Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pac-12 | Why ASU @ Washington matters more than you might think

Plenty at stake during tonight’s 8PM match

Washington's rowdy student section could be near-empty tonight
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
Last Friday’s Oregon/Washington match was an instant classic, possibly the most gripping Pac-12 contest of the season. 4,000 fans were there, but many others wouldn’t or couldn’t fight through the rain, the traffic and/or other Friday night commitments.

You can bet they wish they'd made the effort.

Tonight’s match against Arizona State has all the hallmarks—even warning signs—of a match that could matter. Consider:
  • Arizona State is 7-11 in the Pac-12, 18-13 overall. The Sun Devils will almost certainly be selected for the NCAA Tournament, but will be eager to avoid a first-round matchup against one of the 16 seeded teams. A win over Washington might be their ticket.
  • ASU has two bad losses against Utah, but they swept California and shocked USC. Two weeks ago, they took Oregon to five in Eugene, losing 13-15 in the final set.
  • Washington will likely once again be without its leading scorer, Krista Vansant, who is still healing from a badly sprained ankle (we’ll know more at game time.)
  • The NCAA Tournament selection committee seems loathe to include as many as five Pac-12 teams in the top 16 seeds, and will surely consider punishing the Huskies if they fall to either ASU or WSU this week.
  • No Pac-12 team has a bigger or louder student section than Washington. You can bet that section will be empty the night before Thanksgiving.

In the past, the Washington marketing staff invites youth club teams to sit in the student section during Thanksgiving week home matches. And—in a nod to out-of-state family and friend holiday visitors—UW is offering free admission to anyone with an out-of-state ID.

  • Washington confirmed that it has received National Letters of Intent from two blue-chip recruits, both from Southern California. Bailey Tanner is a setter/outside hitter from San Clemente (and the daughter of volleyball great Troy Tanner.) Carly deHoog is a hitter from Ontario, CA. We hope to have interviews with each of these players in the days ahead.

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