After last weekend’s 3-0 loss to No. 5 USC and 3-1 win over then-No. 23 UCLA, Washington State remained at No. 10 in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 poll.
This weekend, the fifth-place Cougars (19-4, 7-4) play host to unranked Arizona State (12-9, 3-7) Friday and No. 13 Arizona (15-3, 7-3) Saturday, both at 7 p.m.
The Cougars, 2-3 since Oct. 10, easily defeated the Sun Devils earlier this year. However, after starting the year with a 17-0 record, they were handed their first loss by the Wildcats on Oct. 3.
Arizona, fourth in the conference standings, is coming off a 3-1 win over ASU. The victory was its fourth straight and lifted the Cats to 12 games above .500 for the first time since 1982.
Arizona’s biggest threat is 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter Carolyn Penfield, who is averaging 3.76 kills per game. Against ASU, Penfield finished with 33 kills, fourth best in school history.
As a team, WSU is hitting .258 to Arizona’s .250 and ASU’s .222.
Although eighth-place ASU has only won three conference matches, one was against a dangerous Washington team. The Sun Devils most dominate player is 5-7 senior Terri Cox. The outside hitter’s 4.47 kills per game is fifth best in the Pac-10. Cox leads the conference in digs with 3.54 per game.
Spikes and digs
No Cougar hitter is among the top 10 kill leaders in the Pac-10. Cougar junior middle blocker Jennifer Stinson is second in the conference in blocks per game with 1.68. Teammate Keren Oigman’s attack percentage is .326, eighth best in the Pac-10. … Makare Desilets of Washington was named the AVCA and Pac-10 player of the week. The 6-2 middle blocker set career highs with 37 digs and 13 blocks in a five-game win over USC.
The University of Idaho (12-11, 6-4 Big West Conference) is off to North Texas (6-19, 1-9) Thursday and New Mexico State (9-13, 5-5) Saturday. The Vandals already beat both teams this year but are coming off two straight home losses for the first time since 1990. UI is tied with Boise State for first place in the conference and meets the Broncos at home on Nov. 8.
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