No. 10 Volleyball Hosts Stanford and California This Week

Oct. 21, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND:The 10th-ranked Washington volleyball team (14-4, 5-4 Pac-10) has won three matches in a row, including a sweep of Washington State last week. The Huskies host No. 6 Stanford and No. 7 California on October 23 and 24 at 7 p.m. The California game will be taped by Fox Sports Net and will air on Saturday, October 25 and Wednesday, October 29 at 1 p.m.

Thursday, October 23: Washington vs. Stanford, 7 p.m.
Friday, October 24: Washington vs. California, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

SERIES HISTORY: Washington trails Stanford in the all-time series 37-2, including a 3-0 loss in California earlier this year. The Huskies and Cal Bears are tied 20-20 with California taking a four game match from Washington on Sept. 26 in Berkeley.

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 45-31 (.592) at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 269-149 (.644) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington defeated Washington State in three games last week, behind a balanced UW attack that included five players contributing eight or more kills. Brie Hagerty led the way with 17 kills, while Sanja Tomsaevic added 14 and Kaitlin Leck had 10. Darla Myhre and Kara Bjorklund each added eight kills.

On defense, Candace Lee and Courtney Thompson each collected 10 digs, while Myhre logged four blocks.

SCOUTING STANFORD: The Stanford Cardinal (14-4, 7-2 Pac-10) split against the Los Angeles schools last week, defeating No. 11 UCLA (3-2) but falling to No. 1 USC (3-0).

Oganna Nnamani leads the Cardinal with 5.29 kpg, while Kristen Richards averages 3.10 kpg. Katie Goldham handles the majority of the setting duties and averages 9.71 apg.

Libero Leahi Hall anchors the Stanford defense with 2.59 dpg, while Jennifer Harvey and Sara McGee provide the Cardinal blocking power. Harvey records 1.59 bpg to lead the Pac-10, while McGee chips in 0.95 bpg.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: The California Bears (16-2, 7-2 Pac-10) dropped their first two matches of the season to the Los Angeles schools last week. Both losses came in five games.

Mia Jerkov tops the Pac-10 with 5.94 kpg and 6.65 ppg as she takes nearly 36-percent of California's swings. Gabrielle Abernathy also contributes to the Bear offense with 3.05 kpg, while Camille Leffall notches 2.38 kpg.

Jillian Davis and Jerkov anchor the defense with 3.25 and 3.24 dpg, respectively. Leffall and Alicia Powers spark the blocking game with 1.20 and 0.76 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.

PAC-10 MID POINT: The Huskies have completed the first half of the Pac-10 schedule and are in fifth place with a 5-4 record. Pac-10 leaders include USC (9-0), California (7-2), Stanford (7-2) and UCLA (6-3).

HUSKIES HAVE CAREER DAY VS. BRUINS: The Huskies set nine personal bests in the Oct. 3 match versus No. 8 UCLA. Sanja Tomasevic set a Pac-10 and UW record with 96 total attacks and her career-best 32 kills marked the most of any Pac-10 player this season. Tomasevic also logged a career-best nine blocks against the Bruins. Candace Lee tallied a career-high 33 digs in the match, also the most of any conference player this season. Kara Bjorklund tied her career kill record with 15. Courtney Thompson notched the most assists of any Pac-10 player this season with 69 and posted career-highs with six kills and nine attacks. Brie Hagerty tied her personal-best defensive effort with nine digs.

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 14-4.

TOMASEVIC SETS THE PACE:Sanja Tomasevic ranks second in the Pac-10 with 6.53 points per game and 0.50 service aces per game. She also ranks third in the conference with 5.52 kills per game.

ACCURATE ATTACK: The Huskies rank sixth nationally and second in the Pac-10 with a .312 hitting percentage. Kara Bjorklund ranks 14th in the nation and fifth in the conference with a .398 clip. Darla Myhre ranks third in the Pac-10 with a .445 average but does not meet the NCAA's minimum requirement of 4.00 attacks per game to be eligible for national ranking.

SETTING UP THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Courtney Thompson has been instrumental to Washington's success this season. Thompson currently ranks seventh nationally and leads the Pac-10 with 13.63assists per game and her 69 assist performance versus UCLA on Oct. 3 marks the second-most in the Pac-10 this season.

SERVING ACES: UW has been tough with its serves this season, recording 113 service aces (1.82 sapg) to rank third in the Pac-10. In return, UW has given up just 61 aces to its opponents. Sanja Tomasevic leads the way with 29 aces, including five aces versus UMKC and Arizona. Courtney Thompson has posted 22 aces, while Kaitlin Leck has added 19. Leck tied the UW match record with eight aces last season.

BIG DIGS: Candace Lee leads the Pac-10 with 4.08 digs per game. She's had 14 double-figure dig totals in 18 matches, including a career-best 33 digs against UCLA on Oct. 3. Her 33 digs are the most by any player in the conference this season. Lee also recorded 25 digs vs. Oregon State (Oct. 11), 21 digs against Idaho (Sept. 12) and 20 digs versus Ohio (Sept. 6).

NATIONALLY RANKED: With a sweep over Washington State last week, the Huskies improve two spots in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll to No. 10. The top 10 national ranking is the highest for the Huskies since 1988 when they finished the season ranked ninth. Five Pac-10 teams rank in the nation's top 10 for the first time ever. USC leads the way at No. 1, followed by No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 California and No. 9 UCLA.

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: Washington has played six matches against ranked teams this season. The Huskies have played No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA, No. 11 California (currently No. 9), No. 16 Arizona (currently not ranked) and No. 17 Wisconsin (currently No. 21). UW is 2-4 against these teams.

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