Quick Turnaround Takes Huskies To Bay Area
Nov. 5, 2012
SEATTLE - The work starts early for the fifth-ranked Husky volleyball team this week, as Washington, coming off a dramatic comeback win on Sunday, heads down to the Bay Area for two compelling road matches this Wednesday and Thursday. The Huskies (19-4, 10-4 Pac-12) first travel to Berkeley to take on California in a 7 p.m. match televised live on ESPNU. The next night Washington will pay a visit to No. 1 Stanford, the Pac-12 leader, capping a stretch of four matches in seven days for UW.
Washington came from two sets down to defeat the Utes in five sets yesterday to move into a tie for third in the Pac-12 standings with USC and UCLA. It was the first 0-2 comeback at Alaska Airlines Arena in head coach Jim McLaughlin’s 12 years at UW, though the Huskies have staged such comebacks on the road. A weekend of top-10 upsets moved the Huskies up from No. 8 to No. 5 in this week’s AVCA top-25, however the Huskies remain 14th in the RPI, and would love a pair of road wins to boost that number.
The Bears (13-11, 7-7 Pac-12) are coming on strong after a road upset of then-No. 2 Oregon and another win at Oregon State last week. Senior Shannon Hawari has been dominating on offense for the Bears and fellow senior middle blocker Kat Brown earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors this week. Washington swept the Bears in Seattle in the first meeting of the year on Oct. 21 behind 11 kills from Kaleigh Nelson and seven blocks from Melanie Wade.
Stanford (22-2, 14-0 Pac-12) has taken control of the Pac-12 race, leading Oregon by three games. The Cardinal have won 20 matches in a row, their best streak since 1999. That streak was extended with a 3-0 win over then-No. 2 Oregon on Sunday in Eugene. Stanford’s closest call was likely in Seattle on Oct. 19, when the Huskies had set point chances to take a 2-0 lead, and then had a match point leading 2-1, before the Cardinal came back to win a five setter. Middle blocker Carly Wopat is this week’s Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and Brittany Howard was named Freshman of the Week.
Calling Wednesday’s match on ESPNU will be Pam Ward with analysis from newly appointed USA National Team Head Coach Karch Kiraly. Thursday night’s Pac-12 Networks match will be handled by Krista Blunk on play-by-play and Kelli Tennant with analysis.