Big Week As Huskies Host No. 2 Stanford And Cal
Oct. 17, 2012
SEATTLE - Washington volleyball brings a third consecutive top-five showdown to Alaska Airlines Arena this week, as the fifth-ranked Huskies return home to battle No. 2 Stanford, the current Pac-12 leader, on Friday at 6 p.m. The Dawgs then will host the Cal Bears on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks.
The last time the Huskies were at home, they were ranked fifth and knocked off a pair of top-five opponents in UCLA and USC. After a 3-1 road trip, the only loss at No. 5 Oregon, the Huskies are ranked fifth again with another top-five Pac-12 squad coming to town. Washington (16-1, 7-1 Pac-12) will look to bounce back in a big way after its first defeat last Saturday, and can tie Stanford (16-2, 8-0 Pac-12) for the conference lead with a win Friday night. The Cardinal are the last unbeaten team in conference play and has won 14 straight matches overall. Several talented freshmen have helped Stanford to the Pac-12 lead, and the Cardinal are playing the toughest defense, limiting opponents to a .163 attack percentage.
The match against California (9-9, 3-5 Pac-12) is no less significant, as the Bears have the longest win streak over UW of any conference foe, having won six straight and kept the Huskies from the Final Four in 2010. The Bears have dealt with several injuries this year but are one of just two teams to defeat ninth-ranked Hawaii this season, and a trio of senior middle blockers-- Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson, and Kat Brown--gives Cal a great presence at net.
The Dawgs slipped a couple spots from No. 2 after suffering a hard-fought 3-1 loss at No. 5 Oregon last Saturday. Despite the loss, Washington continued its dominant blocking, led by senior Amanda Gil, who set a new career-high with 14 blocks vs. Oregon. That total was the most by one player in the Pac-12 this year, and a new Washington school record for block assists. Gil is now up to No. 5 in the NCAA with 1.63 blocks per set and the Huskies are leading the NCAA with an average of 3.33 "roofs" every set.
Friday's match the Huskies will be thinking pink for Breast Cancer Awareness night. It is also a special Dads and Daughters event with a post-match Q&A on court. Sunday also has a special theme as it is the Husky Spooktacular. All youths 8th grade and under wearing a Halloween costume will get in for FREE. Following the match there will be fun Halloween activities and give-a-ways in the arena before the Husky basketball coaches introduce the Men's and Women's Basketball teams. The event will conclude with a player autograph session for the fans in attendance.