Husky Volleyball Hosts The NCAA Volleyball Tournament Regional
Dec. 11, 2008
Setting The Scene: Huskies in the Postseason
No. 5 seed Washington hosts the NCAA Regionals this weekend in Bank of America Arena. No. 4-seed Nebraska will face unseeded Michigan Friday, Dec. 12 at 6pm. Washington will take on 12th-seeded Utah at 8pm Friday. Both winners will advance to the regional final (Elite Eight) to be held on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 8:30pm in Bank of America Arena. The Elite Eight match will also be televised live on ESPNU. The Huskies have won their last 10 straight and 15 of their last 16.
The Huskies are making their 13th NCAA postseason appearance and their seventh straight. Washington won the national title in 2005 and made the Final Four in 2004 and 2006. The Huskies fell to Brigham Young in the second round last year. In the first and second rounds last weekend, Washington swept both Portland State (25-11, 25-15, 25-14) and Santa Clara (25-19, 25-12, 25-21) to advance to the Regionals. The Huskies are now 26-11 all-time in the NCAA tournament.
Strong Pac-10 Title Finish
No. 2 Stanford clinched sole possession of the Pac-10 title by winning out last weekend. Washington won both of its decisions last weekend, also, but had to settle for second in the conference.
Senior Jessica Swarbrick, junior Tamari Miyashiro and sophomore Becky Perry were each named to the 14-member All-Pac-10 team Monday. Jenna Hagglund, Airial Salvo and Kindra Carlson earned honorable mention accolades and freshman Bianca Rowland was selected to the All-Freshman team.
Junior Jill Collymore is the first Washington volleyball player in two years to be named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America. The Bellevue, Wash. native carries a 3.78 GPA with a double-major in psychology and digital arts and media.
In addition, Collymore was named to the first team Pac-10 All-Academic team, while teammate Jenna Hagglund (3.58 GPA, pre-science) was named to the second team. Junior Megan McAfee, sophomore Becky Perry and senior Jessica Swarbrick were each named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic.
Last Time Out
Washington played its quickest match of the season, sweeping Portland State, 3-0, in one hour and six minutes, to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Setter Jenna Hagglund spread out the attack to five hitters, who all recorded between six and eight kills apiece. Blockers Jessica Swarbrick and Bianca Rowland each notched four kills on five attacks for matching .800 attack percentages. The Huskies also recorded eight service aces; a career-high-tying five from Hagglund and three from Airial Salvo. Tamari Miyashiro picked up 15 digs and the Huskies recorded 6.5 total blocks. Washington hit .284 as a team, while holding the Vikings to just 0.20.
The following night, Washington swept Santa Clara in a quick three-set decision. Becky Perry led the Huskies in kills with 16. Swarbrick went six-for-11 with a .455 attack percentage and Carlson was just behind, going eight-for-16 and hitting at a .438 clip. Hagglund notched 30 assists in the outing and junior defensive specialist Megan McAfee tied her career-high in aces with three. Miyashiro recorded team-high14 digs and Salvo registered 10 more. As a team, the Huskies hit .303, while holding the Broncos to .136.
Scouting The Utes
Utah has earned just its second Sweet Sixteen berth in program history. The Utes, 26-5 on the season, enter the weekend as the 12-seed overall and have won their last 11 matches and 19 of their last 20. Last weekend, the Utes swept Furman and Clemson to advance to the Regional. Lori Baird paces the Utah offense with 3.09 kpg and a .298 attack percentage. Kathryn Haynie comes in second on the team in kills with 2.80 kpg. Stephanie Sharlow and Abby Simmons share setting responsibilities with Shardlow averaging 7.54 aps and Simmons averaging 5.14 aps. Haynie leads the team in service aces with 35 on the season, 0.32 saps. Keisha Fischer leads the back rown for the Utes with 3.48 dps. Minding the net are three blockers who each average over a block per set in Baird (1.42 bps), Emillie Toone (1.36 bps) and Chelsey Sandberg (1.17 bps). As a team, the Utes are hitting .244 with 13.35 kps. Utah is coached by Beth Launiere, who, in her 19th season, has an all-time coaching record of 350-191 (.647).
About the Series
Washington and Utah have met eight times since 1978, with the series evenly split at four wins apiece. The Huskies have won the last two meetings, sweeping the Utes, 3-0, in the second round of the 2003 NCAA tournament, and downing the Utes, 3-1, on Sept. 10, 1994. Washington last lost to the Utes on Sept. 14, 1985, when the Huskies were swept in a preseason tournament at UNLV.
Scouting The Wolverines
Michigan, unseeded in the NCAA tournament, stunned No. 13-seed Saint Louis by defeating the Billikens, 3-2, in the second round. This marks the second consecutive trip to the Regionals for Michigan. The Wolverines are 26-8 coming into the weekend with losses to Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois (twice), Penn State (twice), Minnesota and Purdue. The Blue and Maize boasts two players who average over three kills per set. Michigan's offense is led by Juliana Paz, who averages 3.33 kps and hits at a .220 clip. Beth Karpiak averages 3.10 kps and carries a .357 attack percentage. Lexi Zimmerman quarterbacks the Wolverines, averaging 11.45 assists per set. Defensively, the back row is libero-by-committee as four Wolverines average over two-and-a-half digs per set. Leading the way is Kerry Hance, who averages 3.14 dps. She's followed by Megan Bower (2.73), Zimmerman (2.64) and Sloane Donhoff (2.63). Donhoff also paces the Wolverines in service aces with 0.36 saps. Michigan doesn't have a particularly strong middle presence, as no player averages a block per set. Karlee Bruck comes closest with 0.93 bps and is followed by Karpiak with 0.82 bps. The Wolverines have been out-blocked by their opponents this season, 2.57-1.97. As a team, Michigan hits .255 and averages 14.50 kps. Michigan is coached by Mark Rosen, who is in his 10th season at the helm.
About the Series
Washington and Michigan have met only twice before, splitting the series 1-1. The Huskies won the last meeting, dating back to Aug. 30, 1997, when Washington took a 3-2 decision. The Wolverines defeated Washington back on Sept. 4, 1993 at Michigan, sweeping the Huskies, 3-0. The two teams have never met in the postseason.
Scouting The Cornhuskers
Nebraska enters the weekend with a 29-2 record, having lost only to Colorado and Texas. The fourth seed overall, the Huskers are fighting to play at home in next weekend's Final Four. Nebraska and Washington had two common opponents this season in Stanford and USC. The Huskers swept Stanford back on Aug. 29 and dropped a set to USC before taking the match, 3-1, on Aug. 31. Nebraska boasts two hitters who average over three kills per set. The Huskers are led by Jordan Larson, who averages 3.96 kps, and Tara Mueller, who averages 3.50 kps. Sydney Anderson sets the Huskers and averages 11.73 aps. Kayla Banwarth digs the back row for Nebraska and carries a 4.20 dps average. Amanda Gates leads the Huskers at the net with 1.12 bps, followed by Jordan Wilberger with 1.00 bps. Larson also paces the Huskers in service aces, tallying 35 on the year (0.33 saps). As a team, Nebraska hits .275 and averages 14.68 kps and 14.71 dps. The Huskers are coached by ninth-year head coach John Cook.
About the Series
Washington and Nebraska have met just twice before, splitting the all-time series 1-1. Washington was victorious in the last meeting, downing Nebraska, 3-0, in the national title match in 2005 to win Washington's first volleyball NCAA title. Prior to that, Washington fell, 3-0, to Nebraska back on Sept. 11, 1993.
1,000 Kills Club
Airial Salvo - The junior outside hitter now has 1,129 career kills, 278 of which have been at Washington.
Road to 2,000 Digs - Records Watch
Junior libero Tamari Miyashiro is well on her way to her second thousand digs. The Kanaohe, Hawai'i native has 1,825 career digs, and needs 175 to become just the second libero in Washington history to break 2,000 digs. Miyashiro needs only 214 digs to break the all-time career record for digs (2,038), set by Candace Lee in 2002-05.
Huskies In the National Rankings
The Huskies find themselves ranked in the top-20 in four statistical categories the NCAA tracks. Washington moved up a spot to fourth in the nation (and second in the Pac-10) in hitting percentage with a team attack average of .294. The Huskies climbed fell to 12th in the country (and fourth in the Pac-10) in assists per set with 13.41 aps. Washington comes in at 13th in the country (and fourth in the conference) in kills per set, averaging 14.37 kps. The Huksies are eighth (and second in the league) in winning percentage (.867). The Purple and Gold is also 63rd in blocks per set (2.31), 101st in service aces (1.37 saps) and 107th in digs per set (15.03 dps).
Individually, sophomore Jenna Hagglund has taken the lead in the Pac-10 and is second in the country in assists per set, averaging 12.30. Jill Collymore leads the Pac-10 and is 23rd in the nation in aces per set with 0.46. Last season's Defensive Player of the Year Tamari Miyashiro leads the Pac-10 and has climbed to 16th in the country in digs, averaging 5.15 dps. Becky Perry is 46th in the nation in kills per set (3.84). Kindra Carlson, Collymore and Perry are all among the top 350 hitters in the country in efficiency. All three also make the top-350 in kills per set.
Sophomore setter Jenna Hagglund is currently ranked second in the nation in assists per set with an average of 12.30 and has taken the lead in the Pac-10.
Hagglund overtook sixth place all-time in career assists during the road trip to the Oregon schools. She tallied 91 assists over the two matches (39 against Oregon State and 52 against Oregon) to run her career total to 2,511 assists. At Washington State, Hagglund added another 62 assists to move to 2,573 career assists.
Just two weeks later, Hagglund took fifth-, then fourth-place all-time on consecutive nights. After her 62-assist performance at Wazzu, Hagglund needed only 52 assists to move into fifth place all-time at Washington. She tallied exactly that against Arizona on Nov. 28. The following night, needing only 31 assists, the sophomore put up 36, moving squarely into fourth place all-time in career assists.
Hagglund now needs 465 to overtake third place, a feat she should accomplish by mid-season 2009. With 274 more assists, Hagglund will become just the fourth Husky in school history to break the 3,000-assist mark.
Junior All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection Airial Salvo has seen significant playing time this season, playing in 99 of Washington's 106 sets. Salvo, who transferred from Utah last season and sat out the season per NCAA transfer rules, has been one of UW's most consistent performers. Salvo has racked up 273 kills (2.81 kps) and is second on the team in digs (2.45 dps). She's also second on the team in service aces with 29 (0.29 saps), including recording four against UCLA on Nov. 9 to help power the Huskies to a win and three against Portland State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Rollin' Rollin' RowlandBianca Rowland, a newly minted member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, has found herself playing in 105 of the Huskies' 106 sets, and all 68 of Washington's Pac-10 sets. So far this season, Rowland has 133 kills on 282 swings (1.27 kps) and is hitting at a .301 clip. The Lynnwood, Wash. native also has two solo blocks and 85 block assists on the season and is third on the team with 0.83 blocks per set. Rowland had a career night at eighth-ranked Oregon on Nov. 16, placing a career-high 11 kills on a career-high 21 attacks and a career-high-tying eight block assists.
Brick HouseJessica Swarbrick is third at Washington in career total blocks. So far, the senior has 476 total blocks. She recorded four blocks against Santa Clara in the second round of the NCAA tournament to move into third. In addition, Swarbrick has 442 career block assists, putting her in sole possession of fourth place in that category as well. She needs just nine more block assists to take displace Darla Mhyre for third in block assists.
So far in 2008, Swarbrick is hitting a team-leading .438 with 216 kills on 384 swings, highlighted by a perfect, errorless performance against Pacific on 9/11/08, in which she had eight kills on eight attacks.
In addition, Swarbrick is the career leader in hitting efficiency, carrying a lifetime .408 attack percentage.
Washington's defense is led by 2007 National Defensive Player of the Year Tamari Miyashiro. Miyashiro, a junior libero, racked up 622 total digs last season. So far in 2008, Miyashiro has picked up an additional 546 digs, giving her a career total of 1,825, just 214 digs short of breaking Candace Lee's all-time Washington record for career digs. At her current clip, Miyashiro should out-pace Lee's mark by mid-season 2009.
As a team, the 2008 Huskies hold a 15.03-14.37 advantage in digs, lending credence to the phrase, 'Nobody digs like a Dawg.'
Junior Jill Collymore has seemingly found her serving stride, recording 44 aces so far this season, for a sensational 0.46 aces per set average, which leads the Pac-10 (and is 23rd in the country). 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 73 career service aces, with 19 of those coming in just three matches this season.
West Coast Killers
Sophomore All-Pac-10 pick Becky Perry leads the Huskies in kills per set, averaging 3.84 kps. The Austin, Texas native boasts 288 kills on 698 total attacks for a .266 hitting percentage. She also averages 1.43 digs per set and 0.61 blocks per set.
Sophomore All-Pac-10 honorable mention honoree Kindra Carlson has Washington's second-best kills per set average at 3.32 kps. Carlson has amassed 289 kills on 659 swings and a .313 attack efficiency. Against Hawai'i, Carlson recorded a career night, putting down 22 kills on 53 attacks. Carlson tied her career-high in kills against then-No. 6 Oregon on Oct. 17.
Junior Jill Collymore returned to the lineup this season after redshirting the 2007 season. Collymore is third on the team in kills per set, averaging 2.95. In 1.98 digs per set and leads the Pac-10 in service aces with 0.46 aces per set.
The Kids Are Alright
True freshman Lauren Barfield has seen playing time in her rookie season, playing in 13 sets. So far in 2008, Barfield has four kills on seven swings (.429 attack percentage), two service aces and five total blocks.
Ryann Carter saw her first playing time in two sets against Stanford, when she came in as a spot server.
All Present and Accounted For
Washington is 14th in the country in home match attendance. The Husky faithful average out to 1,899 fans per match for a total of 27,248 fans so far over the 14 home matches. The most attended home match so far this season was the USC match on Nov. 7, when 2,921 fans showed their support of Washington volleyball.