Nov. 8, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11
#11 Washington vs. #3 Stanford 7 p.m.
Alaska Airlines Arena
Tape delayed on ROOT Sports
Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12
#11 Washington vs. #5 California 7 p.m.
Alaska Airlines Arena
Live Broadcast on UWTV, channel 27
Live Video and Live Chat on GoHuskies.com
HUSKIES LOOK TO PROTECT HOME COURT VS. STANFORD, CAL
Just three home matches remain in the regular season, and the two this week are two of the biggest of the year, as third-ranked Stanford and fifth-ranked California visit Alaska Airlines Arena to face the 11th-ranked Huskies.
Washington (18-6, 10-6 Pac-12) is 9-1 at home this year and will look to use the supportive home crowd to improve its record against top-10 teams this year, which is currently just 1-5. Stanford and Cal each won the first meeting in the Bay Area this year and are trying to catch the L.A. schools for the Pac-12 lead, while the Huskies are looking to find their rhythm against two likely NCAA tournament teams.
Stanford is up first on Friday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in a match that will be televised on a tape delayed basis by ROOT Sports. Cal is in town on Saturday for another 7 p.m. start, shown by UWTV live.
Friday's match with the Cardinal is the Pac-12 Match of the Week, and will be broadcast on a tape delayed basis by ROOT Sports in the Seattle area. Broadcast times will be announced later in the week. Saturday's match will then be broadcast live on UWTV, channel 27, and streamed on GoHuskies.com. There will be live chats for both matches on GoHuskies.com 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 went down to Los Angeles last weekend, looking to pull some upsets against the Pac-12 leading Bruins and Trojans. It was not to be, however, as UCLA and USC held serve on their home courts. On Friday night against the top-ranked Bruins, the Huskies missed two set points in the first set, and another in the third, as UCLA pulled out a 28-26, 25-13, 28-26 decision. Washington hit a solid .239, but UCLA rolled to a .390 attack percentage, the highest by a Husky opponent all year. Senior Bianca Rowland led UW in kills for the first time in 2011 with 14, hitting a season-best .667 as she did not make an error. Freshman Krista Vansant had her sixth double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. The next night against the fourth-ranked Trojans, the Huskies could not get their offense going, as they hit a season-low .106. They played progressively better but USC had late runs in every set to take the match, 25-15, 25-16, 25-21, completing its first season sweep of UW since 2003. Rowland again led UW with 8 kills, hitting .368, and sophomore Gabbi Parker was solid with 6 kills and a .278 percentage. But UW was out-blocked for the second straight night, and had zero aces for the first time all season.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL
Stanford has won 11 of its last 12 matches, the only loss a 3-0 defeat at home to current No. 1 team UCLA, improving to 19-4 for the year and 13-4 in the Pac-12. The Cardinal won at Colorado and Utah last week by a combined set score of 6-1. For the year, Stanford is outhitting opponents, .242-.153. The Cardinal are second nationally only to the Huskies in blocks per set, averaging 3.26, with Carly Wopat ranking fifth in the NCAA with 1.57. Stanford also leads the Pac-12 with 17.23 digs per set. Wopat is third in the conference with a .375 mark, but she's been stronger in Pac-12 matches, hitting .392, which leads the league. Rachel Williams is the go-to hitter for the Cardinal, ranking fifth in the league with 4.30 kills per set this year. In the first meeting between the teams this year, the Huskies offense struggled, hitting just .108, while the Cardinal hit .234 in a 25-19, 25-16, 25-23 win. UW hurt its cause with nine service errors as well. The Cardinal hold a 48-10 all-time series lead and have won three straight dating back to a 3-0 Husky win in Seattle in 2009.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN BEARS
The Bears had a scare at Utah and Colorado last weekend, but pulled out two wins to head to Washingtonw with a 23-4 overall record, and 13-4 Pac-12 record. Cal first beat Utah, 15-13 in the fifth set last week, and then went four sets to beat Colorado in Boulder. But the numbers show Cal, the 2010 NCAA runner-up, as still one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation. Cal is hitting .264 to rank second in the Pac-12 and leads the league with an opponent percentage of just .140. The Bears are second in the conference in digs with 16.51 per set, led by junior libero Robin Rostratter who ranks second individually with 5.09 per set. Middle blockers Shannon Hawari, Correy Johnson, and Kat Brown are all averaging more than 2.30 kills per set and hitting over .325. And All-American outside hitter Tarrah Murrey is sixth in the conference with 4.15 kills per set. In the first meeting between the teams this year in Berkeley, Washington was a couple points from forcing a fifth set, but fell 25-20, 22-25, 25-28, 27-25. Summer Ross had her best match of the year with 14 kills and 14 digs. UW held Cal to just .214 on offense, though Hawari hit .409 with 12 kills. The all-time series is nearly dead even, with UW holding a 29-28 lead, though Cal won twice in Seattle last year, once in the regular season and once in the NCAA Elite Eight.
HUSKIES IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
After two rough matches at top-ranked UCLA and No. 4 USC last week, the Huskies slipped from the top-10 for the first time all year, coming in at No. 11 in the AVCA poll. 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. The Pac-12 continues to dominate the top-10, as UCLA remains No. 1, and Stanford, USC, and California go three, four, and five in that order. Oregon is also 20th this week and Arizona is 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. 33 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 just became the eighth Husky to play in 400 career sets, now having apeared in 405. Rowland is also making her way up the charts in career blocks, as she recently passed Lisa Underhill for fifth in UW history with 449 blocks. Her 424 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 1.16 career blocks per set, Barfield currently is fifth in school history, while Rowland has upped her career average to 1.11 which is eighth. Evan Sanders, while spending her first three years at Colorado State, is on the verge of her three-thousandth career assist. She currently has 2,996.
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 3.39 blocks per set, which would be their highest as a team in rally scoring and highest overall since 1997, though they were out-blocked for just the second and third times all year last week in L.A. Bianca Rowland (1.57) leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth nationally, and Lauren Barfield (1.46) is third in the conference and 11th 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 1.12 blocks per set, as the only outside hitter and only freshman in the top-10. The Huskies also lead the Pac-12 and rank 28th nationally with 1.57 aces per set. They've only been out-aced twice 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. Washington in 12-0 when hitting above .250 and also has a 16-0 mark when holding its opponent under .200.
Washington will finally pay a visit to new conference members Colorado and Utah next week, in the last matches before UW faces WSU in a home-and-home series to end the regular season. The Huskies will face the Utes first on Nov. 18 and then the Buffs on Nov. 19, with both matches starting at 6 p.m. Pacific time.