No. 2 Volleyball Sweeps Gardner-Webb in 2005 Season Opener

Aug. 26, 2005

SEATTLE-- The second-ranked Washington volleyball team cruised to 3-0 victory against Gardner-Webb Friday night to open its 2005 season. Washington downed the visiting Bulldogs 30-8, 30-11, 30-12 in the first round of the Husky Challenge. Montana State upended Wyoming 3-2 in the evening's other match.

Washington will face Montana State Saturday at 7 p.m. in Bank of America Arena. Admission for the Husky Challenge is free.

Washington's dominating performance was one of the most lopsided wins since rally scoring started at the collegiate level in 2001. The Bulldogs' eight points in the first set was the least UW has ever allowed in rally scoring.

The Huskies out hit Gardner-Webb .537 to -.162 and also held advantages in kills (41-12), digs (28-14) and blocks (7-3).

Sophomore Christal Morrison (Puyallup) led all players with 12 kills, while Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Serbia & Montenegro) added nine and freshmen Jill Collymore (Bellevue) and Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) each chipped in five.

Junior setter Courtney Thompson (Kent) paced the Husky offense with 37 assists while recording four of Washington's 10 service aces.

Seniors Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) and Danka Danicic (Lijg, Serbia & Montenegro) anchored Washington's defense with nine digs each, while Darla Myhre (Victoria, B.C.) and Morrison each tallied three blocks.

'For the most part I saw a lot of good things tonight,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'It is still early, so I saw some bad things as well. We met some standards, but our serving was down and we missed too many passes. Overall I thought we played okay. Our middles were awesome. (Alesha) Deesing was three-for-three and Jessica Swarbrick, as a freshman, was five-for-five with no errors.

'Our freshmen looked good. We are going to develop some kids in the pre-season. We might take some chances, but we have to develop these younger players for the future. We don't want to go through what we went through last year. We will get a lot stronger as a group.

'We need to just get better at what we do. We need to focus and be very internal about this thing and improve in the areas that we need to improve on. We are going to be fired up to play tomorrow.'

The Huskies raced out to the 10-4 lead in game one, using a 6-1 run that included three Morrison kills to trigger a GWU timeout. The Bulldogs showed some life out of the huddle, scoring the next three points to pull within three at 10-7 but Washington rattled off the next 18 consecutive points to take the 28-8 lead. Swarbrick tallied her first collegiate kill to give UW game-point and a Gardner-Webb error handed Washington the 30-8 win in game one.

The Huskies out hit the Bulldogs .450 (12-3-20) to -.321 (3-12-28) and were led by Morrison with six kills. Thompson had two aces in the game while Myhre added two blocks and Lee chipped in six digs.

Washington jumped out to an early lead in game two and rolled to the 30-8 victory. Tomasevic tallied four quick kills to put UW on top 7-2 before the Huskies went on an 8-0 run to take the 20-6 lead. Collymore had a kill and service ace in the sequence, while Tomasevic added two more kills. Senior Brie Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) picked up a pair of blocks to give Washington the 25-8 advantage and kills by Collymore and Tomasevic put the game away.

UW out hit GWU .407 to -.182 in game two. Tomasevic led the Huskies with seven kills on nine swings, while Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.) and Hagerty each added two blocks.

The Huskies closed out the match with a 30-12 victory in game three. Washington sped out to the 9-3 lead and quickly led by double figures at the 19-9 mark. UW lead by 10 or more points for the remainder of the match.

Washington out hit Gardner-Webb .800 to .111 in the third game and the Huskies did not make an error in the set. Morrison led all players with six kills, while Collymore added three.

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