Huskies Take Detour But Big Weekend Remains
Aug. 29, 2012
Washington heads to the Tiger Classic this weekend, hosted by the Owls of Rice, in a last minute detour prompted by Tropical Storm Isaac. The Huskies (3-0) were set to visit Baton Rouge, La. but storm concerns led school officials to settle on an alternative venue. So the 12th-ranked UW, seventh-ranked Purdue, LSU, and Rice will instead be in Houston at Rice’s Fox Gym.
The Fox Gym has very limited seating as Rice’s main arena is being resurfaced. Rice last played in Fox in 2008. So the fans that do pack into the gym will get to see some highly-ranked squads up close and personal. Washington’s first match on Friday comes against a tough Boilermakers squad that advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 a year ago. The last meeting between UW and Purdue was in the 2005 NCAA tournament, when the Huskies swept the Round of 16 match-up on the way to the national title. Washington and LSU have not met since 1995, and this is the first meeting between UW and Rice.
The Huskies opened their season with a trio of sweeps at home to win the Northwest Challenge tournament title for the fifth straight year. Washington knocked off Boise State, Gonzaga, and Portland State in order, hitting .298 as a team for the weekend. Sophomore Krista Vansant was named tournament MVP after she averaged 5.06 points per set with 4.11 kills per set and a .363 attack percentage. Senior Amanda Gil made her long-awaited Husky debut, averaging 1.83 points per set and hitting .435, and senior Kylin Muñoz also was an all-tourney selection with 2.33 kills per set.
Along with Gil, freshmen Katy Beals, Lianna Sybeldon, Cassie Strickland, and redshirt freshman Kim Condie all made their official debuts last weekend. Coach McLaughlin used 13 players total, and freshman Melanie Wade likely would have made it 14 were it not for a sprained ankle. Last year UW used only 12 players all season.