • 6:00 p.m.
Berkeley, Calif. • Haas Pavilion
Live on the Pac-12 Network
SEATTLE - Just two weeks remain in the regular season and the race for the Pac-12 title and postseason positioning is in the homestretch. Third-ranked Washington remains atop the Pac-12 standings with a 15-1 mark, but two more Top-25 teams await the Dawgs this week in the Bay Area. First up, on Wednesday, it’s first against second in the standings, as the Huskies visit No. 5 Stanford which is two games behind UW at 13-3 with four matches remaining. From there the Huskies travel to Berkeley on Friday to take on 23rd-ranked California, in fourth-place alone in the league with a 10-6 mark. The Stanford match begins at 7:30 p.m. and Friday’s match at Cal starts at 6 p.m. Both will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network, with an official Husky viewing party for Wednesday held at The Ram in University Village.
The Huskies (23-1, 15-1) remain third in the AVCA coaches poll this week, behind Texas and Penn State, and receiving five of the sixty first-place votes. Washington has won 13 matches in a row, and a 14th win on Wednesday would secure at least a share of the conference title for the Huskies.
Last week UW earned two more big wins, stopping UCLA in straight sets and then defeating then-No. 4 USC in four sets at Alaska Airlines Arena to complete season sweeps of both schools. It is only the second time in school history, and first since 2008, that the Huskies went 4-0 against the Los Angeles schools. Junior outside hitter Krista Vansant was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week this week, the fourth time this season she has earned a Pac-12 weekly honor, three for offense and one for defense.
In the previous meetings this season between the Huskies and Bay Area schools, UW posted a 3-0 win over the Bears and won a five-set classic against the Cardinal. Serving played a big role in the matches, as UW had 15 aces combined while Cal had no aces and Stanford just one against the Huskies. Vansant had 23 kills and 20 digs against Stanford, the first 20-20 match for UW since 2009.
Stanford has the best differential between its own attack percentage and its opponents, as the Cardinal lead the Pac-12 with a .308 mark and are holding opponents to a .168 percentage, second-best in the league. Stanford’s middles, Carly Wopat and Inky Ajanaku, rank first and third in both attack percentage and blocks per set. Wopat is hitting .460 for the year and Ajanaku is hitting .431, and as a team Stanford’s 3.05 blocks per set lead the Pac-12. California’s Adrienne Gehan is second in the Pac-12 in points per set, averaging 4.85, but Christina Higgins is also a tough matchup for any team as she hit .371 with 15 kills the first time UW faced Cal. Joan Caloiaro leads the Pac-12 with 11.76 assists per set.