No. 9 Volleyball Kicks Off Pac-10 Play at Arizona State Friday

Sept. 24, 2008

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Ninth-ranked Washington heads south this weekend to open conference play at Arizona State on Friday and Arizona on Saturday. Both matches are slated for 7pm starts and live stats will be available for both on GoHuskies.com.

Last Time Out
The Huskies pulled off two more sweeps last week in the Husky Fever Volleyball Classic, co-hosted by Seattle U. Last Thursday, the Dawgs picked up a quick win over co-host Seattle U. with a 3-0 sweep that saw five Dawgs hit over .400. As a team, Washington hit .439 in the match (including a sensational .633 in the third set), while holding the Redhawks to just .039. Friday night, Washington came out just as strong to overwhelm then-No. 17 San Diego. Against the Toreros. Washington hit .325 as a team and had three players hit over .300. Junior outside hitter Jill Collymore also set a new personal best in the match, notching a career-high seven aces. Washington allowed no more than 16 points in any single set over the two matches.

Scouting the Sun Devils
Arizona State enters the weekend with a 9-4 record, the Sun Devils' best start since 1997. The Sun Devils have recorded losses to UNLV, Kansas State, Western Kentucky and Michigan. Arizona State has so far notched victories over South Carolina, Dayton, Portland, South Florida, UC Irvine, Montana, Cincinnati, Cal State Northridge and Albany, but is 0-2 against ranked teams. Offensively, the Sun Devils are led by sophomore Sarah Reaves, who boasts an outstanding 4.50 kills per set to lead the Pac-10. Junior setter Marina Mercer averages 10.96 assists per game to rank third in the conference and sophomore Sarah Johnson paces the defense with 4.16 digs per set.

About the Series
Since 1986, the Sun Devils and the Huskies have met 48 times, with Washington holding the all-time advantage, 30-18. In fact, the Dawgs are on an 11-match winning streak against Arizona State, dating back to October 2002. That match went to five sets, with the Huskies taking sets three and four. The last time a UW-ASU match went longer than three sets was in September of 2003, when the Huskies pulled off a 3-1 win at home.

Scouting the Wildcats
Arizona, which received votes in the most recent AVCA Coaches' Poll, enters the weekend with a scorching 10-1 record. The Wildcats' only loss was at the hands of Santa Clara, which also received votes this week. Washington will be the first ranked team the Wildcats will face this season. Arizona has picked up wins over Weber State, San Jose State, Gardner-Webb, Texas State, Texas Tech, Chicago State, Fresno State, Cal State Bakersfield, UC Riverside and Loyola Marymount. Prior to the Huskies' arrival, the Wildcats will face off against Washington State on Friday. The Wildcats are led in kills by sophomore Whitney Dosty, who averages 3.08 kills per set. She is followed by sophomore Tiffany Owens, who averages 2.81 per set. Arizona currently leads the Pac-10 in lowest opponent hitting percentage, holding its opponents to just .101. Defensively, Stephanie Snow has already amassed 12 solo blocks to go with 28 block assists, averaging 1.14 blocks per set, good for seventh overall in the conference.

About the Series
Arizona and Washington have faced off 47 times since 1986, with the Wildcats holding the series edge, 24-23. Washington has won the last eight meetings, dating back to the 2004 season. Arizona last defeated the Huskies Nov. 21, 2003, when the Wildcats took a four-set win over the Dawgs at the McKale Center.

Huskies In the National Rankings
The Huskies find themselves ranked in the top-25 in five of the seven statistical categories the NCAA tracks. Washington is currently ranked second in the nation in hitting percentage with a team average of .358, second only to defending national champion Penn State. Washington is seventh in the nation (and first in the Pac-10) in aces per set, averaging 2.16 and 13th in the nation in assists per set with 13.13. The Huskies are 14th in the country in blocks per set with 2.77 and 19th in the country in kills per set (14.09). Individually, Jill Collymore leads both the Pac-10 and the nation in aces per set with 0.74. Sophomore setter Jenna Hagglund is second in the country and tops in the Pac-10 in assists per set, averaging 12.03.

Smokin' Aces
Junior Jill Collymore has seemingly found her serving stride, recording 23 aces so far this season, for a sensational 0.74 aces per set average, which leads the nation and the Pac-10. Collymore set an all-time career high against San Diego on Sept. 19 with seven service aces, beating the six aces she previously served up against Gonzaga just two weeks earlier on Sept. 4. Collymore, whose serve has been clocked to reach speeds in excess of 60 mph, now has 52 career service aces, with 19 of those coming in the just three matches this season.

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