Jim McLaughlin Named Pac-10 Volleyball Coach Of The Year

Nov. 26, 2002

SEATTLE -- Head volleyball coach Jim McLaughlin has been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding the Huskies to their best conference finish since 1997. Five other Huskies have been recognized by the Pac-10, including first team selections Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) and Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.).

In just his second year at the helm of the Washington program, McLaughlin led the Huskies to a fifth place finish in the Pac-10 with a 9-9 mark, while posting an overall record of 17-10 (with two matches remaining). Washington also made an appearance in the USA Today / AVCA Coaches poll with a No. 21 ranking on November 4 and a No. 22 ranking on November 11. McLaughlin has a career record of 110-69 (.615) in six seasons. Prior to his arrival at Washington, McLaughlin spent five years at Kansas State where he led the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1999.

Benjamin and Maurer were named to the 14 member Pac-10 All-Conference team for the first time in their careers. Benjamin, an honorable mention selection in 2001, ranks second in the conference in kills (5.24 kpg) and points (5.78 ppg). Earlier this season, she became just the ninth player in Husky history to join the 1,000 kill club and now sits in the No. 6 spot all-time with 1,212 career kills. Benjamin also received academic accolades during her senior campaign, being named to the Pac-10 All-Academic team and the Verizon Academic All-District team.

Maurer leads the league in assists (13.11 apg) and ranks 22nd nationally. Last week, she became just the second Husky to record 3,000 career kills and currently sits in the No. 2 slot with 3,010 career dishes. Maurer was also named co-MVP (along with Benjamin) at the Mean Green Classic in mid-September.

Sophomore Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Yugoslavia) was a Pac-10 honorable mention pick. She ranks seventh in the Pac-10 in points (4.58 ppg) and aces (0.40 apg), eighth in kills (3.76 kpg) and ninth in digs (3.14 dpg).

Libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) was the lone UW representative on the six member Pac-10 All-Freshman team. She leads the Huskies with 3.37 dpg, which ranks sixth in the conference.

Middle blocker Darla Myhre (Victoria, British Columbia) was a Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention selection as she ranks sixth in blocks (1.24 bpg) in conference matches.

Washington rounds out the regular season this week at the Bankers Community Classic, hosted by Pacific in Stockton, Calif. The Huskies take on Southwest Missouri State at 5 p.m. on Friday and will face either Nevada or Pacific on Saturday,

UW waits to hear if they will take part in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will be aired on Sunday, December 1, at 6 p.m. on ESPNEWS.

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