No. 13 Volleyball Hosts No. 8 UCLA and No. 1 USC This Weekend

Oct. 1, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The 13th-ranked Washington volleyball team (11-2, 2-2 Pac-10) hosts No. 8 UCLA and No. 1 USC this weekend. The Huskies open the weekend versus the UCLA Bruins on Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. UW will then take on the defending national champions and top-ranked USC on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m.

Friday, October 3: Washington vs. UCLA, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 4: Washington vs. USC, 7 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington trails both UCLA and USC in the all-time series. The Huskies trail the Bruins 6-36 (.143), including a split last season. UW lost 3-0 on the road and won 3-0 in Seattle. The Women of Troy lead the series 9-28 (.243) and have won the last 10 matches against the Huskies. Washington's last win against USC came in 1997 in Seattle.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin is in the midst of his third season as head coach at Washington. Last season, he earned Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors, led the Huskies to their best finish in the Pacfic-10 Conference in five seasons and led them to their seventh NCAA tournament. McLaughlin also helped develop Paige Benjamin, Washington's first All-America honoree since 1997.

A 13-year veteran head coach, McLaughlin has proved his ability to recruit talented student-athletes and cultivate championship programs. He has made 12 appearances in the NCAA postseason, including four with Kansas State, which advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2000. He also spent seven seasons as the men's head coach at USC, where he won a national championship in 1990 and finished as runner-up a year later.

McLaughlin's record is 42-29 (.592) at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 266-147 (.644) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington (11-2, 2-2 Pac-10) lost both of its matches last week to then-No. 11 Califonia and No. 4 Stanford. The Huskies were out hit by the Bears and Cardinal .192-.312. Sanja Tomasevic led UW with 30 kills, while Brie Hagerty and Kara Bjorklund added 16 kills each. Courtney Thompson dished out 89 assists (11.86 apg), while also chipping in 14 digs (2.00 dpg). Libba Lawrence anchored the Husky defense with 24 digs (3.43 dpg) and Tomasevic added 15 digs.

SCOUTING UCLA: No. 8 UCLA (10-2, 2-1 Pac-10) has played four ranked opponents this season, defeating No. 6 Minnesota and No. 22 Louisville and falling to No. 1 USC and No. 2 Hawaii.

The Bruins are led by Brynn Murphy with 3.90 kills per game and 1.00 blocks per game, while Heather Cullen chips in 3.22 kpg. UCLA uses a pair a setters to run its offense, including Krystal McFarland (10.06 assists per game) and Haley Horgensborg (6.73 apg).

Chrissie Zartman, an All-Pac-10 libero selection last year, anchors the defense with 4.05 digs per game, while Cira Wright adds 1.37 blocks per game.

SCOUTING USC: No. 1 USC looks to defend its national title from a year ago and is off to a solid start with a 12-0 record (3-0 Pac-10). Over 40-percent of USC's wins this season have been against top 10 teams, including No. 2 Hawaii, No. 3 Florida, No. 8 Northern Iowa, No. 8 Pepperdine and No. 9 UCLA.

The Women of Troy lead the Pac-10 in hitting percentage (.338), opponent hitting percentage (.110) assists (16.22) and kills (17.65). Five players are hitting above the .500 mark, led by Emily Adams with a .466 clip. Also sparking the Women of Troy offense are Keao Burdine and April Ross who average 3.61 and 3.35 kpg, respectively. Adams also leads the defense with 1.43 blocks per game, while Bibiana Candelas adds 1.33 bpg.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Washington's match against Utah Valley State, previously scheduled for Nov. 26, has been moved to Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.

SENSATIONAL START: Washington opened the season with an 11-0 record, marking the program's best start in school history. The previous record was 9-0, set in 1987. The Huskies are now 11-2.

TOMASEVIC SETS THE PACE: Sanja Tomasevic ranks second in the Pac-10 with 5.65 kills per game, 0.67 service aces per game and 6.79 points per game.

ACCURATE ATTACK: The Huskies, who led the nation with a .351 hitting percentage as of the last poll (9/23) are hitting .324 after the California and Stanford series. The .324 clip ranks second in the Pac-10. Two UW players rank among the Pac-10's top 10, including Darla Myhre (.420, fourth) and Kara Bjorklund (.407, fifth).

SETTING UP THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Courtney Thompson has been instrumental to Washington's early success this season. Thompson currently ranks second in the Pac-10 with 13.00 assists per game.

SERVING ACES:UW has been tough with its serves this season, recording 90 service aces (2.05 sapg) to rank second in the Pac-10. In return, UW has given up just 47 aces to its opponents. Sanja Tomasevic leads the way with 27 aces (second-best in Pac-10), including five aces versus UMKC and Arizona. Courtney Thompson has posted 19 aces, while Brie Hagerty and Kaitlin Leck have each notched 12. Leck tied the UW match record of eight aces last season.

BIG DIGS: Candace Lee ranks third in the Pac-10 with 3.75 digs per game. She's had nine double-figure dig matches, including two 20-plus showings. Lee recorded 20 digs versus Ohio on Sept. 6 and 21 digs against Idaho on Sept. 12.

NATIONALLY RANKED: In spite of losses to No. 2 Stanford and No. 11 California last week, the Huskies maintained their No. 13 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. The top 15 national ranking is the highest for the Huskies since 1997 when Washington peaked at No. 11 in the final poll of the season. Washington's highest ranking ever was No. 9 in 1988.

UW ON TV: Four of Washington's matches will be televised this season. Fox Sports Net will air Washington's Oct. 10 match at Oregon and UW's match against California on Oct. 24 in Seattle. Fox Sports Northwest will air Washington's match on Oct. 11 versus Oregon State and the Huskies' match against Washington State on Oct. 17.

AVCA/SPORTS IMPORTS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sanja Tomasevic was selected as the AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week on Sept. 3 for her performance in three matches at the Badger Invitational (Aug. 29-30). Tomasevic averaged 6.00 kills per game with 18-kill performances in each of the three matches. She also averaged 8.22 points per game with a .485 hitting percentage to earn MVP honors at the tournament and the Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week award. It is just the second national POTW award for the UW program. Makare Desilets received the award in 1997.

TEAM CAPTAINS: The Washington volleyball players selected Sanja Tomasevic and Courtney Thompson as team captains for the 2003 season.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 15-player Washington roster includes 12 returning letterwinners and four returning starters. The 2003 team includes two seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The team represents six states and three countries, including Washington (5), California (2), Oregon (2), Indiana (1), Nevada (1), Ohio (1), British Columbia (1) and Yugoslavia (2).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE:Six Washington opponents currently rank on the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. Five of those foes are Pac-10 teams, including No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA and No. 9 California. The Huskies have already played two ranked teams in then-No. 17 Wisconsin (currently No. 20) and then-No. 16 Arizona (received votes).

PLAYER HIGHLIGHTS:

#2 Alexis McDonald (5-11, MB, Jr., Long Beach, Calif.) Has played in eight matches and 20 games, making four starts... is averaging 1.60 kpg and 1.05 bpg... her 1.05 bpg average leads the team... has hit .500 or better three times, including a .600 performance against Middle Tennessee State when she had nine kills and one error on 16 attacks (Sept. 5)... posted seven kills in back-to-back matches against Arizona (Sept. 19) and California (Sept. 26)...has notched four blocks or more four times, including a season-best six blocks against Arizona State (Sept. 18).

#3 Courtney Thompson (5-8, S, Fr., Kent, Wash.) Has started all 13 matches for the Huskies... team co-captain... ranks second in the Pac-10 with 13.00 apg...named to the all-tournament teams at the Badger Invitational and Idaho Volleyball Tournament ... has tallied 60 or more assists twice, including matches against Ohio (60) and Arizona (62)...has logged double digit digs four times...posted a season-best 15 digs versus Arizona (Sept. 19)...has at least one block in all 13 matches this season, including four blocks against Wisconsin (Aug. 30) and Stanford (Sept. 27)... recorded four or more kills in three straight Pac-10 matches (Arizona State, Arizona, California)...averages 0.43 assists per game...has notched at least one ace in 11 of 13 matches this season, including three against Middle Tennessee State (Sept. 5).

#4 Carolyn Farny (6-1, OH/S, RS-Fr., Fort Wayne, Ind.) Has played in three matches and five games as setter...tallied five assists in collegiate debut against UMKC (Aug. 29)... Had first career kill and dig and five assists versus Middle Tennessee State (Sept. 5)...posted 13 assists, two digs and a block in win over Northern Arizona (Sept. 13).

#5 Kaitlin Leck (6-1, OH, Jr., Carson, City, Nev.) Has played in 13 matches and 35 games, making five starts...ranks fourth on the team with 1.86 kpg...has posted double figure kills three times including 14 vs. New Hampshire (Aug. 30), 12 vs Ohio (Sept. 6) and 10 vs. Stanford (Sept. 27)...has hit .400 or better three times, including a season-best .591 against New Hampshire (Aug. 30)...ranks third on the team with 0.43 services aces per game...tallied three aces against Northern Arizona (Sept. 13)...has collected 22 digs on the season, including four digs against Ohio (Sept. 6) and Idaho (Sept. 12).

#8 Libba Lawrence (5-7, L, Sr., West Linn, Ore.) Has played in 13 matches and 43 games, making seven starts...ranks third on the team with 2.26 dpg...has logged double digit digs four times, including the last three matches in a row...posted 10 digs against Ohio (Sept. 6) and Arizona (Sept. 19), 11 digs versus California (Sept. 26) and 13 digs against Stanford (Sept. 27)...recorded a kill against Stanford (Sept. 27)...has three aces.

#10 Brie Hagerty (6-1, OH, TR-So. (Ohio State), Defiance, Ohio) Has played in 13 matches and 44 games, making 10 starts...ranks second on the team with 3.45 kpg and 3.90 ppg...named to the Badger Invitational All-Tournament team... hit above .400 in first three matches, including .722 (13-0-18) versus No. 17 Wisconsin (Aug. 30)...has posted double digit kills nine times with a career-best 19 kills against Idaho (Sept. 12)...tallied three aces versus UMKC (Aug. 29) in collegiate opener...has notched five or more digs eight times, including nine against IPFW (Sept. 6).

#11 Darla Myhre (6-2, MB, So., Victoria, British Columbia) Has played in 13 matches and 32 games, making nine starts...leads team and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with .420 hitting percentage...has hit .500 or better in six matches, including back-to-back .600 performances against Idaho State (Sept. 10) and Idaho (Sept. 12), in which she made no errors in 25 attempts...had five assists against Idaho State...posted nine digs versus Ohio (Sept. 6)...averages 0.97 bpg, including six blocks against Ohio.

#12 Liandren Buck (5-10, OH, Fr., Kenmore, Wash.) Has not seen playing time this season.

#13 Kara Bjorklund (5-11, MB, Sr., Olympia, Wash.) Has played in 13 matches and 37 games, making nine starts...ranks second on the team with a .407 hitting percentage... named to the IPFW All-Tournament team... has tallied double digits kills three times, including a season-high 15 kills against No. 16 Arizona (Sept. 19)... has hit .400 or better five times, including a .615 (9-1-13) showing against IPFW (Sept. 6)...has recorded at least eight blocks in all four Pac-10 matches this season... averages 0.73 bpg... had five blocks against Idaho State (Sept. 10) and four against Stanford (Sept. 27)...has logged four digs or more five times.

#14 Candace Lee (5-6, L, So., Eugene, Ore.) Has played in all 44 games, making one start...leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 with 3.75 dpg... named to the IPFW and Idaho All-Tournament teams...has tallied double digit digs nine times and 20-plus digs twice...recorded 20 digs versus Ohio (Sept. 6) and 21 digs against Idaho (Sept. 12)...also had 17 digs against No. 16 Arizona (Sept. 19) and 16 digs versus No. 17 Wisconsin (Sept. 6).

#15 Danka Danicic (5-10, DS, So., Ljig, Yugoslavia) Has played in 11 matches and 24 games for the Huskies as a defensive specialist...has recorded 13 digs, including back-to-back four dig performances against IPFW (Sept. 6) and Idaho State (Sept. 10)... also chipped in three digs against California (Sept. 27).

#19 Jessica Veris (6-1, OH, So., Manhattan Beach, Calif.) Has played in 11 matches and 23 games, making three starts...posted 10 kills and 12 digs vs. Northern Arizona (Sept. 13) for her first double double...her kill and dig totals against NAU were career-highs...has notched seven aces, including three in matches against Northern Arizona and Arizona (Sept. 19)...averages 1.61 dpg...has tallied 13 blocks, including four versus Arizona (Sept. 19).

#20 Egan Metcalf (6-2, MB, Jr., Kenmore, Wash.) Has played in seven matches and 13 games, making four starts...has tallied at least one kills in every match she has played...had season-best performance against No. 17 Wisconsin with six kills and four blocks...averages 1.69 kpg, 0.46 dpg, 0.85 bpg and 2.12 ppg.

#21 Sanja Tomasevic (5-11, OH, Jr., Uzice, Yugoslavia) Has started all 13 matches...team co-captain... named AVCA National Player of the Week and Pac-10 Player of the Week (Sept. 8)...named tournament Most Valuable Player at the Badger Invitational, IPFW Tournament and Idaho Tournament...leads team and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 5.65 kpg and 6.79 ppg...had tallied double digit kills in every match this season and 20-plus kills four times...has five double doubles (kills-digs)...leads the team with 27 aces and 0.63 sapg... had five aces in matches against UMKC (Aug. 29) and No. 16 Arizona (Sept. 19)...has notched six blocks three times...averages 2.44 dpg and 0.93 bpg.

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