Big Final Week With ASU At Home Then Pullman
Nov. 19, 2012
SEATTLE - Washington reaches the end of the 2012 regular season this week with a quick home-and-away series against Arizona State and Washington State, with Thanksgiving squeezed in between. The fifth-ranked Huskies (22-5, 13-5 Pac-12) could still finish as high as second in the Pac-12 standings with two more wins, which would be the gravy on an already impressive regular season.
UW plays its home finale this Wednesday, against the Sun Devils (18-13, 7-11 Pac-12), at 8 p.m. and then travels to Pullman to take on the Cougars (12-18, 2-16 Pac-12) on Friday night at 8 p.m. just a few hours after the conclusion of the Apple Cup. Both matches will be teleivsed live by the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona State has a lot to play for as it tries to reach 20 wins which could mean an NCAA tourney bid. ASU has one of the top outside hitter combos with Erica Wilson averaging 4.06 kills per set and freshman Macey Gardner ranking third in the Pac-12 with 4.48 kills per set. Libero Stephanie Preach is third in the league with 4.68 digs per set as well. ASU has some big wins under its belt, including a home upset of USC, and a series sweep over California.
The Cougars will present a big last hurdle, as they will try to end their season on a high note against the Dawgs. WSU pushed No. 4 Oregon to four close sets last Saturday, and one need look no further than last year's regular season finale in Pullman to know it will be a tough trip. Last season the Huskies faced an 0-2 hole and match points in the third set before coming all the way back to win in five.
Coming off a huge win over No. 4 Oregon last Friday in which UW saved a staggering 14 match points, followed by a sweep over Oregon State on Senior Night, the Huskies want to keep their momentum heading into the postseason, and potentially earn a top-16 seed, which would mean hosting NCAA first and second round matches at Alaska Airlines Arena. The NCAA selection show is this coming Sunday, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m. Pacific time on ESPNU.