Volleyball Hosts Intrastate Rival Washington State This Friday
Oct. 8, 2002
A Look Ahead
Washington (10-5/2-4) looks recover from a four match skid with a match against No. 16 Washington State (13-2/4-2) this Friday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Bank of America Arena. After opening the conference season 2-0 with wins over the Oregon school, the Huskies have lost their last four contests to No. 1 USC, No. 13 ULCA, No. 20 Arizona and No. 22 Arizona State.
Washington holds the commanding 42-20 (.667) lead over Washington State. The Huskies are 4-6 in their last 10 match-ups with the Cougars, with WSU winning the last six matches. Washington's last victory over Washington State came on Oct. 23, 1998, with a five-game victory in Pullman, Wash.
Washington lost back-to-back five-game heart breakers to the Arizona schools last week. The Huskies battled back from a 0-2 deficit against the No. 22 Sun Devils on Thursday to win games three and four to force a fifth-game tiebreaker. Washington trailed 12-8 in game five as ASU's Julia Leddy tormented the Huskies with five kills. The Dawgs rallied to pull within one at 14-13 but Juliana Escobar recorded two kills to lift the Sun Devils to victory.
Four Huskies finished the match with double-figure kills, including Sanja Tomasevic with 19, Paige Benjamin with 17, Alexis McDonald with 15 and Darla Myhre with 11.
Washington again found itself in a fifth-game tiebreaker against Arizona on Friday night. The Huskies topped the Wildcats in hitting percentage, kills and aces but couldn't hold on for the win.
In game five, the teams played even through 12-12 but a UW error and two Kim Glass kills put the game out of reach for the Dawgs, 15-12.
Benjamin finished with a match-high 28 kills, while Tomasevic added 22 kills and 11 digs. Freshman libero Candace Lee led the Husky defense with 12 digs and Myhre collected four block assists on the night.
Scouting Washington State
No. 16 Washington State comes into town boasting a two-match win streak with a pair of wins over the Arizona schools. Last week, the Cougars defeated No. 20 Arizona, 3-2 and No. 22 Arizona State, 3-0, to improve their record to 13-2 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-10.
Senior outside hitter Adrian Hankoff leads WSU with 3.75 kills per game, while also chipping in 3.12 digs per game. Senior rightside hitter LaToya Harris has also proved an all-around threat with 3.65 kpg and 2.67 digs per game. Rookie Brenn Larson runs the Cougar offense and averages 12.82 assists per game, while ranking third on the squad with 2.30 dpg.
Senior libero Kortney Jamtass anchors the Cougar defense with a team leading 3.71 dpg. WSU also relies on middle hitters Victoria Prince and Holly Harris to make the big blocks. Prince collected 12 block assists against the Arizona schools, while Harris added a solo and five block assists.
Huskies Ranks Among Top in NCAA Statistics
Three Huskies currently rank among the nation's top as reported by the NCAA. As of the last report on Sept. 29, senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin ranks ninth in the country in kills per game. Junior Kara Bjorklund ranks 11th in hitting percentage and Benjamin ranks 17th. Senior setter Gretchen Maurer is also listed among the nation's elite as she ranks 12th in assists per game.
Benjamin Carries Kill Load
Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin continues to lead the Huskies after collecting 45 kills (4.50 kpg) in matches against Arizona and Arizona State. She has posted double-digit kill totals in 14 consecutive matches and has tallied 20 or more kills four times this season, including a career-high 28 kills against Arizona.
Tomasevic Comes Up Big On Defense
Sophomore outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic posted a career-high 25 digs against Arizona State. It was her second 20-plus dig match of the season and the most by a Husky since Gretchen Maurer recorded 25 digs against Oregon on Nov. 9, 2001.
Washington continues to lead the Pac-10 in service aces with 2.34 aces per game. The Huskies best team performance came against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 14 when they posted 14 aces in the three game match. Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlin Leck tied the school record earlier this season with eight aces against San Francisco on Sept. 6. Leck is just the third player in Washington history to accomplish this feat and the only one to do so in less then five games. Washington defeated USF in three games.
Sophomore Alexis McDonald has been essential to the Husky defense this season as she leads the team with 59 blocks (1.37 bpg). Her block total ranks third among the Pac-10 and accounts for 45 percent of the Huskies blocks this season (132).
Lee In Libero
Freshman libero Candace Lee tallied 26 digs (2.6 dpg) last week against the Arizona schools. Overall, Lee has recorded eight double-figure dig matches, including her last three. Her career-best was 18 digs in the four-game loss to Hawaii on Sept. 7. Lee leads the team with 150 digs (3.12 dpg) which ties for 10th in the Pac-10.
Maurer Runs The Show
Senior setter Gretchen Maurer ranks second in the conference with 12.86 assists per game. Last year, Maurer ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with 12.53 apg. She also ranks eighth in the league in aces, averaging 0.46 aces per game, including five aces against the Arizona schools. Maurer has also done some damage to opposing teams at the net, recording eight block assists against ASU last Thursday.
Benjamin Racks In The Points
Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin ranks second in the Pac-10 with 5.95 points per game. Her 297 total points are also second on the conference list. Benjamin currently ranks second in the league with 5.30 kills per game and is fifth in hitting percentage with a .383 clip.
Paige Benjamin and Kaitlin Leck were named to the Eighth Aston Imua Wahine All-Tournament on Sept. 7. Benjamin led the team with 61 kills (6.10 kpg) and hit .397 over the three matches. Leck showed her versatility with 25 kills (2.50 kpg), 17 digs (1.70 dpg) and 12 service aces (1.20 apg). It marked the second such honor for Benjamin and Leck this season who were also selected to the All-Tournament team at the Miami-Best Western Classic along with teammate Alexis McDonald.