No. 21 Volleyball Heads To Pullman
Nov. 4, 2002
A Look Ahead
No. 21 Washington (7-6 Pac-10, 15-7) continues life on the road with an intrastate match-up with No. 17 Washington State on November 8. The Huskies upset the Cougars in Seattle, 3-1, earlier this season and are currently riding a three match win streak over ranked opponents.
Washington scored a pair of upset victories on the road, sweeping the nationally ranked Arizona schools last week. The road sweep marked the first for the Huskies over the Wildcats and Sun Devils since the 1989 season.
Washington dominated its way to a 3-0 sweep over No. 14 Arizona on Friday (30-25, 30-17, 30-18). The victory snapped a ten match losing streak to the Wildcats
The Huskies hit .395 for the match, collecting 57 kills on 114 swings with just 12 errors. In the first and third games, Washington hit .541 and .484, respectively. The Wildcats could muster just a .162 attack percentage and were out-blocked 11.5 to 8 at the net for the match.
Sophomore Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Yugoslavia) recorded a match-high 17 kills and also came up with 12 digs. Senior Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) finished with 16 kills on .324 hitting and had 10 digs. Sophomore Kaitlin Leck (Carson City, Nev.) hit a match-high .643 with nine kills for the Huskies.
On Saturday, Washington upset No. 19 Arizona State, 3-1 (30-27, 30-27, 27-30, 30-22). The win marked the third straight over a ranked opponent for the Huskies and improved their record to 7-6 in the Pac-10 and 15-7 overall. The seven conference wins is the most for the Dawgs since the 1997 season when they finished 7-11 in the Pac-10.
The Huskies were led by the 21 kills from Benjamin and 19 from Tomasevic. Sophomore Alexis McDonald (Long Beach, Calif.) also played well at net with seven kills and four blocks. Senior setter Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) paced the Husky offense by dishing out 60 assists in the four-game win and libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) anchored the UW defense with 19 digs. The Huskies out-blocked Arizona State 14.5-5.0, and out-hit the Devils .293-.188.
The Washington State Series
Washington holds the commanding 43-20 (.683) lead over Washington State. The Huskies are 5-5 in their last 10 match-ups with the Cougars, with the Dawgs winning the 3-1 battle in Seattle on October 11.
Scouting The Cougars
No. 17 Washington State (16-7, 6-7) split with the Arizona schools last week, defeating No. 23 Arizona State, 3-0, and dropping to No. 16 Arizona in five games. With a 6-7 Pac-10 mark, the Cougars are tied for sixth place with No. 19 UCLA.
Senior outside hitter Adrian Hankoff leads WSU with 3.65 kills per game, while also chipping in 3.03 digs per game. Senior rightside hitter LaToya Harris has also proved an all-around threat with 3.24 kpg and 2.77 digs per game. Rookie Brenn Larson runs the Cougar offense and averages 12.28 assists per game.
Senior libero Kortney Jamtass anchors the Cougar defense with a team leading 4.03 dpg. WSU also relies on middle hitters Victoria Prince and Holly Harris to make the big blocks. Prince collected 11 blocks against the Arizona schools, while Harris added nine.
Washington Breaks Into Top 25
With three straight wins over ranked teams the Huskies received their first national ranking since 1997, entering the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll at No. 21. With seven Pac-10 victories, Washington has notched its best season since 1997 when the Huskies finished 7-11 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
Huskies Among Top in NCAA Statistical Categories
Senior co-captains Paige Benjamin and Gretchen Maurer continue to rank among the nation's top in assists and kills. Benjamin ranks 23rd with 5.03 kpg, while Maurer is 21st with 12.78 apg as of the last NCAA report on October 27. As a team, Washington ranks 14th in hitting percentage (.281) and 30th in blocks (2.74).
Benjamin & Tomasevic Pack One-Two Punch
Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin and sophomore outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic continue to provide the scoring touch for the Husky offense. Benjamin led Washington with 21kills against ASU last week and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 5.05 kpg. She also ranks third in points with 5.62 ppg. Benjamin has posted double-digit kill totals in 19 consecutive matches and has tallied 20 or more kills five times this season, including a career-high 28 kills against Arizona on Oct. 4.
Tomasevic led the Huskies with 17 kills in the Arizona win. She ranks sixth in the conference in kills (3.84 kpg) and seventh in points (4.61). Tomasevic has tallied 18 double-figure kill performances, including a career-high 23 kills against California.
Freshman libero Candace Lee and sophomore Sanja Tomasevic have anchored the Husky defense all season. Lee ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with 3.25 digs per game, including 19 against ASU last week.
Tomasevic ranks eighth in the Pac-10 with 3.13 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.
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 1,098 and is seventh 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 second all-time at Washington with 2,751 dishes.
Sophomore Alexis McDonald has been essential to the Husky defense this season as she leads the team with 86 blocks (1.25 bpg). Her block total ranks third among the Pac-10 and accounts for 40 percent of the Huskies' blocks this season (215). McDonald collected nine blocks against the Arizona schools last week.
Washington continues to lead the Pac-10 in service aces with 1.89 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.
Leader Of The 'Dawg' Pack
Senior setter Gretchen Maurer leads the conference with 12.97 assists per game this season, which also ranks 21st on the national chart. Last year, Maurer ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with 12.53 apg.