Oct. 18, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
#7 Washington at Oregon State 7 p.m.
Corvallis, Ore. Gill Coliseum
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
Free live video from Oregon State
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
#7 Washington at #18 Oregon 7 p.m.
Eugene, Ore. Matt Knight Arena
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
Video from Oregon for subscription fee
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
The seventh-ranked Huskies embark for Oregon this week looking to spark a new winning streak. This week marks the start of the second go-round in conference play as the double round robin marches on. Washington will aim to sweep the season series from the Beavers and Ducks this week after taking the first meetings in Seattle. First up is Oregon State on Friday, October 21, at 7 p.m. Washington then heads to Eugene to take on the 18th-ranked Ducks on Saturday night, also at 7 p.m.
Washington dropped a pair of matches to Cal and Stanford last week to now sit fifth in the Pac-12 with a 7-3 record, and 15-3 overall. That dropped UW from a season-best No. 2 ranking down to No. 7. Head Coach Jim McLaughlin employed a 6-2 system for the first time last week with setters Evan Sanders and Jenni Nogueras sharing time, and that also meant more playing time for sophomore Gabbi Parker and junior Kelcey Dunaway. Key for the Dawgs will be to get the offense clicking again, as they are 12-0 when hitting over .250 as a team, but have hit under .200 in the last three matches. Working in UW's favor is its play at net, as the Huskies now lead the NCAA with 3.30 blocks per set.
Oregon State will provide a free live video feed on Friday night. Oregon will have video as well but a monthly subscription fee is required. Live stats 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
Washington traveled to the Bay Area to face fourth-ranked California and seventh-ranked Stanfored last weekend. The Huskies were unable to muster a win, snapping a seven-match win streak. Against the Bears, the teams split the first two sets, with UW grabbing the second set, 25-22. But after a third set loss, UW couldn't quite extend to a fifth, as Cal pulled out a 27-25 fourth set victory. Summer Ross led UW in kills for the first time this season with 14, hitting .333, and adding 14 digs for her first double-double. Bianca Rowland also hit .400 with 11 kills, but as a team UW hit just .157. Cal had 94 digs to 71 for UW. Not much went right for the Dawgs the next night at Stanford, as the Cardinal posted a 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 win. UW had fought back from 18-13 down to tie the third set at 23-all, but Stanford took the final two points. Hitting just .108, the Huskies had their least efficient offensive night since 2008. Nine service errors also cost the Huskies. Gabbi Parker got her first start and contributed three kills on seven swings. All weekend UW used a two setter rotation, with Evan Sanders and Jenni Nogueras sharing time for the first time this year.
QUICK STARTS STANDARD PRACTICE
The Huskies went 14-1 through their first fifteen matches this season, and currently sit 15-1 overall. Under Head Coach Jim McLaughlin, such a start is nothing new. In fact, on four occasions McLaughlin had the Huskies unbeaten through 15 matches (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009) and this is the second time they've gone 14-1, having done the same last season.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Oregon State lost two matches in straigth sets last week at sixth-ranked UCLA and third-ranked USC to drop to 3-7 in conference play. Camille Saxton had 22 kills over the weekend and ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with 3.63 kills/set. Saxton also has 24 aces, ranking fourth with a 0.32 aces/set average. Freshman Arica Nassar is averaging 1.05 blocks per set to rank ninth in the conference, and Becky Defoe is fifth with 4.41 digs per set. For the year, the Beavers have been slightly outhit, .189 to .179, on average. In the first meeting between the teams this year, Washington won in three sets, though OSU had set points in the third before the Huskies won, 27-25. UW hit just .191, but held Oregon State to .071, helped by 12 team blocks. Saxton had 14 kills in that match, hitting .175, and Lauren Barfield had a big night for UW with seven kills, hitting .538, and Jenna Orlandini had a season-high 26 digs. The Huskies have won 19 matches in a row against Oregon State.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Oregon has lost four straight matches but remains a significant challenge as all four losses have come against Top-10 opponents. Oregon is now 5-5 in Pac-12 play and 12-6 overall. The Ducks played well in Los Angeles last week, but lost to USC and UCLA in four sets each night. Oregon had a big week from middle blocker Ariana Williams, who had 15 kills and hit .414 against USC, and then added 11 more kills vs. UCLA. Oregon ranks second to last in the conference in blocks with 1.87 per set, but showed a lot of improvement last week, blocking 11 vs. USC and 8 vs. UCLA. The Ducks are second in the Pac-12 with 14.42 kills per set, with junior Alaina Bergsma ranking second overall with 4.61 per set. Sophomore setter Lauren Plum is also second with 11.76 assists per set. The Huskies beat Oreogn in straight sets on Sept. 30, saving a set point in the third to win 25-23, 25-17, 28-26. UW had 14 team blocks and Kylin Muñoz hit .348 with 10 kills as the Huskies outhit Oregon, .273-.189. Washington holds a 57-18 edge in the series.
HUSKIES IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
A pair of defeats last week in the Bay Area caused the Huskies to slip five spots in the American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings, down to seventh from second. The Huskies had been ranked No. 2 overall the previous week for the first time since November of 2006. Prior to this season, the only time the Huskies have been higher was in 2004 and 2005, when they were the top-ranked team in the country at least once each year. Illinois remains No. 1 in the rankings for the fourth week in a row. The Pac-12 continues to dominate the top-10, as California is now ranked second, followed by USC, Nebraska, Stanford at No. 5, UCLA, then Washington, making five Pac-12 teams in the top-seven. Oregon is also 18th this week and Arizona is first among teams also receiving votes. The Dawgs began the season ranked seventh nationally in both the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine polls. That was down one spot from where UW finished the 2010 season. The NCAA also released its official RPI rankings this week, with Washington coming in at No. 33. The RPI measures a team's record, its opponent's record, and the record of the opponent's opponents.
The Dawgs are a young squad but there are a few numbers to keep an eye on early this 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. Senior Bianca Rowland is making her way up the charts in career blocks, as she just passed Lisa Underhill for fifth in UW history with 416 blocks. Her 393 block assists also rank fifth in school history. Rowland also recently passed the 1,000 career points plateau, the eighth Husky to do so since points began being tracked in 2000. Fellow senior Lauren Barfield may not have seen as many sets as Rowland, but her career average continues to climb. At 1.12 career blocks per set, Barfield currently ranks eighth in school history.
A look at the current stats finds the Huskies near the top of the NCAA in a number of categories. UW currently leads the nation in blocks per set, having swapped places with Stanford last week. The Dawgs have pushed their blocks average to 3.30, which would be their highest as a team since 1997. Bianca Rowland (1.55) and Lauren Barfield (1.42) are now second and fourth in the Pac-12, and seventh and 12th nationally, in blocks per set. Both are well ahead of their previous season-best paces, as Rowland's best was 1.13 blocks last year and Barfield averaged 1.09 a year ago. The Huskies also lead the Pac-12 and rank ninth nationally with 1.80 aces per set. Washington has done the service work collectively, as six Huskies already have double digit ace totals. Krista Vansant and Jenna Orlandini are tied for the team lead with 17, and Summer Ross has 16 aces. The Huskies fell out of the top-10 nationally in hitting percentage this week, falling to 22nd at .260. Their .127 opponent hitting percentage is second in the Pac-12. Washington in 12-0 when hitting above .250 and also has a 13-0 mark when holding its opponent under .200.
Washington returns home to close out the month of October. The Huskies host Arizona State on Friday night, the 28th, at 7 p.m., and then has Saturday off before hosting Arizona at 12 noon on Sunday, the 30th. The ASU match will be live on UWTV.