Huskies Reunite With Home Crowd Thursday
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
#7 Washington hosts Portland • 6:00 pm - CANCELED
Alaska Airlines Arena
Live stream on GoHuskies.com
SEATTLE -- For the first time in 647 days, the Husky volleyball team gets to play back in front of the purple faithful at Alaska Airlines Arena this week. Seventh-ranked Washington (5-1) makes its season home debut this Thursday and Friday with three matches against Montana State, Fresno State, and Portland, which will close out the non-conference section of the schedule.
Thursday, Sept. 16, UW will host a double-header, first playing Montana State at 11 a.m. and then returning at 7 p.m. to take on Fresno State. Friday, the Huskies and Pilots meet up at 6 p.m. All matches, including the two neutral matches between Portland and Fresno State on Thursday and Fresno State and Montana State on Friday will be streamed online at GoHuskies.com.
The Huskies went 5-1 on their opening three week road stretch, and are currently on a four-match winning streak, all four matches in four sets. UW got its first win over a ranked opponent last weekend, winning at 22nd-ranked Pepperdine. Ella May Powell was named tournament MVP in Malibu, with Claire Hoffman and Sophie Summers on the all-tournament team as well. The Huskies are currently hitting .297 and holding opponents to a .209 mark, with an edge in aces (1.83/set to 1.35), blocks (2.13/set to 1.52), and digs (12.30/set to 12.00).
Washington's last home match with no crowd limitations was the 2019 NCAA second round match against South Carolina on Dec. 7. Last spring, UW was able to play for select friends and family, but Thursday will be the first time in nearly two years that all fans are welcomed back.
Washington's first opponent Thursday are the Bobcats from the Big Sky Conference. MSU is 4-5 but is the only team to beat Boise State, a team that upset No. 10 Utah on Monday. The Bobcats also had close 2-3 losses to Long Beach State, Arkansas, and Utah State. The Bobcats are hitting .232 as a team with 3.00 kills per set from Kira Thomsen and 2.92 from Hannah Scott. Jordan Radick averages 1.19 blocks per set and Emma Pence adds 1.15 as MSU is at 2.30 blocks per set as a team. The Huskies last played Montana State in 2008, getting the straight set win.
Fresno State is 3-3 this season coming off a tight 2-3 loss to Kansas State, with wins this year over CSUN, UC Riverside, and Ohio. The Bulldogs bring back former UW assistant coach Jonathan Winder, now the head coach, and former Husky volunteer assistant Hardy Wooldridge. Fresno is hitting .183 and allowing a .219 opponent mark. The Bulldogs serve 1.79 aces per set, as Desiree Sukhov has nine aces and also a team-high 2.75 kills per set. Grace Doyle is hitting .414 with 2.25 kills per set and 1.04 blocks per set. UW last hosted Fresno State in 2011, a 3-0 win.
The Pilots are 3-6 to start the season, earning wins over Nevada, Idaho, and Montana State. The squad has a .177 attack percentage with two players hitting over .300 -- Chelsey Harmon at .344 with 1.35 kills per set and Paloma Bowman at .327 with 2.00 kills per set. Jayde Harris is leading the attack with 3.06 kills per set. Grace Zilbert has a team-high 3.24 digs per set. Portland has 1.94 aces per set and has one more ace than service error. The Huskies and Pilots have not played since 2012, a 3-0 UW win in Portland.