No. 1 Volleyball Hits The Road For Arizona Series

Oct. 13, 2004

THIS WEEK: The No. 1 Washington volleyball team (13-0, 5-0 Pac-10) heads to Arizona to continue Pac-10 play against Arizona State (7-7, 2-4 Pac-10) on Friday, Oct. 15 and UA (8-6, 2-4 Pac-10) on Saturday, Oct. 16. The Huskies look to continue their 13-match winning streak and are one of just four undefeated teams left in the country. Both teams picked up their first conference victories last week with wins over Oregon and Oregon State.

UW RANKED NO. 1 IN AVCA POLL: The Washington volleyball team maintained its No. 1 in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 poll tabulated by the AVCA, released October 11. Washington received 1,623 votes and 63 of 65 first-place votes to keep the top ranking in the nation. The UW volleyball team is the sixth Washington program to hold a No. 1 ranking. Other Husky programs to hold the coveted top ranking include football (last on 11-7-92), softball (last on 5-10-00), men's soccer (last on 9-21-98), women's crew (last on 5-14-03) and men's crew (last on 5-6-02).

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State (7-7, 2-4 Pac-10) is coming off a 3-1 win over Oregon and a 3-0 sweep over Oregon State last week. The Sun Devils are led by Nicole Morton with 3.53 kpg and 3.94 ppg. Sarah Watkins and Colette Meek have also contributed to ASU's offense this season, averaging 2.54 kpg and 2.32 kpg, respectively. Rachel Mittelstaedt runs the Sun Devil offense and averages 9.91 apg. Sydney Donahue anchors Arizona States defense with 4.27 dpg, while Meek tallies 1.43 bpg. ASU's weekend sweep marked its first back-to-back road Pac-10 wins since the 2002 Oregon series.

SCOUTING ARIZONA: Arizona (8-6, 2-4 Pac-10) returns home after winning the Oregon series last weekend. The Wildcats are led by Kim Glass with 4.55 kpg, while Jennifer Abernathy and Meghan Cumpston average 3.90 and 3.82 kpg, respectively. Stephanie Butkis paces the UA offense with 11.39 apg. Five players average two or more digs per game, including Glass with 2.95 dpg and Kelli Mulvany with 2.77 dpg.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Washington leads Arizona State 22-18 in the all-time series and has won the last three matches. Arizona leads Washington 24-15 in the all-time series and the teams splits last season with each team winning on its home court.

BEST PAC-10 START EVER: Washington's 5-0 start in the Pacific-10 Conference marks its best conference start in the program's history. The Huskies' 13-0 record this season is its best overall start since the 1977 squad began the season with 21 wins.

TOMASEVIC NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 20-26. Tomasevic, led Washington to wins at No. 10 UCLA and No. 2 USC, the Huskies' first road sweep of the Los Angeles schools since 1997 and second all-time. Against the Bruins, Tomasevic collected 27 kills, 12 digs and eight block assists, while hitting at a .453 clip. She followed that with 18 kills and 14 digs in the Huskies' five-game upset win over the Women of Troy. For the weekend, Tomasevic recorded 45 kills (5.00 kpg), 26 digs (2.89 dpg), nine blocks (1.00 bpg), and 50.5 points (5.61 ppg).

HUSKIES LEAD PAC-10: Washington leads the Pac-10 in nearly every statistical category, including hitting percentage (.329), opponent hitting percentage (.111), assists (15.67), kills (16.98) and digs (17.36). The only categories UW does not pace the Pac-10 in are services aces (2nd- 1.74) and blocks (6th- 2.68). Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson also leads the Pac-10 with 14.10 apg.

UW SHUTS THEM OUT: Washington has tallied 3-0 victories in 11 of 13 matches this season. Washington holds the 39-3 edge in game victories over its opponents with one game going to UCLA and two games going to USC.

1,000 KILL CLUB: With 18 kills against Butler on Sept. 3 Sanja Tomasevic became just the 11th player in Husky history to tally 1,000 career kills. She currently ranks seventh on the Husky all-time chart with 1,176 kills.

1,000 DIG CLUB: Candace Lee became just the fourth player in Husky history to enter the 1,000 dig club when she tallied 22 digs against USC on Sept. 24. She currently ranks fourth on the UW all-time list with 1,047 digs.

2,000 ASSIST CLUB: Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson has tallied 2,182 assists in her career to become just the seventh Husky to record 2,000 assists. She ranks seventh on the all-time list and is just 46 assists away from the No. 6 spot. Thompson is leading the Pac-10 with 14.10 apg and ranks fourth nationally.

RECORDS WATCH: Sanja Tomasevic ranks sixth on the Washington all-time chart with 116 career aces ... she is just seven aces away from the No. 5 spot (123- Lisa McCammond, 1986-89) ...Tomasevic ranks seventh on the UW charts with 1,176 career kills ...she is 64 kills away from the No. 6 spot (1,240- Makare Desilets, 1994-97) ... Candace Lee ranks fourth on the UW career digs list with 1,047 ... Lee is just 123 digs away from the No. 3 spot (1,170- Ashleigh Robertson, 1989-92).

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin begins his fourth year as head coach of the Washington volleyball team and has helped catapult it to a top five 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 66-36 (.647) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 290-154 (.653) all-time (men's and women's record).

WASHINGTON WINS NORTHWEST CLASSIC: Washington defeated Montana (3-0) and host Boise State (3-0) to win the Northwest Classic, Sept. 18. Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson was named tournament MVP with 78 assists (13.00 apg) in six games. Brie Hagerty, Christal Morrison and Sanja Tomasevic were also named to the all-tournament team. Hagerty averaged 3.17 kpg with a .326 hitting percentage, while Tomasevic averaged 4.80 kpg and 1.00 bpg with a .396 hitting percentage. Morrison contributed 2.50 kpg and 1.67 bpg.

HUSKIES WIN GREEN MILL CLASSIC: The Huskies picked up their second-straight tournament title on Sept. 11, sweeping Wichita State, Arkansas and Michigan State in straight sets to win the Green Mill Classic. Washington held advantages in every statistical category including hitting percentage (.314 to .096), kills (16.56 to 11.11 kpg) and digs (17.89 to 13.11 dpg). Junior libero Candace Lee earned MVP honors after averaging 5.56 dpg, including a 26 dig performance against Wichita State. Freshman Christal Morrison and senior Sanja Tomasevic were also named to the all-tournament team for their efforts. Morrison led the team in kills in all three match with a career-best 20 kills against Michigan State. Tomasevic averaged 3.22 kpg, 2.33 dpg and 1.00 bpg. UW also received solid play from Courtney Thompson (14.22 apg) and Brie Hagerty (4.00 kpg).

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).

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).

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.

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