No. 4 UW Travels to Arizona, ASU

Nov. 1, 2007

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SEATTLE - The fourth-ranked Washington volleyball team (20-1, 9-1 Pac-10) travels to the state of Arizona for a pair of Pac-10 matches this week. The Huskies face Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 1 in Tucscon, before taking on Arizona State the following night in Tempe. Both matches are set for 7 p.m.

After their win over Washington State last week, the Huskies remained at No. 4 for the second straight week in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Oct. 29). The Huskies received a season-high 1344 points this week, which included four first place votes. This is the first time that the UW has received first place votes this year. In the Molten/Volleyball Magazine Women's College Top 20 Poll, UW moved up to No. 3 while tallying first place votes. Penn State (20-2) took over as the No. 1 team in both polls, replacing Nebraska (19-1), which had been No. 1 all season.

With their 20th win of the season last Friday against Washington State, the Huskies now have six straight seasons of 20 or more wins. Washington now has at least 20 wins in six of their seven seasons under Jim McLaughlin. The UW now has 16 seasons of 20 more wins in its history.

When Washington takes on Arizona (12-11, 2-9 Pac-10) on Thursday night they will be facing a Wildcats team that has lost six matches in a row including losing at Oregon and Oregon State last week. After finishing the preseason 10-2, the UA has struggled in conference action so far. Junior OPP Randy Goodenough leads the Wildcats in kills with a 3.93 kpg average and ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in two categories, including points (4.80 ppg) and service aces (0.32 sapg).

The Huskies have won seven in a row and nine of the past 10 against the Wildcats, but 'Zona still leads the all-time series 24-22. Earlier this season in Seattle, the UW swept Arizona (30-15, 30-14, 30-22). The last time Washington lost to Arizona was on Nov. 21, 2003 in Tucson.

Arizona State, meanwhile, won at Oregon and Oregon State last week, sweeping the Beavers on Thursday, Oct. 25, before defeating Oregon, 3-1, the following night. Senior L Sydney Donahue leads the Pac-10 in digs at 6.23 dpg while sophomore S Marina Mercer is third in the conference in assists at 12.55 apg. Freshman OH Sarah Reaves leads the team an is fifth in the Pac-10 in kills at 4.37 kpg, and also ranks eighth in the Pac-10 in points at 4.82 ppg. As a team, ASU (13-11, 5-6 Pac-10) ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in digs at 16.41 dpg.

Washington has won 10 in a row over ASU and lead the all-time series 29-18. The UW swept ASU in Seattle earlier this season (31-29, 30-24, 30-27). The last Sun Devils' win in the series came in Seattle on Oct. 3, 2002.

The Huskies rank among the top-30 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including fifth in hitting percentage at .304. Washington also ranks among the top-30 in winning percentage (2nd/0.952), blocks per game (15th/3.16 bpg), kills per game (27th/16.31 kpg), and assists per game (28th/15.09).

Washington has swept 17 of its 21 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.

After playing the two Arizona schools, the Huskies return home for two big matches against Stanford and California, both of which are ranked in the Top 10. Washington faces No. 5 Stanford on Thursday, Oct. 8, and then hosts No. 8 California the next night. California is the only school to have defeated the Huskies this season.

Washington took over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 last Saturday due to Stanford's (20-2, 9-2 Pac-10) loss to USC that night, so Thursday's match could determine the Pac-10 Champion. The match will be televised by FSN on a tape-delayed broadcast.

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