Volleyball Returns With Two Tilts Against ASU
SEATTLE - It's time for some January volleyball. The season arrives on Friday, five months late but now with five months of built-up anticipation and the Huskies are ready for whatever comes. Washington starts the 22-match Pac-12 season at home against Arizona State at 3 p.m. and will double back the very next day for a second 3 p.m. match against the Sun Devils. Both matches will be without fans in attendance but will be streamed live online on GoHuskies.com.
Several conferences around the NCAA still competed for varying lengths of time during the fall of 2020, but notably the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences delayed until this week. The plan now calls for 11 weeks of conference play, with teams facing one opponent per week for two matches. The regular season runs until Apr. 3 at which point the NCAA tournament will begin, ending on Apr. 25. The Huskies will look to qualify for a 19th consecutive NCAA tournament.
When last we saw the Huskies it was in the Elite Eight of the 2019 NCAA tournament, but Washington graduated four from that group including three starters that all finished among the Top-10 in school history at their position statistically. But Head Coach Keegan Cook, now in his sixth season, will have several starters back to build around, including senior middle blocker Lauren Sanders, senior opposite Samantha Drechsel, junior outside hitter Claire Hoffman, and junior setter Ella May Powell, who earned All-America Third Team honors in 2019.
Another wrinkle of this season is that players will not use up a year of eligibility.
Washington's first opponent, ASU, had its first winning season last year under Head Coach Sanja Tomasevic, former Husky great. The Sun Devils finished eighth in the Pac-12 and return several starters including Megan Beedie, Iman Isanovic, Kennedi Boyd, and Noa Miller. The team has a huge eight-player freshman class.