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Husky Volleyball awarded #8 national seed - Instant Reaction

The #8 Huskies will host the first two rounds at Hec Ed, featuring Illinois, Hawaii, and their first-round opponent, LIU-Brooklyn.

UW middle blocker Lauren Sanders (center, in white) goes for a block against a Colorado attacker in a match at Alaska Airlines Arena on October 8, 2017. Washington won 3-0.
Ed Strong

The 2017 NCAA Volleyball tournament bracket was announced Sunday night, and UW was awarded the #8 seed, meaning they will host the first two rounds. Here are the four teams in Seattle, with some nitty gritty stuff about them:

Washington: 24-7, 14-6 Pac-12, RPI 8

Illinois: 21-10, 12-8 Big Ten, RPI 26

Hawaii: 20-7, 14-2 Big West, RPI 37

LIU-Brooklyn: 20-9, 13-3 NEC, RPI 111

Here’s the schedule for the first round:

Friday, 5 PM PST: Illinois vs Hawaii

Friday, 7:30 PM (or 30 min after IL-HI): Long Island vs #8 Washington

The winners would play sometime on Saturday evening, though I’m not sure the exact time.

I’ll get more of a scouting report on Illinois, Hawaii, and Long Island later this week, and with any luck, some insight into those teams from their own coaches in press conferences this week (crosses fingers). Here’s some instant reaction:

What it means for Washington

No Nebraska! - For the first time in a while (at least 4 years), Washington and Nebraska are not in the same region. The Huskies have been knocked out by the Huskers in each of the last three seasons (2014 Sweet 16, 2015 & 2016 Elite Eight). This year, #5 Nebraska landed on the same half as the Huskies, but not the same region, so they wouldn’t play until potentially the Final Four.

Hitters beware - There are going to be lots of blocks this weekend, especially if Washington and Illinois meet up. UW ranks #5 in the country in blocks, while the Illini are 13th, led by #4 individual Ali Bastianelli (get used to hearing her name called for the orange and blue - she’s good). Hawaii is not amazing as a team (top-40), but senior Emily Maglio is a force, ranking 13th.

Rematch looming? - Should Washington advance to the Sweet 16, the most likely foe they could meet there is Creighton, who won a 3-1 decision on the opening weekend of the season in Seattle. Washington is a bit different team than that meeting, but Creighton is much different, mostly due to injury. Match would most likely be played in State College, PA, as the highest seed in each quadrant remaining after the first two rounds hosts the regional. So unless #1 overall Penn State loses in the first two rounds, the winner of this subregional is headed to central Pennsylvania.

Go Dawgs.