Volleyball Takes On Portland Tuesday In Final Non-Conference Match

Oct. 16, 2001

SEATTLE - Last Week:
10/8 at Washington St.*^ L, 0-3
10/12 at Arizona State* W, 3-1
10/13 at #7 Arizona* L, 2-3

This Week:
10/16 Portland 7:00 PM
10/19 at #4 Stanford* 7:00 PM
10/20 at California* 7:00 PM

Next Week:
10/26 Oregon State* 7:00 PM
10/27 Oregon* 7:00 PM

Round Two: After its final regular season non-conference match Tuesday versus Portland, the Washington volleyball team begins round two of Pac-10 play. The Huskies head to the California and the Bay Area for matches at No. 4 Stanford (Oct. 19) and California (Oct. 20). The UW beat Cal earlier in the year in three games, while it lost to the Cardinal in a four-game battle.

Just Three More: After recording 22 kills in two matches last weekend, UW senior Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) is poised to become the eighth player in school history to record 1,000-career kills. Underhill enters Tuesday's match versus Portland with 997 kills, ranking her eighth in the Husky career record books.

Season-Best Night: Last Friday, the Huskies used one of the team's best all-around attacks of the season to defeat Arizona State for the first time since 1998. A season-best five UW players tallied double-figures in kills, including freshman Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Calif.), who had a career-best 21 kills. Five also added double-digit dig totals (tied a season best), led by Allison Richardson's (Hemet, Calif.) career-high 20 digs.

Other notables included setter Gretchen Maurer's (San Clemente, Calif.) career-best 57 assists and freshmen Kaitlin Leck's (Carson City, Nev.) and Gilliam's first career double-doubles.

Allison Re-Doubles Up: With her seven kills against Washington State last week, senior Allison Richardson's streak of 14 consecutive matches with 10 kills or more came to an end. Richardson had entered the meeting with the Cougars with double-digit kill totals in each of her 13 matches in 2001, after finishing her junior campaign with 13 kills versus Gonzaga.

Last weekend, however, Richardson restarted her streak with 17 kills in the win over Arizona State, followed by 19 in the team's near-upset of No. 7 Arizona. So far this season, Richardson has led or been tied for the lead in kills in 13 of 17 matches, one of which she missed due to injury.

Within The Ranks: Three Washington players once again rank within the top 10 of several categories in the conference's most recent leader charts. Junior setter Gretchen Maurer's 12.35 assists per game is third-best in the Pac-10, while senior Lisa Underhill is ninth in hitting percentage (.352) and fourth in blocks per game (1.30). Senior Allison Richardson appears in four categories, including kills (fourth), aces (eighth), digs (seventh) and points (fourth).

The points category is a new feature which came about this season as a result of the rally-only scoring format. Points are calculated by adding player kills, aces, block solos and half of their block assists.

Leading The Pac: A pair of UW seniors, Lisa Underhill and Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.), still are among the active career leaders in the Pac-10 Conference. Underhill has the most career blocks of any player in the conference (378), while she is sixth in kills with 997. Churnside, meanwhile, is seventh on the active career leader list in assists (1,897) and ninth in digs (715).

Earlier this season, the Huskies' 16 aces versus Purdue tied for 10th-most on the all-time Pac-10 individual match list.

Pac-10 Power: Of Washington's eight losses this season, five have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25, while two others have been versus teams that have received votes in the national poll sometime this season.

For the third straight week, the Pac-10 has four schools ranked in the top seven including No. 3 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona. The Pac-10's four ranked teams are rivaled only by the Big Ten Conference, which also has four schools in the top 25, including No. 6 Wisconsin, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 11 Penn State and No. 21 Minnesota.

Scouting Portland: The Portland Pilots and the Huskies meet for the first time since 1993 Tuesday at Bank of America Arena. The UW holds a huge 12-1 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools, with Portland's only victory coming in 1983, in three games in Corvallis, Ore.

This year, the Pilots are 4-10 overall record, including a three-game win over St. Mary's last Saturday. The Pilots' other wins have come against Montana, Georgia Southern and Portland State.

Under head coach Doug Sparks, Portland has been led by senior Bridget Dechant, who averages 2.98 kills per game, while teammate Bridget Beschen contributes 2.62 kills a game. Julie Allen and Sara Emgstrom share the setting duties, and Kuulei Kamanao is the team's top defensive player with 2.62 digs per game.

Scouting Stanford: With the two schools' last two meetings going to four and five games respectively, the Huskies will look to upset the fourth-ranked Stanford Cardinal, who enters the match with a 15-2 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the Pac-10.

Under head coach John Dunning, the Cardinal is led by 2000 Olympian Logan Tom, who has averages 4.72 kills per game to go with 3.29 digs per game and 0.91 blocks per game. Freshman Ogonna Nhamani ranks second in kills per game (3.66), while Robyn Lewis (12.23 a/g) and Anna Robinson (9.88 a/g) have shared the team's setting duties. Three Stanford players average more than a block per game, led by Sara McGee's 1.77 mark.

Stanford has won 33 of the team's 35 meetings with the last UW victory coming in 1997.

Scouting California: California (5-9 overall, 1-7 Pac-10), under head coach Rich Feller, has struggled through its Pac-10 season so far, claiming just one victory over Oregon (3-0) in its eight conference matches.

Sophomore outside hitter Gabrielle Abernathy (3.41 k/g) and freshman Mia Jerkov (3.56 k/g) continue to lead the Golden Bears' offense. Setter Candace McNamee averages 10.17 assists per game, while Caity Noonan is first on her team with 2.93 digs per game.

The Huskies, who own a 19-17 lead in the all-time series, ended a four-match losing streak to the Golden Bears earlier this season with a three-game sweep.

Connections-Connections: Washington junior setter Gretchen Maurer will get to face her former high school teammate, Portland's Bridget Beschen, for the first time ... Friday's match with the Cardinal will be the fourth and possibly final meeting between UW sophomore defensive specialist Libba Lawrence (West Linn, Ore.) and her sister, Stanford senior defensive specialist Emily Lawrence ... former Sierra Nevada Volleyball Club teammates, Washington's Kaitlin Leck, and Stanford's Jennifer Hucke, face for the second time ... UW freshman Vanessa Gilliam will get a chance to see her former club coach, Cal assistant Lee Maes, who also coached her on the 1998 USA Volleyball Youth National Team.

Upcoming: The Huskies play host to Oregon and Oregon State at home, October 26-27. The UW split with the Oregon school earlier this season, with the Huskies defeating the Ducks in three games after dropping a three-game match to Oregon State the night before.

See Us On TV: If you're looking to see a Husky home match without leaving your home, Fox Sports and the Pac-10 have made it all possible. Washington's match with Arizona on Friday, Nov. 9, in Seattle will be televised by Fox Sports Net (national) on a tape-delay basis. The team's Nov. 16 meeting with Washington State also will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest and can be chosen as the 'wildcard' selection for Fox Sports Net.

Fox Sports Net will televise eight other Pac-10 women's volleyball matches in 2001, all of which are scheduled to air on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. from Sept. 22-Nov. 17.

A New Coach: Jim McLaughlin, head coach at Kansas State University for the past four seasons, was named head women's volleyball coach at the University of Washington on August 1, 2001. McLaughlin, who became the seventh head coach in school history, replaces former head coach Bill Neville, who announced his retirement on July 17, after 10 years at Washington.

McLaughlin spent the last four seasons building the Kansas State women's volleyball program into a national power, compiling an 82-43 record and taking the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Last season, McLaughlin led Kansas State to a 22-9 record, a program-best No. 16 national ranking and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Prior to a one-year stint as an assistant at Notre Dame in 1996, McLaughlin was the men's head coach at the University of Southern California for seven seasons, leading the Trojans to the NCAA title in 1990 (his first season as head coach) and a runner-up finish a year later.

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