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The W at Washington: Weekend Preview

This will be a better weekend, but likely overshadowed heavily with Gameday in town

Elisa Hani rises to deliver a point for Washington Huskies
Jeff Scott Shaw

A rumbling reverberates from Husky Stadium to Alaska Airlines Arena and I’d like to meet it. This time, it will end its wonderfully gripping and evolving course on the volleyball team who hosts Colorado on Friday the 13th and Utah on Sunday, October 15th.

As tantalizing as the games were last weekend, Husky nation dressing down for the first conference home game of the season, it was remarkably a one shot dilemma with the strength of the Stanford Cardinal making Cal the only game to hope for a win. And I use hope meaningfully, because the rankings for any sport or media attention to any of UW’s teams (or dare I say lack thereof) makes the school a qualified rebellion in the face of the emboldened media locomotive.

Rebellions have losses, Washington posting a 2-4 conference record to start the season. But there’s light. Emani Bush hasn’t played a single minute this season and injuries were ever more plaguing with the May Pertovsky and Lauren Bays out for the last game. Against the northern California schools Kierstyn Barton got her first Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award and in September became the second Husky to post 25 kills in a set since newly inducted UW HOF member Krista Vansant.

Kierstyn Barton for the Huskies lines up against the third ranked Stanford Cardinal
Jeff Scott Shaw

And this weekend should provide easy pickings for the Dawgs.

Colorado’s conference record mirrors that of the Huskies at 2-4, but this school represents a Pac-12 South that regularly fails to compete with the rest of the conference. Arguably they have had it worse playing Stanford and Oregon, but I’d be willing to look at the facts. The team is fired up and getting accustomed in an Alaska Airlines Arena that has rocked with the best of the best.

The Buffaloes’ defense is nothing to wash however, with 2.79 blocks that put them at 16th in the nation. It’s the offense that will give those in the mountain as they post a 177th rank in aces and 200th in kills. The Huskies will likely win but with the balance in record and they’re kill hungry offense against UC’s stout defense, they’ll need home court advantage for this to tilt their side.

That’s not to say it’s impossible. The Dawg Pound picks UW in a 3-2 thriller.

Coach Leslie Gabriel of the Washington Huskies surveys the court against Cal on 8 October 2023
Jeff Scott Shaw

Utah is the Sunday matchup posting an offense not much better with a 159th ranking in kills. The Utes are 3-3 on the season in the conference so what they come across as is a slightly better Colorado. They ran an identical gauntlet to Colorado and dropped the lone matchup between the two teams. Where in the world is this team’s identity?

The team is tied for 104th in blocks per set so it can’t be that. 158th overall in assists per set. Hold on, are we saying that this should be an easier game than Colorado?

Indeed. Utah is 5-5 non conference which is good enough to be last between them, Colorado, and Washington. This should be easier for the young squad to rally something bodacious and the Pound is picking this to be a 3-1 victory for the Dawgs.