Yes you read that correctly. About an hour ago, at the time of writing, the October 29th match where UW Volleyball brings the Ducks into town was officially moved to ESPN.
The rivalry has been inflamed for what the football team has been doing the past couple years and the constant jabs and insults thrown back and forth for the better part of the last three decades. Maybe it didn’t take a comment from failed coach Jimmy Lake about the lesser academics at that school (unfortunately, before the game was played) as stakes were breaking hearts through the last half of the 2010s.
The reason this is mentioned is because Washington, quite frankly, has dominated Oregon on the volleyball side and it’s not even close. Since 1999, Washington sports a 34-10 all time record against the Ducks and 15-game winning streak between the years of 2002 and 2009. Although currently the Huskies are on a losing streak versus the Ducks, it’s the longest ever losing streak against them at just 2. The past ten years see the Huskies favored at 6-4 meaning that Oregon has recently been making a charge and UW has 17 wins both home and away. This rivalry remains fun, but one sided.
Perhaps NIL makes this Oregon team better able to compete and who else on the West Coast but Oregon to throw money at players? Okay, maybe USC, but that’s besides the point.
This Oregon team is 6-2 in the conference behind Stanford, Washington State and Arizona State. On Sunday, they have a powerful weekend where volleyball fans get to see a heavyweight clash between them and the Cardinal in what is likely going to be a blackout in Eugene.
Despite what history says, Washington will have their hands full on national television. This is not, however, a resurgent Oregon team in this matchup like Washington has been in football for seven years now. No, this is an Oregon team that doesn’t have the legacy to back it up. And that makes it scarier. Oregon is on a path to write a new future and as of right now, Washington may be the best rival to stand in the way. Catch it on ESPN, October 29th @ 12:00 PST.
This weekend Washington heads to Southern California again — this time to take on USC and UCLA