Oregons In Town For No. 16 Huskies
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY VOLLEYBALL
SEATTLE -- Week three of the Pac-12 season looms large for the 16th-ranked Huskies as they host the Oregon schools including the first-place Ducks. Washington (11-3, 3-1 Pac-12) can get back into a tie for first in the early conference race with a couple wins this weekend at Alaska Airlines Arena. The first challenge will be Oregon State on Friday night at 8 p.m., then the 12th-ranked Ducks come to town for a Sunday evening battle, set for 4 p.m. Both matches will air live on Pac-12 Networks.
UW is coming off a 2-1 road stretch in California and now plays six of its next eight conference matches at home. Washington has had to deal with some adversity at the outside hitter position with injuries to Shannon Crenshaw and Madi Endsley, who was hurt in the loss last week at Stanford. But UW responded well in its last match at Cal, sweeping the Bears and getting help from Audra Wilmes in her first career start.
Oregon State is 1-3 in conference and 6-8 overall. Last week the Beavers were swept by Arizona and lost a tough five setter to Arizona State. Their win came over Cal in five sets. Oregon State is hitting .184 for the season, last in the Pac-12. However, OSU ranks first in digs per set with 15.43, led by Ryan White's 3.35 digs per set. Mychael Vernon leads the squad with 3.15 kills per set but against ASU, Nursena Ballioglu led the team with 13 kills, hitting .200. Inna Balyko sets the team, averaging 8.65 assists per set.
The Ducks are the only 4-0 team in the Pac-12 thus far, having beating OSU, Stanford, and the Arizona schools, all at home, and with only one set lost. The Ducks are hitting .339 so far in conference play and .298 for the season. Oregon also defends well, averaging 2.50 blocks per set to rank fifth and 15.27 digs per set to rank third overall. All-American senior Brooke Nuneviller is third in the Pac-12 with 4.20 kills per set. Libero Georgia Murphy is fifth with 3.91 digs per set and Hannah Pukis, a transfer from Washington State, is fifth with 10.30 assists per set. Gloria Mutiri is hitting .335 with 2.17 kills per set, and freshman Mimi Colyer is second on the team with 3.53 kills per set, hitting .272.