Nov. 1, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4
#10 Washington at #1 UCLA 7 p.m.
Los Angeles John Wooden Center
Free Live Video provided by UCLA
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5
#10 Washington at #4 USC 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Galen Center
Live Video provided by USC for subscription
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
The final month of the regular season begins with the Husky volleyball team headed to Los Angeles to face a pair of top-five teams. The 10th-ranked Huskies (18-4, 10-4 Pac-12) start the trip with a match against the new No. 1-ranked team in the country, UCLA, on Friday at 7 p.m. The Bruins, with a 13-2 Pac-12 record, are now tied for the conference lead with fourth-ranked USC. Washington will visit USC on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center.
Friday will be the first time that Washington has faced the No. 1 team in the AVCA poll since the 2005 NCAA tourney final when UW swept top-ranked Nebraska for the title. UCLA jumped from No. 6 to No. 1 in the polls this week, after beating Cal and Stanford on consecutive nights last week in the Bay Area. However, one of UCLA's two conference losses came agaisnt the Huskies back in Seattle on September 17. The Trojans gave UW its first defeat of the year on Sept. 16 in the Pac-12 opener.
The Huskies are continuing to adapt to a 6-2 formation where setters Evan Sanders and Jenni Nogueras rotate in and out to keep three hitters always in the front row. The system has helped Washington's already impressive blocking numbers skyrocket to an NCAA-leading 3.57 blocks per set.
UCLA will offer a free live video stream on Friday night on its athletics website. USC will have video for a subscription fee. 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 Dawgs completed season series sweeps of the Arizona schools at home last weekend to improve to 10-4 in Pac-12 play. On Friday night, Washington was pushed to the limit by Arizona State, as the teams traded sets into a fifth set, the first of the year for the Huskies. Washington passed its first five set test, 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 22-25, 15-13. Freshman Summer Ross made a bit of history, as she was the first Husky since Sanja Tomasevic in 2003 to have a double-double with blocks and digs, as she had 10 of each. The Husky block was dominant with 21.0, their most since 2008. Bianca Rowland led with a career-high 11 blocks, and hit .455 with 10 kills. Krista Vansant also had a more conventional double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs. After the up and down match on Friday, the Huskies showed greater consistency on Sunday afternoon in a 25-15, 25-21, 25-22 win against Arizona. UW again played tight defense, posting 14.5 blocks and holding UA to .090 on offense. Sophomore Gabbi Parker had her best day as a Husky, leading the team in kills for the first time with a career-best 11 and hitting .476. Sophomore libero Jenna Orlandini's 20 digs helped anchor the defense.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
Since the Huskies swept UCLA in Seattle, the Bruins have gone 11-1 to rise to the No. 1 ranking and tie for the Pac-12 lead with USC at 13-2. UCLA just completed a season sweep of Cal and Stanford for the first time since 2000 and has won six in a row since an upset loss at Arizona. Rachael Kidder and Lainey Gera were named Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week this week for their efforts in the Bay Area. Since conference play began, UCLA is second with a .269 attack percentage, while holding Pac-12 foes to .152 on offense. Overall, Kidder is second in the league and 11th nationally with 4.54 kills per set. Gera, the senior libero, is fourth in the conference with 4.86 digs per set. In the first meeting between the teams in Seattle, Kidder had 16 kills and hit .433, but big nights from Bianca Rowland (12 kills; .647) and Kylin Muñoz (13 kills; .429) carried UW, which hit .340 as a team. UW has won nine of the last 10 over UCLA but lost in five sets in L.A. last year.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS
USC had a 12-match win streak snapped in a 3-0 loss at Stanford last weekend, but bounced right back with a sweep of second-ranked Cal, to remain tied for first in the Pac-12 at 13-2. In conference matches, USC leads the league with a .274 hitting percentage (.280 overall on the year), and leads in kills (15.45/set) and assists (14.30/set). They are second to UW in aces in conference play with 1.17. Senior outside hitter Alex Jupiter ranks fourth in the league with 4.38 kills per set, and is leading the Pac-12 with 34 service aces. Senior middle Lauren Williams is also leading the league in attack percentage at .387, while setter Kendall Bateman is fourth in the NCAA with 11.86 assists per set. Last but not least, Natalie Hagglund leads the Pac-12 with 5.25 digs per set. Washington opened the conference season in Seattle against USC, falling in straight sets while hitting just .128. The Huskies held Jupiter and Williams in check, but Sara Shaw notched 15 kills and hit .481 to pick up the slack. The Trojans won the last meeting at the Galent Center in five sets, and hold a 36-18 lead in the all-time series.
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 about to become the eighth Husky to play in 400 career sets, needing just one more to join the club. Rowland is also making her way up the charts in career blocks, as she recently passed Lisa Underhill for fifth in UW history with 446 blocks. Her 421 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 1.17 career blocks per set, Barfield currently is fifth in school history, while Rowland has upped her career average to 1.12 which is eighth.
A look at the current stats finds the Huskies near the top of the NCAA in a number of categories. Washington continues to post huge blocking numbers, putting up even more in their current 6-2 rotation. The Huskies lead the NCAA with a rate of 3.57 blocks per set, which would be their highest as a team in rally scoring and highest overall since 1997. Bianca Rowland (1.67) now leads the Pac-12 and ranks second nationally, and Lauren Barfield (1.51) 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. Freshman Summer Ross is also eighth in the Pac-12 with 1.14 blocks per set, as the only outside hitter and only freshman in the top-10. The Huskies also lead the Pac-12 and rank 17th nationally with 1.64 aces per set. They've only been out-aced once by an opponent. Washington has done the service work collectively, as six Huskies have double digit ace totals. Krista Vansant leads the way with 21 aces and Jenna Orlandini and Summer Ross both have 19. Their .130 opponent hitting percentage is leading the Pac-12. Washington in 12-0 when hitting above .250 and also has a 16-0 mark when holding its opponent under .200.
Washington returns home for two more Top-10 match-ups, as Stanford and California visit Alaska Airlines Arena. The Cardinal are up first on Friday, November 11, in what will be the Pac-12 Match of the Week, tape delayed on ROOT Sports. The Huskies and Bears go at it on Saturday night, Nov. 12, with a UWTV broadcast. Both matches begin at 7 p.m.