No. 4 UW Hosts Washington State on Friday

Oct. 24, 2007

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SEATTLE - After facing four straight Top 10 teams, the No. 4 Washington volleyball team (19-1, 8-1 Pac-10) will face its first unranked opponent in three weeks when they host in-state rival Washington State (9-14, 0-9 Pac-10) this Friday. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Earlier this season, the UW swept WSU (30-22, 30-18, 30-24) in Pullman, Wash., behind 15 kills from Christal Morrison and 13 kills from Stevie Mussie.

The Huskies remain home this week in the friendly confines of Bank of America Arena, where they have won a school-record 38 straight matches and are 45-1 over the past three-plus seasons. Washington has won 24 of those 38 matches via the sweep.

Catch the Huskies take on Washington State this Friday. Tickets are on sale through the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or by clicking here to purchase online.

The Cougars, meanwhile, remain winless in Pac-10 play after losing to USC (3-1) and UCLA (3-0) last week at home. WSU has now dropped 12 straight matches and 14 out of their past 17 overall. The Cougars have won just four games in Pac-10 play, with two of those coming in their 3-2 loss at Oregon State (Sept. 21). Senior OH Adetokunbo Faleti leads the Cougars in kills, averaging 3.50 kpg, while sophomore OH Jackie Albright ranks second on the team, averaging 3.17 kpg.

The Huskies lead the all-time series 52-21, including the sweep in Pullman earlier this year. The UW has won eight straight matches in the series, which dates back to 1974. When the two teams met up earlier this season, the Huskies hit .322 to just .145 for the Cougars, and racked up 57 kills to just 34 for WSU.

One week after moving up in the poll for the first time all season (from No. 8 to No. 5), the Huskies changed rankings again, this time moving up one spot to No. 4 in this week's CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Oct. 22). In the Molten/Volleyball Magazine Women's College Top 20 Poll, UW remained at No. 4. Nebraska (19-0) continues to hold the top spot in both polls.

For the second straight week, senior outside hitter Christal Morrison was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week (Oct. 15-21). This marks the third time this season that a Husky has won the award (Stevie Mussie is the other). Morrison, a senior from Puyallup, Wash., helped the Huskies sweep two Top 10 teams last week. This is the sixth time in her career that Morrison has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week, and the 23rd time overall that a Husky player has earned the honor.

Washington has swept 16 of its 20 matches so far this season. UW, which opened the season with six straight sweeps, had lost just three games all season before losing a combined five games against Cal (Oct. 11) and Stanford (Oct. 12) on back-to-back nights.

As a team, the Huskies rank among the top-30 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including fifth in hitting percentage at .309. Washington also ranks among the top-30 in winning percentage (3rd-tie/0.950), blocks per game (14th/3.19 bpg), kills per game (28th/16.30 kpg), and assists per game (28th/15.04).

The Huskies also have several players that are highly ranked in the NCAA statistical rankings. Jenna Hagglund ranks 11th in the nation in assists with a 13.40 apg average, while Jessica Swarbrick is 12th in the country in hitting percentage at .406. Becky Perry (33rd/.371) and Alesha Deesing (94th/.332) also rank in the top-100 in hitting percentage. In addition, Tamari Miyashiro ranks 25th in digs (5.66 dpg), Swarbrick is 36th in block (1.43 bpg), Mussie is 56th in kills (4.47 kpg) and Deesing is 72nd in blocks (1.30 bpg).

After playing just one match this week, the Huskies hit the road to play the two Arizona schools next week. Washington takes on Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 1, before playing at Arizona State the following night. Both matches are set for 7 p.m.

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