Volleyball Hosts Trinity Western, Travels To Portland This Week

Aug. 29, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Washington volleyball team (2-0) hosts Trinity Western (0-0) in an exhibition match this Thursday before heading to Portland to participate in the Nike Invitational. Washington will open tournament play on Sept. 2 against Davidson (0-0) at 6 pm before taking on host Portland (0-1) on Sept. 3 at 7:30 pm. The Trinity Western match will be free admission.

A LOOK BACK: The Huskies won the Husky Challenge last week with 3-0 victories over Gardner-Webb and Montana State. Washington broke four records in the season-opener vs. GWU and broke or tied two of those records the next day vs. Montana. UW defeated Gardner-Webb in straight sets on Friday and broke the NCAA record for consecutive serves when Courtney Thompson led the Huskies on an 18-0 run in the first game and served 18 times in a row. The previous record was 17 serves set in 2004. Washington won the first game 30-8, marking the least number of points allowed by UW in a single game since rally scoring was introduced in 2001. The Huskies broke the school record for least number of points allowed in a match (31) as well with the 30-8, 30-11, 30-12 victory. Washington also broke the UW record for hitting percentage when the Huskies combined for a .537 clip. The team broke the hitting percentage record the next night vs. Montana State with a .566 average and tied the record for least number of points in a game when they held the Bobcats to just eight points in the first game.

SCOUTING TRINITY WESTERN: Trinity Western opens the 2005 season vs. Washington on Thursday. The Spartans return 13 letterwinners and seven starters to a 2004 squad that went 10-15 overall and 8-12 in the Canada West. The team has a trio of hitters returning that averaged over two kills per game including Saralyn Raququst (2.49 kpg), Jodi Schaufele (2.43 kpg) and Danielle Foth (2.35 kpg). Rhonda Schmuland averaged 1.01 blocks per game last year, while Julie Blackburn had 4.01 digs per game.

SCOUTING DAVIDSON: Davidson makes its 2005 season debut against the Huskies on Friday. The Wildcats return six starters from a 2004 squad that went 10-23 overall and 7-9 in the Southern Conference to finish fourth in the South Division. Davidson is picked to finish fifth in the league this season and is led by Jenna Dykstra and Liz Williamson who were selected to the preseason all-conference team. Dykstra, a junior setter, ranked third in the conference last season with 11.49 assists per game and had three triple-doubles. She recently captured first place at the Junior Olympic Beach Volleyball Championships in the Girls Under-21 Division. Williamson, a junior outside hitter, averaged 4.20 kills per game last season to rank second in the league and had 20 or more kills seven times. Friday's match will be the first meeting between Washington and Davidson.

SCOUTING PORTLAND: Portland (0-1) lost its season opener to Washington State last week, 3-1. The Pilots return five starters and nine letterwinners from a 2004 team that went 12-17 overall and 2-12 in the West Coast Conference. The team is led by senior outside hitter Sara Vercruyssen who averaged 3.96 kills per game and 4.21 points per game last year. Junior Murphy McClenahan anchors the Portland defense with 4.77 digs per game in 2004. Washington has faced Portland 13 times in school history and has won the last 12 matches in a row. The teams have not met since 2001 when the Huskies defeated the Pilots 3-1 in Seattle.

UW RANKED SECOND IN CSTV/AVCA TOP-25 POLL: The Huskies are ranked No. 2 in the preseason CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, receiving 15 first-place votes. The Huskies, who advanced to the program's first Final Four last season and finished the year with a No. 3 national ranking, return six starters and four All-Americans. Last season, the Huskies were ranked No. 1 for seven weeks, marking the first time in the program's history that the Dawgs held the top spot.

HUSKIES PICKED TO DEFEND PAC-10 TITLE: Washington, coming off its first Pac-10 title in 2004, was picked to repeat last season's performance by a vote of the league's coaches. The Huskies, who were one of three teams to represent the Pac-10 in last year's Final Four, picked up five more points than second-place and 2004 NCAA Champion Stanford. Washington also claimed eight of the 10 first-place votes, with the Cardinal receiving the other two. Stanford's 83 points were trailed by USC, picked third with 68 points. Arizona, who made its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance last season, held fourth position with 67 points. UCLA was selected in the fifth slot after receiving 63 points, followed by California with 53 points. Rounding out the poll were Arizona State, Oregon State, Oregon and Washington State, respectively.

UW FIELDS FOUR ALL-AMERICANS: Washington is the only program in the country to field four All-Americans in 2005. The Huskies return All-American outside hitters Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Serbia & Montenegro) and Christal Morrison (Puyallup), All-American setter Courtney Thompson (Kent) and All-American libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.).

THE BIG DIGGER: Senior libero Candace Lee tallied 19 digs over the weekend to bring her career total to 1,527 and move into the No. 6 spot on the Pac-10 all-time list. She is one dig away from the No. 5 spot held by former Arizona State Sun Devil Jami Coughlin (1,528) and 85 digs away from the No. 4 spot held by former California Golden Bear Lisa Arce (1,602). Former UCLA Bruin Chrissie Zartman holds the all-time career record with 2,065 digs from 2001-04. Lee already holds the season (666, 2004) and career (1,527) records at Washington. If the season were to end today, Lee would hold the Pac-10 record for digs average with 4.56 dpg. Zartman holds the record with 4.46 dpg.

SETTING THE TABLE: Junior Courtney Thompson broke the UW season assist record each of the last two years. Last season, Thompson dished 1,643 assists, breaking her 2003 record of 1,590. She led the Pac-10 and ranked third nationally with 14.67 apg. Through two seasons, Thompson has the highest assists per game average in Pac-10 history (14.43). The current record holder is former UCLA Bruin Erika Selsor who averaged 14.00 apg from 1998-2001. Thompson's 3,318 career assists rank second on the UW all-time chart behind Melinda Beckenhauer who collected 3,707 assists from 1987-89.

BUILDING BLOCKS: Senior Darla Myhre (Victoria, B.C.) had six blocks over the weekend to bring her career total to 342 and moved into the No. 4 spot on the Washington all-time list. The total surpasses former UW All-American Angela Bransom who tallied 341 blocks from 1993-96.

SUPERSIZED SERVING: Senior Sanja Tomasevic collected her 124th career service ace last Saturday vs. Montana State to take over sole possession of the No. 5 spot on the Washington career list. She is one ace away from the No. 4 spot and three aces away from the No. 3 spot.

MAGNIFICENT MIDDLES: Washington middle blocks were errorless at the Husky Challenge last weekend. Darla Myhre scored 12 kills on 16 swings (.750), while Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.) had nine kills on 12 swings (.750) and freshman Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) had nine kills on 10 swings (.900).

COACH Jim McLaughlin: Jim McLaughlin begins his fifth year at the helm of the Washington volleyball program and is coming off a record season in which he guided the Huskies to their first-ever Final Four appearance and Pacific-10 Conference championship. McLaughlin was named the 2004 National Coach of the Year and received the Pacific Region and Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards. McLaughlin joined the Washington program in 2001 and inherited a team that finished last in the Pac-10 standings in 2000. In four seasons, he has led the Huskies to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the 2004 national semifinal, and has built Washington into one of the nation's premier volleyball programs. A 15-year veteran head coach, McLaughlin has proven his ability to recruit talented student-athletes and cultivate championship programs. He has made 14 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 the 1990 national championship and finished as runner-up in 1991. At Washington, McLaughlin has the same lofty goals. The program has made tremendous strides in just four short years, ranking No. 1 for seven weeks last season. McLaughlin has developed five All-Americans, three Academic All-Americans and 15 All-Conference players in that time. McLaughlin has an 84-39 record at UW over four seasons, a 166-82 career record as a women's coach (8 years) and 308-157 career record at the college level (men's and women's teams, 15 years).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 17-player Washington roster includes 11 returning letterwinners and five returning starters, plus the libero. The 2005 team includes six seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen. The team represents six states and three countries, including Washington (5), California (3), Hawaii (2), Oregon (1), Indiana (1), Ohio (1), British Columbia (1) and Serbia & Montenegro (2).

2004 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Washington finished the 2004 season with a 28-3 record and won its first Pacific-10 Conference Championship with a 16-2 record. The Huskies set program records for best start and consecutive wins when they opened the season with 22 straight victories. Washington made its first Final Four appearance where it lost to eventual national champion Stanford in the national semifinal match. Three players earned All-America honors, including first team setter Courtney Thompson, second team outside hitter Christal Morrison and honorable mention libero Candace Lee. Five Huskies were named to the All-Pac-10 teams including first team selections Thompson, Morrison, Lee and Brie Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) and honorable mention pick Darla Myhre. Morrison was the Pacific Region and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and head coach Jim McLaughlin was the National Coach of the Year. Washington boasted the highest attendance average in the conference and fifth-highest in the country with 3,211 fans per game. The Huskies had over 5,000 in the stands twice.

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