Husky Volleyball Kicks Off Season Friday At Montana State

Aug. 28, 2008

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BOZEMAN, Mont. - The ninth-ranked Washington volleyball team heads east to Bozeman, Mont. to open its 2008 campaign by competing in the 14th Annual Holiday Inn Classic hosted by Montana State. The Huskies begin their season by facing host Montana State on Friday at 4:30pm PT before taking on regional rival Portland Saturday at 9am PT.

Familiar Foes
Washington has lengthy histories with both Montana State and Portland. The Huskies' series with the Bobcats dates back to the 1977 season. Washington's tete-a-tete with Portland is six years younger, with the teams' first meeting coming in 1983.

Scouting the Bobcats
The Montana State Bobcats have completely overhauled their team, beginning with the coaching staff. The 2008 squad is led by first year head coach Sara Schaub. After a disappointing 1-27 mark last season, five-year head coach Miya Malauulu resigned her position, leaving the door open for Schaub's arrival. Previously, Schaub served as the head coach of MSU Billings and as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan. The Bobcats return two seniors, three juniors and four sophomores and add four freshmen this season.

About the Series
The Huskies and Bobcats have met 23 times since 1977, with Washington holding the series edge, 16-7. The teams last met in 2005, when Washington swept the Bobcats, 3-0. The win was the third straight in the series for the Huskies.

Scouting the Pilots
Portland went 7-21 in 2007, with no conference wins. The Pilots finished the season in last place in the West Coast Conference (WCC) and are projected to again finish last in the conference in 2008, according to the WCC preseason coaches' poll. Portland returns three seniors, four juniors and four sophomores to the squad and add five freshmen. Like Montana State, the Pilots' head coach resigned following the disappointing season. Joe Houck, formerly of Western Oregon and Concordia took the helm in January and will look to rebuild the program.

About the Series
Despite their geographical proximity, the Huskies and Pilots have met only 14 times since 1983. Portland won the first match-up, but Washington has dominated the series since, holding a 13-1 series record. The teams last met in 2005, when the Huskies swept the Pilots, 3-0.

For Openers
Washington is 25-9 (.853) all-time in season openers, including six straight wins (and counting) from 2002 to present. Of those, all but one were road wins. Since the program's inception in 1974, the Huskies are 21-7 (.750) in road openers.

The Huskies return home to Bank of America Arena next Thursday and Friday, Sept. 4-5 to host the Northwest Challenge featuring Portland State, Gonzaga and Boise State. For the complete schedule and ticket information, log on to GoHuskies.com.

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