Oct. 25, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28
#10 Washington hosts Arizona State 7 p.m.
Alaska Airlines Arena
Live Broadcast on UWTV, Channel 27
Live Chat and Video on GoHuskies.com
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30
#10 Washington hosts Arizona 12 p.m.
Alaska Airlines Arena
Live Chat and Video on GoHuskies.com
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
The Husky volleyball team returns to Alaska Airlines Arena this week looking to get on a run with just ten matches remaining in the regular season. Washington (16-4, 8-4 Pac-12) hosts Arizona State this Friday night at 7 p.m. in a match televised live on UWTV. That's followed by the only Sunday home match of the season, as UW hosts Arizona at 12 noon.
The 10th-ranked Huskies are currently fifth in the Pac-12 and with the top four teams going head-to-head this week, they can close the gap with a big weekend at home. Washington picked up road wins over the Sun Devils and Wildcats back in September and is looking to complete a season series sweep.
Last week the Huskies had a 3-0 road win at Oregon State and set a school record for a three set match with 17.5 blocks. Washington continues to lead the NCAA in blocks per set by a sizeable margin with 3.46 per set. But despite a big block advantage again the next night, 18th-ranked Oregon upset the Huskies in straight sets, as UW missed five set points in the second frame. Washington will look to pick up its offensive efficiency as the Pac-12 season begins to head for home.
UWTV will televise Friday night's match against the Sun Devils live (channel 27 in the Seattle area). Sunday's match will not be televised, but will be streamed live on GoHuskies.com. 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
The Huskies split their road trip to Oregon, sweeping Oregon State last Friday but then getting swept by 18th-ranked Oregon despite a myriad of chances. Against the Beavers, the Huskies took the first two sets, 25-14, and 25-21, before OSU took a 12-2 third set lead. But the Huskies responded with a 20-4 run to finish the match, 25-18. Washington's block was working at a record pace, as UW posted 17.5 blocks in just three sets, a school record for a three set match. Seven Huskies had at least three blocks, with Lauren Barfield posting nine block assists and Kylin Muñoz had a career-high seven blocks. The Huskies outhit the Beavers, .237 to .062. Krista Vansant had a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. The next night in Eugene, the Dawgs had early chances but fell in a 2-0 hole. In the first set, the teams were even at 23-all before Oregon held on for a 27-25 win. The second set was more frustration, as UW had a 22-16 lead and earned five set points but the Ducks managed to rally for a 30-28 set win, the longest of the season for UW. Oregon pulled away for a 25-18 win in the final frame. The Huskies hit .221 but Oregon was up at .283. Vansant and Muñoz each had 11 kills. UW had just one ace while Oregon had four, the first time all year that Washington had fewer aces than its opponent.
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 SUN DEVILS
The Sun Devils have had a tough go in conference play this year, with just one win coming at Colorado. They are 5-16 overall for the season, but ASU did win the first set against No. 5 Stanford in its most recent match, and has taken sets from Cal, USC, and Oregon earlier this year. Sophomore Ashley Kastl leads the team with 3.58 kills per set, ranking ninth in the Pac-120. She is at 3.85 in conference matches. Junior Erica Wilson is hitting .327 in conference play. Sophomore libero Stephanie Preach ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 4.87 digs per set. The Sun Devils have been outhit, .225 to .164 this season. They rank seventh in the league in both blocks (2.21) and digs (15.01) per set. In the first meeting between the Huskies and Devils, UW held ASU to .000 offensively, posting 14 blocks, with Lauren Barfield having two solo stuffs and seven block assists. Kylin Muñoz had seven kills, hitting .500. Kastl had 14 kills for ASU but no other player had more than four. UW has won 18 matches in a row against Arizona State dating back to 2002.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Arizona is 13-8 overall for the season and 5-7 in conference play with a match at WSU on tap first. The Wildcats lost to Stanford and California in Tucson this past weekend, but both matches were close despite UA winning just one set against Stanford. Five of Arizona's six set losses were by three points or less. Arizona also had one of its biggest wins in recent years when it upset No. 2 UCLA on Oct. 8 in five sets. In the first match in Tucson, UW hit a strong .288 in a 27-25, 25-18, 25-10 victory. Krista Vansant was excellent with 13 kills, hitting .500, and 11 digs. Arizona got 13 kills from Madison Kingdon but hit just .139. Overall, Arizona is sixth in the conference with a .230 attack percentage, but ninth in opponent percentage with teams hitting .211 against them. Senior Cursty Jackson is seventh in the league with a .328 attack mark, and Kingdon is eighth with 3.63 kills/set. Courtney Karst, however, led Arizona in kills against both Stanford and Cal, posting 24 for the weekend. Washington has won eight in a row against the Wildcats in Seattle, and leads the series now, 29-25.
HUSKIES IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
A split on the Oregon road trip cost the Huskies a few spots in the American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings this week, as they come in at No. 10 this week, down from No. 7. The Huskies have been ranked as high as No. 2 this year after a 15-1 start to the year. That was UW's highest ranking 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. Nebraska jumped from fourth to first in the rankings after upsetting No. 1-ranked Illinois last week. The Pac-12 continues to dominate the top-10, as California is ranked second, followed by USC at No. 4, Stanford at No. 5, and UCLA at No. 6, making for five Pac-12 teams in the top-10. Oregon is also 16th this week and Arizona is 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. In the NCAA's official RPI rankings, the Huskies come in at No. 32 this week. 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 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 427 blocks. Her 404 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 1.15 career blocks per set, Barfield currently is tied for sixth in school history, while Rowland has upped her career average to 1.09 which is eighth.
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, and by a fairly wide margin this ewek. The Dawgs have pushed their blocks average to 3.46, which would be their highest as a team since 1997. Bianca Rowland (1.57) now leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth nationally, and Lauren Barfield (1.50) is third in the conference and ninth 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 15th nationally with 1.69 aces per set. They've only been out-aced once by an opponent. Washington has done the service work collectively, as six Huskies already have double digit ace totals. Jenna Orlandini leads the way with 19 aces and Krista Vansant is right behind with 18. The Huskies fell out of the top-10 nationally in hitting percentage last week, now ranking 26th at .257. Their .133 opponent hitting percentage is second in the Pac-12. Washington in 12-0 when hitting above .250 and also has a 14-0 mark when holding its opponent under .200.
The Huskies have another tough road trip upcoming, as they head to Los Angeles. First up is sixth-ranked UCLA on Friday, November 4. Then the following night, the Huskies visit Pac-12 leader USC, currently ranked fourth nationally. Both match times are set for 7 p.m.