Husky Volleyball Opens Home Pac-10 Slate
Sept. 30, 2008
Huskies Open Home Pac-10 Action
Ninth-ranked Washington hosts Pac-10 rivals No. 8 California (11-1) and No. 6 Stanford (11-2) this weekend. Friday's match against Cal is Family Friday and UW Faculty/Staff Night. Families of four can purchase four tickets, hot dogs and sodas for $25. The Stanford match Sunday is this week's Pac-10 spotlight match and will air live on FSN. Sunday is also Dollar Hot Dog Day and Firefighter Appreciation Day. GameTracker is available for both matches on GoHuskies.com.
Last Time Out
The Huskies struggled in their first weekend of Pac-10 action, but managed two tough five-set road wins. Against Arizona State last Friday, the Dawgs went down 2-1 before winning sets four and five to beat the Sun Devils. At Arizona on Saturday, Washington won the first and third sets, but dropped the second and fourth to force a deciding fifth set. On the strength of a team .571 attack percentage in the fifth stanza, the Huskies pulled off the road sweep, improving to 11-1 on the season.
Player of the Week
Jessica Swarbrick earned her first career Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after her outstanding performance on the road. Swarbrick hit a scorching .550 at Arizona with 12 kills and five blocks to help the Dawgs dig out a win. At ASU, Swarbrick managed eight kills and five blocks. Her weekend efforts moved her into sole possession of fourth place all-time in Washington's block assist record list.
Scouting The Golden Bears
Eighth-ranked California enters the weekend with a 12-1 record with its only loss coming to Minnesota in a three-set sweep. So far in 2008, only one match has gone to more than three sets, with the Golden Bears taking a 3-1 win over Cal Poly back on Sept. 14. Hana Cutura leads Cal's offense, racking up 4.32 kills per set and a .375 attack percentage, both numbers good for second in the Pac-10. On the defensive side, Kristen Kathan averages 4.00 digs per set to lead the Bears. Mindi Wiley has amassed 48 blocks so far this season, averaging 1.23 b/s and setter Carli Lloyd (second in the Pac-10 behind UW's Hagglund) has put up 488 assists (11.62 per set).
About the Series
California and Washington have met 49 times since 1982, with the Huskies edging Cal, 27-22. In 2007, the teams split the series with Washington winning the last meeting, 3-1, on Nov. 9.
Scouting the Cardinal
Stanford enters the weekend with an 11-2 record overall and a 2-0 mark in conference play. So far, the Cardinal has only lost to powerhouse Nebraska and Saint Louis. Alix Klineman leads the Cardinal attack with a 3.33 kills per set average and a .313 attack percentage. Cynthia Barboza is right behind her with a 3.28 k/s average and a .308 attack percentage. Defensively, Gabi Ailes averages 4.00 digs per game, while Foluke Akinradewo is third in the Pac-10 in blocking with 1.30 b/s. Two setters split time for the Cardinal, with Cassidy Lichtman averaging 7.02 assists per set and Joanna Evans averaging 5.26 assists per set.
About the Series
Since 1980, Stanford and Washington have met 51 times with the Cardinal holding the series advantage, 42-9. Last season, Washington defeated Stanford once (Oct. 12 at Stanford), but dropped the late-season meeting at home. In the Jim McLaughlin era (2001-present), the series has become less one-sided, with Washington taking six of the last 14 regular-season match-ups.
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 fourth in the nation in hitting percentage with a team average of .321. The Huskies are 17th in the nation (and third in the Pac-10) in assists per set, averaging 13.10. Washington is also 21st in the country (and first in the conference) in aces per set with 1.81. The Dawgs come in 22nd in kills per set with 13.95.
Individually, Jill Collymore leads the Pac-10 and is third in the nation in aces per set with 0.63. Sophomore setter Jenna Hagglund is second in the country and tops in the Pac-10 in assists per set, averaging 12.10. Senior middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick has squeaked into the top-50 in blocks per set, coming in at No. 50 with 1.20.