Friday, November 7, 2014

UW volleyball outlook (Terry Wood)

No. 2 UW vs. No. 11 Oregon and Oregon State
see also: Top 5 reasons to see Oregon @ Washington volleyball in person this Friday

When/where: 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. Oregon (ESPNU) and 5 p.m. Sunday vs. OSU (Pac-12 Network), Alaska Airlines Arena.

Oregon Head Coach Jim Moore
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
UW record: 23-0 (12-0 Pac-12), tied for the most consecutive wins to start a season in 14-year UW career of coach Jim McLaughlin.  UW was last 23-0 in 2005, the year it won a national title. UW was 22-1 a year ago at this point en route to a Final Four appearance.

Oregon record: 17-5, third-best overall record among Pac-12 teams (7-5 Pac-12). Ducks lost at home 3-0 last Sunday to No. 1 Stanford. UW defeated Oregon 3-1 in Eugene Oct. 12.

Oregon State record: 15-8 (5-7 Pac-12, ninth place). Beavers are an improving team, sweeping No. 20 Arizona State 3-0 two weeks ago. OSU won the second set vs. Stanford last Friday and barely dropped the third (26-24) before falling 3-1. UW needed four sets to top the Beavs 3-1 in Corvallis Oct. 10.

Washington libero Cassie Strickland (8) celebrates
during Huskies' 3-1 October 10 win against
Oregon State in Corvallis
-photo courtesy Shutter Geeks
Star players: 2013 national player of the year Krista Vansant (15th nationally in kills per set; 10 matches with double-digit digs) is UW’s marquee name, but junior middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon has also been a two-way force on offense and defense, ranking third in blocks per set (1.6) and 17th in hitting percentage (.410), an uncommon double-double. Sybeldon is the only player nationally to be ranked in the top 20 of both categories….Junior libero Cassie Strickland is the Pac-12 defensive player of the week; her 25 digs in last week’s 3-0 win at USC were one shy of the school digs record for a three-set match.

By the numbers


UW’s hitting percentage, third-best in the country. (Oregon is 14th, .274).


Opponents’ hitting percentage against UW, tops in the Pac-12 (a stat not tracked by the NCAA)


UW’s team blocks per set, No. 6 nationally.


Matches remaining before a possible meeting of unbeatens (Stanford at UW) on Nov. 26.

-Terry Wood


  1. Okay, swept the Ducks, who scored 20, 18, 20 points. Stanford also just swept the Ducks, who scored 23,21,21 points. Not a significant difference, right?
    How about this: Stanford at home gets stretched to five games in its matches with ASU and Arizona (televised tonight on PAC-12 network, same time that the Dawgs were on ESPNU). The same two teams that the Huskies beat on the road a month ago, 3-0 and 3-1. Does this build a case that U-W has the better team?

  2. Actually the NCAA does track Team Opp. Hitting Percentage:

  3. Watching some of the Stanford/ASU match, I thought we handled ASU much better, but Stanford did make it happen and that's the mark of a good team. Especially with it at home, I think we will be undefeated and #1 ranked heading into the tournament, which I believe would give us home court advantage all the way to the finals (not sure there). I know we lose Vansant and Nelson this year, but I am very impressed with Jones and Scambray and think they'll fill in just fine going forwards. As long as McLaughlin is coaching here, this team will always be in the hunt...


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