Friday, October 31, 2014

College | Washington volleyball enters Bruins’ den facing history

Undefeated Huskies on same campus where longest streak ended

UCLA's Karsta Lowe attacks against the block of Washington's Krista Vansant and Lianna Sybeldon during the Huskies'
dramatic 3-2 come from behind victory in Seattle on October 3, 2014
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
On November 12, 2005, second-ranked Washington traveled to Westwood with a perfect 23-0 mark. The defending Pac-10 champions faced #21 UCLA, a team with a 15-8 record. Three of the five sets (in the 30-point era) were decided by two points, with the Bruins prevailing 3-2 (34-32, 30-27, 28-30, 25-30, 15-13). It would be the only loss of the 2005 campaign, as Washington won the National Championship.

Tonight, defending Pac-12 champion Washington is again ranked #2, and is again undefeated (22-0). This year’s Bruins are ranked #16 with a 15-6 record. The parallels are hard to miss.

Earlier this year in Seattle, Washington had to come from behind to beat UCLA 3-2 (18-25, 24-26, 25-17, 25-20, 15-10). That is one of a couple of warning shots that might make tonight’s match must-see:
  • This will be the Bruins’ first home match of the season. A massive flood caused by a broken city pipe shut down both Pauley Pavilion and the adjacent Wooden Center all autumn, forcing UCLA to play its LA matches at Pepperdine and elsewhere. The Wooden Center reopens tonight, and it carries fond memories for Bruin seniors: it was their home court in 2011, when UCLA won its latest national title.
  • UCLA senior Karsta Lowe has just one serious rival for 2014 Pac-12 Player of the Year: Washington’s Krista Vansant. Lowe leads the nation in kills per set (6.04), Vansant is 14th (4.62). In the teams’ first meeting, Lowe had 28 kills, to 19 for Vansant. Vansant’s all-around game (passing, serving, blocking, hitting) is arguably superior, but Lowe (like Vansant) will be a First Team All-American, and can be an absolute handful when she’s on a roll.
  • The Huskies defeated the Bruins in LA last season, but lost the three previous Westwood trips in 2010, 2011 & 2012. During the Jim McLaughlin era, UW is 5-8 against UCLA in Los Angeles. Four of those eight losses were in five sets.

This season’s UCLA @ Washington match was not televised. Sadly, the Pac-12 Network will not televise the rematch, either. You’ll have to try to stream the match on a feed provided by UCLA’s Sports Information Department.

Washington’s longest streaks to open the season during the Jim McLaughlin era:

Thanks to those who’ve asked about Volleyblog Seattle’s whereabouts the past two weeks. After covering Washington’s victory against Oregon in Eugene, we attended the 7th Annual Indie Spirit Film Festival in Colorado Springs, where our volleyball documentary, Court & Spark, won the Audience Award as the Best Sports Documentary. We then visited family in Colorado and California, enjoying autumn high-altitude camping in several National Parks along the way.

There were a few non-blog volleyball assignments, however. In case you missed them:


  1. Well that was just a plain old fashioned case of boot meet bug.

  2. Pretty much stomped them, didn't they? That's championship caliber volleyball there folks, and the match coming up with Stanford is going to be a doozy! I fully expect both teams to be undefeated going into it, and whoever comes out with the win will definitely be the best team in the nation.

    I can't believe the Pac-12 didn't broadcast this match tonight. USC/Wazzu? Cal/Oregon? Really? Geez...

    1. Yeah...but really the PAC-12 Network is essentially the CAL12 network....did you watch the USC-UW volleyball game on Wed. night? I think I now know USC's legacy thru the years....just seemed soo biased to me. That's was my impression anyways. GO DAWGS!!!

    2. The game was suppose to be originally played at Pepperdine so Pac-12 wasn't going to broadcast from Pepperdine but the John Wooden Center was fixed early but too late to change the broadcast schedule.

  3. Stanford beat OSU 3-1 on the Pac 12 Network that I watched after the end of the UW match and then Oregon did beat Cal 3-1 after losing the first set to Cal. Looking forward to the 26th of this month if they can continue to take care of business.

  4. Glad you are back to blogging, giving us the straight story on our favorite team. We appreciate your work!

  5. It was hard to be sure, peering through the grainy computer feed, but was the crowd really as small as it looked? Our high school has more attendance than what we could see at UCLA. I loved the exclamation point at the end of the match: a Sybeldon quick smash followed by a Strickland flying ace!

  6. Like coach says we want to be playing our best volleyball in December. Keep it up ladies.

  7. Help me understand...
    UW was 3rd in the RPI in Oct. 26 rankings. However, they just dropped to 4th (behind Texas - who lost to Oklahoma at home) in the Nov. 3 RPI rankings after beating two top-20 ranked RPI teams over the last weekend.

    this makes absolutely no sense.


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