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The V: Cal Poly Preview

Washington travels to Cal Poly for their non-conference-finisher

UW Volleyball celebrates a victory against FIU
UW Volleyball

The upcoming match between Washington and Cal Poly has raised questions about the potential outcome and its implications for the Washington squad. This analysis delves into various factors that could influence the game’s result and the team’s overall performance.

To begin, the absence of Emani Bush, one of Washington’s standout players, has cast a shadow over their season thus far. As a freshman, Bush made a significant impact, participating in 75 sets and ranking third on the team in kills per set and fourth in total kills. Her performance only improved as a sophomore, earning her an honorable mention. The void left by Bush’s absence has been palpable, exemplified by their surprising loss to UTEP in their first match of the season.

However, the team has displayed resilience, led by May Pertovsky, a senior middle blocker and outside hitter who has been instrumental in their subsequent seven-match winning streak. Pertovsky has averaged an impressive 3.16 kills and 3.95 points per set, stepping up to fill the void left by Bush.

Now, turning our attention to Cal Poly, a team that has recorded five wins in a somewhat disjointed season. Their losses have been primarily against Stephen F Austin and the University of New Hampshire, while their notable victories include those against Virginia Commonwealth University and Southern Mississippi. On paper, this matchup might seem like an easy victory for Washington, but there are underlying concerns.

Washington remains a young team, as evidenced by their loss to UTEP, a game that was practically a home match for the opponent. While the Huskies have displayed cohesion and momentum during their winning streak since then, they cannot afford to lose focus against a potentially competitive Cal Poly side.

In sports, focus often emerges as the decisive factor. Statistically, Cal Poly excels in maintaining a potent offensive attack, with players like Lizzy Markovska averaging 3.09 kills per set and Tommi Stockham closely following at 3.06 kills per set. Their versatility and adaptable playing styles present a challenge for defenders.

Nonetheless, Washington’s best chance at securing victory lies in exploiting a Cal Poly defense that has displayed vulnerability throughout the season. While Washington may lack a size advantage in their starting lineup, the comparatively smaller stature of several Cal Poly players, such as Maya Bartkowiak and London Haberfield, who stand at 5’3”, could be an avenue for the Huskies to exploit.

In the realm of college sports, unpredictability reigns supreme. Hence, expectations must be tempered, and all possibilities considered. To attain an 8-1 record, the Huskies will need to operate as a cohesive unit, relying on their collective strengths and strategies. The outcome of this matchup, therefore, hinges on the team’s ability to adapt, exploit weaknesses, and maintain unwavering focus in the face of formidable opposition.

Upcoming Schedule

Thursday 9/14, 7:00p PT- at Cal Poly (ESPN+)

Friday 9/15, 3:00p PT- Pepperdine

Saturday 9/16, 10:30a PT- Saint Mary’s