No. 10 Husky Volleyball Heads To L.A. For Showdowns Against UCLA, USC
Oct. 8, 2008
The 10th-ranked Washington volleyball team heads to warmer environs this weekend to continue Pac-10 play.
Huskies Escape To L.A.
The No. 10 Huskies escape the fall conditions of Seattle and head to sunny Los Angeles to take on No. 8 UCLA and No. 11 Southern California. Both L.A. area schools fell in this week's rankings after tough outings in Oregon, with Oregon beating both teams and Oregon State splitting against them. Live stats will be available for both matches on GoHuskies.com.
Last Time Out
Washington slipped one spot in this week's AVCA poll after falling to both California and Stanford at home, both in 3-0 decisions. The 3-0, 3-0 double-sweep at home marked the first since the 2000 season, when the Huskies fell to Arizona State and Arizona. There were bright spots in Washington's performances though. Against Cal, the Huskies hit .261 as a team and three players (Jill Collymore, Kindra Carlson and Airial Salvo) notched 10 or more kills. Tamari Miyashiro was sensational against the Golden Bears, recording a match-high 26 digs, double the number of digs of anyone else on the court. Against Stanford, Carlson was the lone Husky to put down double-digit kills, while Jenna Hagglund had a match-high 25 assists and Miyashiro tied Cardinal Gabi Ailes with a match-high 13 digs.
Scouting The Bruins
Eighth-ranked UCLA enters the weekend with an 11-3 record with losses to defending national champions Penn State, USC and Oregon. The Bruins' only win over a ranked team was a 3-1 decision over No. 10 Hawai'i back on Aug. 31. Last weekend, UCLA entered the weekend ranked fifth in the country, but fell, 3-1, to Pac-10 rival Oregon, before squeaking out a 3-2 win over Oregon State. UCLA is a strong defensive team, currently ranked 19th in the country in blocks per set (2.71). The Bruins boast the Pac-10 leader in blocks, Amanda Gil, a freshman who averages 1.45 blocks per set, ranking her eighth in the nation.
About the Series
The Bruins and Huskies have met 51 times since 1980 with UCLA holding the all-time advantage, 39-12. Washington has been on a roll lately, however, winning seven of the last nine meetings, including a three-match win-streak dating back to October 27, 2006.
Scouting the Trojans
Southern California takes a national ranking of 11th into the weekend, after losing to both Oregon and Oregon State last week. With the losses, USC slipped to 8-4 for the season and a 1-2 record in the Pac-10. The Trojans are 2-3 against ranked teams in 2008 with losses to Texas, Nebraska and Oregon. Offensively, USC is paced by Alex Jupiter, who averages 3.69 kps. She is trailed by Jessica Gysin who averages 3.08 kps. On D, Taylor Carico provides 10.07 assists per set and Alli Hillgren averages a team-high 3.95 dps. Lauren Williams and Zoe Garrett lead the team in blocks with 0.98 and 0.91 bps, respectively.
About the SeriesWashington and USC have met 47 times since 1980. The Trojans lead the all-time series, 33-14. The teams split their meetings last season, with the Huskies victorious at home (3-0), but falling at USC (3-2). For just the third time in program history, Washington defeated USC in both meetings in 2005 (previously 1986 and 1989), but the teams have split their meetings each year since.
Huskies In the National Rankings
The Huskies find themselves ranked in the top-25 in three of the seven statistical categories the NCAA tracks. Washington is currently ranked sixth in the nation (and third in the Pac-10) in hitting percentage with a team average of .301. The Huskies are 17th in the nation (and third in the Pac-10) in assists per set, averaging 13.02. Washington is also 21st in the country (and third in the conference) in kills per set with 13.94. The Dawgs lead the Pac-10 in service aces, coming in at 1.67 saps.
Individually, Jill Collymore leads the Pac-10 and is 11th in the nation in aces per set with 0.57. Sophomore setter Jenna Hagglund is third in the country and second in the Pac-10 in assists per set, averaging 12.00.
With her block assist against Stanford last Sunday, Jessica Swarbrick moved into fourth place all-time in the Husky record book with 416 total blocks. She needs just 59 more blocks to pass Darla Myhre for third place all-time. In addition, Swarbrick has 384 career block assists, putting her in sole possession of fourth place in that category as well.
Plus, Swarbrick hit a team-best .413 last season, good for second in the Pac-10 and 10th in the nation. Her hitting percentage was the third-best single-season mark in Washington history and only six one-hundredths of a point shy of beating the current record, set in 2003 by middle blocker Darla Myhre. So far in 2008, Swarbrick is hitting a team-leading .408 with 93 kills on 169 swings, highlighted by a perfect, errorless performance against Pacific on 9/11/08, in which she had eight kills on eight attacks.