Volleyball Set To Compete At Wichita State Tourney
Sept. 7, 2004
THIS WEEK: The sixth-ranked Washington volleyball team (3-0) continues its three-week road series when it competes in the Green Mills Restaurant Classic, Sept. 9-11. The Huskies open the tournament against host Wichita State on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. UW then takes on Arkansas on Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. and Michigan State on Sept. 11 at 5 p.m. Both Wichita State and Michigan State received votes in the last AVCA USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll.HUSKIES WIN NIU INVITATIONAL: Washington opened the season with a 3-0 record to win the NIU Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational last week. The Huskies defeated Butler, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and host Northern Illinois , all by a 3-0 score, to earn the tournament title. Washington held its opponents to 20 or less points in six of nine games and out-hit its opponents .384 to .083. Senior All-American Sanja Tomasevic and junior Brie Hagerty were named to the all-tournament team for their performances. Tomasevic led the squad with 5.67 kills per game, a .450 hitting percentage (51-6-100) and 6.38 points per game. She tallied double figure kills in all three matches and had a double-double against Butler in the season opener. Hagerty ranked second on the team with 3.67 kpg and 3.89 ppg, while hitting at a .483 clip (33-5-58). She hit .647 (12-1-17) in the opener and .500 vs. NIU (13-1-24), with just one error in each match. Other players with strong outings included libero Candace Lee (6.11 dpg), outside hitter Christal Morrison (3.38 kpg/1.00 bpg) and middle blocker Darla Myhre (2.44 kpg, 1.56 bpg).SCOUTING WICHITA STATE: Wichita State went 2-1 in the San Diego State Invitational over the weekend. The Shockers lost to No. 16 UC Santa Barbara 3-1, before defeating Texas Tech 3-1 and San Diego State 3-1 to earn second place honors at the tournament. Two WSU players earned all-tournament honors, including Elizabeth Meyers and Darci Vohs. Meyers tallied 43 kills with a .437 hitting percentage and 26 blocks. Vohs had 27 kills with a .391 hitting efficiency. The Shockers, who received votes in the last top 25 poll, are out-hitting their opponents .296 to .147 and are averaging 4.33 blocks per game.SCOUTING ARKANSAS: Arkansas (1-2) split over the weekend, defeating Pacific 3-2 and falling to No. 22 Santa Clara 3-2. Four players have 40-plus kills this season, headlined by Denitza Koleva (3.14 kpg), Jennifer Haaser (2.93 kpg), Amy Allison (2.93 kpg) and Jessica Dorrell (2.86 kpg). Haaser has already logged 11 aces in four matches for a 0.79 sapg average, while leading the team with 1.50 blocks per game. Iva Docekalova runs the Arkansas offense, dishing 12.36 assits per game. Chelsey Warmack anchors the Lady'Back defense with 4.07 digs per game.SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE: Michigan State is coming off a 3-0 opening weekend in which it won the Coca-Cola Classic Championship. The Spartans swept its opponents St. John's, Ohio and Florida A&M and placed four players on the all-tournament team, including Kim Schram (5.50 kpg), Megan Wallin (3.50 kg, 1.50 bpg), Marley Bellwood (4.44 dpg, eight aces) and Maggie Griffin (9.89 apg, 2.22 dpg). MSU is out-hitting its opponents .347 to .172 and out-blocking them 3.28 to 0.94 bpg.SERIES HISTORY: The Huskies are making their first-ever appearances against Michigan State and Wichita State this weekend. Washington and Arkansas have met once before when the No. 24 Lady'Backs upset No. 20 UW, 3-2 at the 1997 Coors Lite Classic in Fort Collins, Colo.COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin begins his fourth year as head coach of the Washington volleyball team and has helped catapult it to a top 10 program and national championship contender. After inheriting a program that finished last in the Pac-10 standings in 2000, McLaughlin has taken the Huskies to the postseason in each of the last two seasons, leading UW to an Elite Eight appearance last year. UW's record has improved in each season under McLaughlin's direction and the Huskies have reintroduced themselves as one of the country's top volleyball programs.A 14-year veteran head coach, McLaughlin has proven his ability to recruit talented student-athletes and cultivate championship programs. He has made 13 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 57-36 (.613) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 281-154 (.646) all-time.ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 14-player Washington roster includes 10 returning letterwinners and four returning starters. The 2004 team includes three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. The team represents six states and three countries, including Washington (3), California (2), Hawaii (1), Oregon (2), Indiana (1), Nevada (1), Ohio (1), British Columbia (1) and Serbia & Montenegro (2).STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Huskies have 10 matches slated on the 2004 schedule against opponents who currently rank on the American Volleyball Coaches' Association top 25 poll. All five opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 USC, No. 3 UCLA, No. 8California, No. 12 Stanford, and No. 19 Arizona. Washington is also scheduled to play against Michigan State and Wichita State, who received 58 and 11 votes, respectively, in the latest poll.WASHINGTON RANKED SIXTH IN AVCA POLL: With three victories last week to win the NIU Invitational, the Washington volleyball team (3-0) improved one position to No. 6 in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll. The ranking is the highest nation ranking in Washington volleyball history. Six Pacific-10 Conference teams are ranked in this weeks poll, including No. 1 USC (4-0), No. 3 UCLA (4-0), No. 8 California (3-0), No. 12 Stanford (2-1) and No. 19 Arizona (2-2). The Huskies are fresh off the NIU Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational title with 3-0 victories over Butler, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Northern Illinois.HUSKIES PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN PAC-10: Pac-10 head coaches predict that Washington will finish third in the Pacific-10 Conference. Southern California, the defending national champion, was picked to win its third straight title with 89 points, while UCLA was picked to place second with 78 points. Washington picked up the third spot with 78 points and was followed by Stanford (71 points) and California (58 points) to round out the top five. The remaining Pac-10 teams were Arizona (55), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (36), while Oregon and Washington State (23) tied for the last slot.2003 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Last season, the Huskies placed fifth in the Pac-10 (10-8) before peaking in the postseason and defeating Utah, Northwestern and Stanford in the NCAA tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. Washington lost a five-game heartbreaker to Minnesota in the Elite Eight match to tie for its best NCAA finish in the program's history. The Huskies' 23-9 record was the second-best ever at Washington.The Huskies received multiple honors and awards, highlighted with Sanja Tomasevic being named a second team All-American. Washington also had five athletes named to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams, including Tomasevic to the first team, Kara Bjorklund, Darla Myhre and Candace Lee to the honorable mention team and Courtney Thompson to the All-Freshman and honorable mention teams.