No. 8 UW Faces Two Ranked Teams This Week
Oct. 9, 2007
SEATTLE -The No. 8 Washington volleyball team (16-0, 5-0 Pac-10) travels to the Bay Area this week to face two nationally-ranked teams in California and Stanford. There is the potential for the last two remaining undefeated Pac-10 teams to face each other when the Huskies take on No. 2 Stanford (16-0, 5-0 Pac-10) on Friday night. First, though, Washington must get through California (12-4, 2-3 Pac-10), who is ranked No. 10 for the third straight week, on Thursday night. Both matches are set for 7 p.m.
GameTracker, which features live stats by CSTV, is available for both games this week. Go to the UW Volleyball schedule on gohuskies.com and click on the link for the game that day. A link to GameTracker will be in the box to the right of the schedule. The matchup against Stanford will be televised by CSTV on tape-delay on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m.
The Huskies remained ranked No. 8 in the 2007 CSTV/AVCA Coaches Poll (Oct. 1) for the eighth straight week. UW has held that ranking in all eight of the CSTV/AVCA polls. In the Molten/Volleyball Magazine Women's College Top 20 Poll, UW jumped up two spots to No. 4, it's highest ranking this season.
When UW takes on California on Thursday, it will mark the 48th meeting between the two schools. Washington leads the all-time series 26-21 and has won six in a row in a series dating back to 1982. The Golden Bears picked up their first wins in Pac-10 play last week with road wins at Oregon and Oregon State. As a team, the Golden Bears lead the conference in blocking at 3.85 bpg, are fourth in hitting percentage at .275, and are second in opponent hitting percentage at .112.
California's last win in the series was back on Oct. 24, 2003, in Berkeley. Last season, UW swept the Golden Bears at home (30-17, 30-16, 30-24) on Sept. 21, 2006, and defeated Cal in Berkeley, 3-1 (26-30, 30-19, 30-20, 30-24), on Nov. 25, 2006.
Friday night's matchup between the Huskies and the Cardinal will be their 49th meeting all-time, and Stanford has dominated much of it with a 40-8 record against UW. The Cardinal, who have been ranked No. 2 all season and have swept 12 of their 16 matches thus far, took two of three games from the Huskies last season.
Stanford's 16-game winning streak is their longest since the 2001 season. Last week, Stanford swept by Oregon and Oregon State, and had their best hitting percentage in Pac-10 play (.342) against Oregon State on Thursday night. Junior OH Cynthia Barboza won the Pac-10 Player of the Week award for her play last week after recording double-doubles in both matches. It was her second such award this season, and the fifth (out of seven) time a Stanford player has received it overall in 2007. Stanford leads the conference in assists (16.32 apg) and kills (17.81 kpg), and is second in the Pac-10 in hitting percentage (.321) and digs (17.55).
Washington's current 16-game winning streak is its longest since winning 23 in a row to start the 2005 season. That year, Washington finished 32-1 on its way to the NCAA National Championship. In 2004, UW started the season with 22 straight wins on their way to the NCAA Final Four.
The Huskies have swept 14 of its 16 matches so far this season, including their past four overall. UW, which opened the season with six straight sweeps, has only lost three games all season.
The Huskies rank among the top-15 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including second in hitting percentage at .337. Only Nebraska, which is the No. 1 team in the nation, has a better mark (.347). Washington also ranks among the top-15 in winning percentage (1st-tie/1.000), kills per game (11th/16.84 kpg), assists per game (12th/15.53) and blocks per game (15th/3.25 bpg).
Washington has consistently had one of the nation's best offenses under head coach Jim McLaughlin and this year is no exception. Six UW players are hitting .250 or better, and four of them are hitting better than .300. Three Huskies are currently among the top-25 in the nation in hitting percentage, including Jessica Swarbrick (11th/.419), Alesha Deesing (14th/.416) and Becky Perry (21st/.403). Not only do the Huskies lead the Pac-10 in hitting percentage with a .337 mark, they are also second nationally. UW has finished among the top-11 teams in the country in hitting percentage in every year under McLaughlin except one, and that was back in 2001, which was his first season at the helm of the Husky volleyball program.
After these two games, the schedule doesn't get any easier next week for the Huskies as they return home to host two more ranked teams, No. 4 UCLA (Oct. 18) and No. 6 USC (Oct. 19). Both matches are set for 7 p.m.