Sept. 20, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
#4 Washington visits Arizona 7 p.m.
Tucson, Ariz. McKale Center
Live Webcast for subscription fee
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
#4 Washington visits Arizona State 1 p.m.
Tempe, Ariz. Wells Fargo Arena
Live Webcast on www.thesundevils.com
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
The first weekend of Pac-12 play brought some dramatic highs and lows, but twenty conference matches still remain, and the fourth-ranked Huskies head out for their first road challenge this week, paying a visit to the Arizona schools. Every road victory in the Pac-12 is a valuable commodity, and Washington (9-1, 1-1 Pac-12) gets a chance on Friday in Tucson against Arizona, and then again on Sunday afternoon in Tempe against Arizona State. First serve against the Wildcats is at 7 p.m. and the matinee against the Sun Devils begins at 1 p.m. Pacific.
Last week UW opened conference play against the L.A. schools and struggled in the first match against 13th-ranked USC, losing in straight sets. But the Huskies learned quickly and adjusted, coming back the next night for a straight set victory over 6th-ranked UCLA. Despite one loss, Washington did not drop in the AVCA Top-25 this week.
Arizona will have a video stream available for a subscription fee, while Arizona State offers a free live stream on Sunday. Links will be available on the respective school's websites. Gametracker will be available for both matches, and GoHuskies.com will offer a live chat for each match as well.
UWTV TAKES THE HUSKIES LIVE
Washington will have a record 10 television appearances this season, including eight live broadcasts on UWTV during the Pac-12 season. Fans in the Seattle area can watch UWTV on channel 27 carried by Comcast. The new partnership will be the first chance fans will have to watch regular season matches on live television. UWTV broadcasts began with the Pac-12 opener against USC, and include home matches against UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Arizona State, California, and Washington State. The home match against Stanford will be aired by ROOT Sports on a tape delayed basis, as will Washington's road match at California. In addition, every Husky home match, even those not televised, will be available to stream for free on GoHuskies.com.
LAST TIME OUT
The Pac-12 era officially began last week as USC and UCLA visited Alaska Airlines Arena last Friday and Saturday nights. In the opener against the 13th-ranked Trojans, the Huskies struggled mightily on serve, committing 10 service errors, and were held to .128 on offense as USC earned a 25-20, 28-26, 25-20 win. The Huskies had a set point in the second but couldn't capitalize. Jenna Orlandini had 19 digs and UW held All-American outside Alex Jupiter to .097 on offense but couldn't find their own rhythm. Lauren Barfield was effective with seven kills and one error on 15 swings for a .400 percentage. One night later, against the No. 6 Bruins, Washington reversed course on offense and at the service line. The Huskies hit .340 and dialed up eight aces with just one service error to score a huge 26-24, 25-12, 25-20 victory that put them at 1-1 in conference play rather than an 0-2 hole. Washington got a huge night from Bianca Rowland, who had 12 kills while hitting .647. Kylin Muñoz had 13 kills, a career-best in conference play, and hit .429 and Evan Sanders passed out 41 assists and added four block assists. Krista Vansant also had 10 kills for the second straight night and added three aces.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Arizona is off to a 9-2 start to the season and a 1-1 record in conference play. They have been receiving votes all season in the AVCA poll but remain outside the Top-25. The Wildcats started Pac-12 play with a 3-1 win at Oregon State, but lost the next time to 16th-ranked Oregon in straight sets. Arizona is 4-0 on its home court thus far. Their other setback was a 3-0 loss at Hawai'i. Strong play from several freshmen has helped UA so far, with outside hitter Madison Kingdon leading the team with 3.82 kills per set and setter Chloe Mathis earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors last week as she had 57 assists and 11 digs in the win at OSU. Senior Cursty Jackson ranks eighth in the league with a .377 hitting percentage and eighth in blocks at 1.17 per set. As a team, Arizona is sixth in the Pac-12 in hitting at .241, and are holding opponents to just .174 on offense. They've been a tough serving team with 1.37 aces/set, ranking third. The teams split two meetings last year, each winning on its home court. Arizona upset UW, 3-1, in Tucson, ending what had been a 13-match win streak for the Huskies in the series dating back to 2003. UW leads the all-time series, 28-25. Dave Rubio is now in his 20th season leading U of A.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
The Sun Devils are 4-7 and 0-2 in Pac-12 play after dropping a 3-2 decision at Oregon State last Friday and a 3-1 match on Sunday to the 16th-ranked Ducks, just missing out on a fifth set when UO pulled out a 25-23 fourth set win. ASU also had tough non-conference matches against Iowa State and San Diego, both ranked 19th at the time, and both ending in 3-0 losses. The Sun Devils are being outhit on the year, .175 to .213 for the opposition. ASU's best stat ranking in the league is at net, where they average 2.36 blocks per set, sixth in Pac-12 play. Sophomore Ashley Kastl is 10th in the Pac-12 with 3.33 kills per set. Sophomore Sarah McGaffin is sixth in the league with 10.20 assists per set, and sophomore libero Stephanie Preach is also sixth with 4.21 digs per set. Washington has won 17 consecutive matches against the Sun Devils, including a 3-0 win in Tempe, taking a 36-18 lead in the all-time series. Head Coach Jason Watson is in his third year at ASU.
Washington starts off a four-match homestand hosting the Oregon schools next weekend. 15th-ranked Oregon is in town on Friday, Sept. 30, followed by Oregon State on Satuday, Oct. 1. Both matches start at 7 p.m. The next week will bring in Utah and Colorado for the first time as conference members.
HUSKIES IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Despite suffering their first loss of the year last week, the Huskies stayed put at No. 4 in the newest AVCA poll for the second week in a row. It is the highest ranking for the Huskies since the second-to-last rankings period in the 2009 season. The Dawgs began the season ranked seventh nationally in both the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Volleyball Magazine polls. That was down one spot from where UW finished the 2010 season. In the AVCA poll, California maintains its No. 1 ranking, strengthening its hold on the top spot after defeating Stanford last week. Like the Huskies, Stanford stayed at No. 2 despite the loss. Ilinois remains in the third spot, followed by Washington and Penn State at No. 5. Florida jumped UCLA for sixth, with the Bruins dropping to seventh. USC moved up a spot to 12th and Oregon is 15th this week, giving the Pac-12 five teams in the top-15.
The Dawgs are a young squad but there are a few numbers to keep an eye on early in the season. The first milestone came from Coach McLaughlin, as he reached the 250 wins mark at Washington with the victory at Gonzaga on Sept. 3. McLaughlin is already the winningest coach in program history, raising the bar with each subsequent win. This season, senior Bianca Rowland will be chasing the UW career hitting percentage mark, which Jessica Swarbrick currently holds at .406. Rowland is at .401 through three years but she has hit .456 and .409 the past two seasons. Rowland is also making her way up the charts in career blocks, as she just passed Sanja Tomasevic for seventh in block assists with 352, and her 370 total blocks are now eighth on the career list. At 1.06 career blocks per set, senior Lauren Barfield currently ranks in a tie for eighth in school history.
UW WINS IN AND OUT OF CONFERENCE
With a 8-0 start to the season, the Huskies ran their record against non-conference foes to 109-6 since the beginning of the 2003 season. That adds up to a .948 winning percentage out of the Pac-12. Five of the six losses have been five-set nailbiters as well. Though its not as if UW has been shabby in league play either. Starting in 2004 when the Huskies won their first Pac-10 title, they have gone a combined 102-26 (.800) in conference matches and finished first or second six out of seven years.
A look at the current stats finds the Huskies near the top of the NCAA in a number of categories. UW is currently tops in the nation in service aces per set with 2.10. Washington has done the service work collectively, as six Huskies already have seven or more aces. The Huskies rank among the leaders in attack percentage, hitting .308 to rank fourth, and their .123 opponent hitting percentage is second in the Pac-12. The Dawgs are third in the Pac-12 and ninth in the NCAA in blocks per set at 2.95, with Bianca Rowland and Lauren Barfield ranking fifth and sixth in the conference. Washington in 7-0 when hitting above .300 and has the same record when holding its opponent under .200.