Home Season Starts Thursday For No. 13 Huskies
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
ALASKA AIRLINES ARENA
THURSDAY, SEPT. 8
Northwestern vs. Cal Poly • 11 am | Live Video | Live Stats
Cal Poly vs. #24 Pepperdine • 5 pm | Live Video | Live Stats
#13 Washington vs. Northwestern • 7:30 pm | Live Video | Live Stats
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9
#13 Washington vs. #24 Pepperdine • 11 am | Live Video | Live Stats
#24 Pepperdine vs. Northwestern • 5 pm | Live Video | Live Stats
#13 Washington vs. Cal Poly • 7:30 pm | Live Video | Live Stats
SEATTLE -- It's Home Sweet Home for the 13th-ranked Huskies this week as UW opens up Alaska Airlines Arena and reunites with its fans for the first time in 2022. Washington hosts the Husky Invitational this Thursday and Friday, Sept. 8-9, with six matches over the two days between the Dawgs, Northwestern, Pepperdine, and Cal Poly.
Washington (3-1) will cap off Thursday's trio of matches with its home opener against the Big Ten's Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. Then on Friday, the Huskies play 24th-ranked Pepperdine at 11 a.m. before returning that night for a 7:30 p.m. match with the Mustangs from San Luis Obispo. All six matches will be streamed live either on GoHuskies.com (neutral matches) or via Pac-12 Insider (all UW matches).
The Dawgs have won three-straight since an opening day road loss, having made a couple lengthy trips to Arkansas and Colorado before their home opener. Last week, UW defeated Iowa and then-No. 19 Illinois at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, with Ella May Powell and Marin Grote earning All-Tournament Team honors. The Huskies have hit .295 or better in each of their three wins.
UW gets a third-straight Big Ten opponent for starters on Thursday in the Wildcats of Northwestern. Senior Hanna Lesiak is the Big Ten Player of the Week this week after leading NU to a 3-0 reocrd at the Golden Eagle Invitational, recording 3.45 kills per set and hitting .412. Northwestern is off to a 6-0 start and is hitting .332 for the year, best in the Big Ten. Lesiak also leads the team with 12 aces so far. Senior Temi Thomas-Ailara was an All-Big Ten First Team selection the past two seasons.
Pepperdine entered the rankings this week after scoring a big upset over then-No. 9 Baylor last week to improve to 5-1. The team's only loss was at No. 1 Nebraska. Grace Chillingworth was named West Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Week and Riley Patterson was named Defensive Player of the Week. Chillingworth had 17 kills in the win over Baylor. Pepperdine is holding opponents to a .171 attack percentage, with 15.81 digs per set and 2.90 blocks per set. Rachel Ahrens was an AVCA All-America honorable mention last year. The Huskies won a 3-1 decision over the Waves last year in Malibu.
Washington also had a 3-1 win over Cal Poly last season at Pepperdine. The Mustangs had a week off after an 0-3 opening weekend against Utah State, UCLA, and Utah Valley. Cal Poly was third in the Big West last year at 13-7 and 15-16 overall. They were picked third again this fall and are led by 2019 All-American Maia Dvoracek. Meredith Phillips had a big weekend blocking in the opening week, averaging 1.55 blocks per set. Tommi Stockham was another all-conference outside hitter last season, and had 32 kills in the first week.