Dawgs Visit Pilots In Nonconference Finale
Sept. 10, 2012
Washington brings its non-conference season to a close tomorrow with a swing down to Portland, stepping into the Chiles Center, home of the Pilots, for a 7 p.m. match. The fifth-ranked Huskies moved to 8-0 with two more home victories at the end of last week, and after Tuesday’s match they will have the weekend off before another Tuesday match, this one to open the Pac-12 schedule at home against Washington State.
But first comes another chance for the Dawgs to handle a road environment. The Pilots are 5-5 on the year but are 3-0 so far at home, all three wins coming in five sets. Portland has faced one Pac-12 team this season, falling to Utah, 0-3, at a neutral site.
A win on Tuesday would have the Huskies finish up the preseason with a perfect 9-0 record, and it would mark the fourth straight year that the Dawgs went undefeated through their non-conference schedule. The last time UW lost prior to the conference schedule was in 2008, when Washington was 9-1, suffering a 3-2 loss at Hawaii on Sept. 13.
The Huskies have moved to the top of the Pac-12 stat rankings with a .328 hitting percentage, as UW has hit over .300 in six of its past seven matches, including hitting over .360 in its last three matches.
In this week’s newest AVCA Top-25, Washington moved into the top-five for the first time this season, coming in at No. 5. The Huskies began the season ranked 14th, moved up to 12th, then seventh, and now fifth, as UW is one of six undefeated teams remaining in the top-25. Nebraska holds down the top spot, followed by Pac-12 rivals UCLA and USC at second and third, then Penn State at No. 4. Stanford and Oregon are ranked seventh and ninth, respectively, giving the Pac-12 half the teams in the top-10.