Volleyball Heads To Arizona

Oct. 28, 2002

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A Look Ahead
Washington (5-6 Pac-10, 13-7) travels to face the nationally ranked Arizona schools this week. The Huskies take on No. 14 Arizona on Nov. 1 and No. 19 Arizona State on Nov. 2. Game times are slated for 7 p.m.

Last Week
Washington spilt at home last week, dropping to No. 1 USC in four games and upsetting No. 13 UCLA, 3-0. The Huskies have now won five league games, the most since the 1998 season when they finished 7-11.

Against USC, the Huskies battled back from a two game deficit to win game three but dropped the fourth in heartbreaking style, 32-30, in front of 1,526 fans. The match marked just the fourth time this season that the Women of Troy failed to sweep their opponent in three games.

Paige Benjamin led the Dawgs with 19 kills and 16 digs while Sanja Tomasevic added 14 kills and 14 digs. Freshman libero Candace Lee collected a career-high 21 digs on the night and Alexis McDonald recorded eight kills, one solo block and six block assists.

Against UCLA, Tomasevic downed 15 kills with a .536 hitting percentage to lift Washington to the upset sweep. The win came in front of 1,333 fans and marked the team's first victory over the Bruins since the 1998 season.

Benjamin added 10 kills and seven digs on the night while Gretchen Maurer ran a steady Husky offense, dishing 39 assists. Lee anchored the Husky defense with a match-high 11 digs while Washington out-blocked the Bruins, 14.5-4.0. McDonald, Darla Myhre and Kaitlin Leck each recorded six block assists on the night.

The Arizona Series
Arizona leads the all-time series over Washington, 23-13 (.639), including the last ten meetings. The Huskies dropped a five-game heartbreaker to Arizona on Oct. 4 in Seattle, 23-30, 30-24, 30-28, 21-30, 15-12. Washington held the advantage in hitting percentage, kills and aces but couldn't hold on for the win. The difference in the game was Washington's 23 service errors to Arizona's eight.

The Huskies won game one and four, before dropping the tiebreaker, 15-12. Paige Benjamin finished with a career-high 28 kills, while Sanja Tomasevic added 22 kills and 11 digs. Freshman libero Candace Lee led the Husky defense with 12 digs and freshman Darla Myhre collected four block assists on the night.

Arizona's Kim Glass recorded 26 kills and 14 digs in the win, while Lisa Rutledge added 16 kills and 14 digs.

Scouting Arizona
The No. 14 Wildcats are on a three-match win steak with sweeps over Oregon, OSU and ASU.

Arizona is led by freshman Kim Glass with 5.02 kills per game and 2.45 digs per game. Seniors Lisa Rutledge and Shannon Torregrosa are also key attackers for the Wildcats, pouring in 3.52 kpg and 2.26 kpg, respectively.

Senior Laurie Gardner runs Arizona's offense, dishing 11.91 assists per game, while also adding 2.30 digs per game.

The team ranks 28th nationally with 2.80* blocks per game, led by Bre Ladd with 1.05 bpg.

* All national rankings as of Oct. 20

The Arizona State Series
Washington holds the slight 19-18 (.514) lead over ASU in the all-time series. The Sun Devils squeaked out a five-game win in Seattle on Oct. 3, 30-24, 30-28, 27-30, 25-30, 15-13.

The Huskies battled back from a two game deficit to force a fifth-game tiebreaker. Washington trailed 12-8 in the game as ASU's Julia Leddy recorded five kills. The Dawgs rallied to pull within one at 14-13 but a Juliana Escobar kill gave the Sun Devils the match victory.

Four Huskies finished the match with double-figure kills, including Sanja Tomasevic (19), Paige Benjamin (17), Alexis McDonald (15) and Darla Myhre (11).

Scouting ASU
The No. 19 Sun Devils look to rebound after dropping a three game match to intrastate rival Arizona last week. Junior outside hitter Juliana Escobar leads the ASU offense with 4.25 kills per game and 37 aces. She also leads the defense with 3.32 digs per game.

Joining Escobar on the offensive front are Julia Leddy and Jodi Smith who average 3.07 and 2.38 kpg, respectively.

Defensively, the Sun Devils rely on libero Courtney Blocher with 3.14 dpg and Leddy and Smith who combine for 1.69 blocks per game.

Huskies Among Top in NCAA Statistical Categories
Three Huskies rank among the nation's top statistically as reported by the NCAA. As of the last report on Oct. 20, Washington ranks 10th in hitting percentage (.289). Junior Kara Bjorklund ranks fifth in the country with a .410 hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin ranks 18th in kills per game (5.13) and senior setter Gretchen Maurer is listed 19th in the assist category with 12.81 dishes per game.

Benjamin & Tomasevic Carry Kill Load
Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin and sophomore Sanja Tomasevic continue to provide the one-two punch for the Husky offense. Benjamin led Washington with 19 kills against USC last week and ranks third in the Pac-10 in conference matches with 4.80 kpg. She also ranks fourth in points with 5.38 ppg. Benjamin has posted double-digit kill totals in 17 consecutive matches and has tallied 20 or more kills four times this season, including a career-high 28 kills against Arizona.

Tomasevic led the Huskies with 15 points in Saturday's win over UCLA. She ranks sixth in the conference in kills (3.85 kpg) and points (4.56).'Tomasevic has tallied 16 double-figure kill performances, including a career-high 23 kills against California.

Digging Duo
Sophomore outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic and freshman libero Candace Lee have anchored the Husky defense all season. Tomasevic ranks eighth in the Pac-10 with 3.22 digs per game and has collected 20-plus digs three times this season. Her career-high of 25 came against Arizona State on Oct. 3.

Lee ranks 10th in the conference in 3.17 dpg and posted a career-high 21 digs against USC last week.

Career Milestones
Senior Paige Benjamin became just the 10th player in Husky history to record 1,000 career kills with her 19-kill performance against the California Bears on Oct. 17. Her career mark now stands at 1,061 and is ninth on the school's all-time chart. Senior Gretchen Maurer also etched her name in the Husky history books in the Cal match as she surpassed the 2,500 career assist mark. Maurer is just the fifth UW player to reach the milestone and ranks third all-time at Washington with 2,647 dishes.

Serving Aces
Washington continues to lead the Pac-10 in service aces with 2.01 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 that feat and the only one to do so in three games. The team's 139 total aces surpass last season's total of 131 aces with eight matches to go in the regular season.

Dynamic Defender
Sophomore Alexis McDonald has been essential to the Husky defense this season as she leads the team with 72 blocks (1.24 bpg). Her block total ranks fourth among the Pac-10 and accounts for 38 percent of the Huskies' blocks this season (189). McDonald collected seven blocks against USC and six against UCLA last week.

Leader Of The 'Dawg' Pack
Senior setter Gretchen Maurer leads the conference with 12.78 assists per game this season, which also ranks 19th on the national chart. Last year, Maurer ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with 12.53 apg.

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