Volleyball Travels To Fargo, N.D.

Sept. 6, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Washington volleyball team (4-0) travels to Fargo, N.D. this week to compete in the Doublewood Inn Classic. The Huskies open play Friday vs. host North Dakota State (8 pm), before facing Wisconsin-Green Bay (1 pm) and Sam Houston State (5 pm) on Saturday. Live stats will be available on www.GoBison.com for all matches and Friday night's match will be broadcast by NDSU student radio at www.thunderradio.fm.

A LOOK BACK: The Huskies went 2-0 at the Nike Invitational to share a portion of the tournament title with Oregon State, who also went undefeated. Washington defeated Davidson and Portland in straight sets. Junior setter Courtney Thompson (Kent) was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, while senior middle blocker Darla Myhre (Victoria, B.C.) was also selected to the all-tournament team. Thompson averaged 13.67 assists per game and 2.00 dig per game. Myhre averaged 1.50 kills per game, 1.17 blocks per game and hit at a .538 clip. Other top UW performers included Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Serbia and Montenegro) with 4.83 kpg and 2.00 bpg and Brie Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) with 4.75 kpg.

SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA STATE: The Bison are 0-6 to open the season and dropped three matches last week to No. 6 Minnesota, Xavier and UCF. Sheila Parrish leads the NDSU offense with 2.61 kpg, while Kelly Lopez adds 2.11 kpg. Kari Fagan headlines the Bison defense with 4.11 dpg, while Christy Stuewe averages 1.26 bpg. North Dakota State is hitting just .103 as a team. Friday's match will mark the first ever meeting between Washington and NDSU.

SCOUTING WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY: The Phoenix are off to a 2-3 start with wins over Indiana State and Austin Peay. Jackie Rosen leads the offense with 5.00 kpg, while also chipping in 2.41 dpg. Jill Smits and Liesl Tesch also contribute to the offense with 2.59 kpg and 2.67 kpg, respectively. Sarah Rauen averages 4.06 dpg for Wisconsin-Green Bay. Saturday's match will be the first ever between Washington and UWGB.

SCOUTING SAM HOUSTON STATE: The Bearkats have a 1-2 record, including a five-game win over Arkansas last week. SHSU has three hitters averaging two or more kills per game, including Alisha Fowler (3.92 kpg), Chrissy Engle (2.17 kpg) and Cynthia Yarotsky (2.00 kpg). Jennifer Henrichsen leads the defense with 3.67 dpg and Flower chips in 1.50 bpg. Saturday's match will mark the first ever between Washington and Sam Houston State.

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 ten 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 and Christal Morrison (Puyallup), setter Courtney Thompson and libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.).

UW WINS HUSKY CHALLENGE: Washington opened the season with 3-0 sweeps over Gardener-Webb and Montana State to win the Husky Challenge, Aug. 27. The Huskies broke four records in the season-opener vs. Gardner-Webb and broke or tied two of those records the next day vs. Montana State. UW defeated GWU in straight sets on Aug. 26 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 for UW record for hitting percentage when the Huskies combined for a .537 clip. The team broke the hitting percentage record the next night with a .566 average and tied the record for least number of points in a game when they held Montana State to just eight points in the first game.

HUSKIES KEEP OPPONENTS IN THE RED: Washington has held its opponents to a negative hitting percentage in three out of four matches this season. All totaled, UW opponents are hitting at -.006 percent while the Huskies are hitting .478 as a team. Montana State had the most luck of any team against the UW defense with a .165 hitting percentage. UW opponents have recorded 84 kills and 86 errors, while Washington has collected 200 kills and just 27 errors.

SMOKIN' SERVES: The Huskies have logged 32 aces through the first four matches of the season while only giving up four aces to their opponents. Sophomore Christal Morrison leads the way for Washington with nine serves, followed by Courtney Thompson with eight serves and Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) with six.

THE BIG DIGGERS: Senior libero Candace Lee tallied 24 digs over the weekend to bring her career total to 1,551 and move into the No. 5 spot on the Pac-10 all-time list. She is 51 digs away from the No. 4 spot held by former California Golden Bear Lisa Arce (1,602, 1987-90). Former UCLA standout Chrissie Zartman holds the all-time career record with 2,065 digs from 2001-04. Lee already holds the season (666, 2004) and career (1,551) records at Washington. If the season were to end today, Lee would hold the Pac-10 record for digs average with 4.55 dpg. Zartman holds the record with 4.46 dpg.

Senior Sanja Tomasevic ranks No. 6 on the UW all-time chart with 951 dpg and is 17 digs away from the No. 5 spot held by Kristina Laffling (968, 1996-99). Tomasevic is 49 digs away from joining the 1,000 dig club. If she does it, she will become just the fifth UW player to tally 1,000 digs in a career and would be just the third Husky to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career.

SETTING THE TABLE: Junior Courtney Thompson broke the UW season assist records 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. If the season were to end today, Thompson would hold the Pac-10 record for assists per game with 14.41 apg. The current record holder is UCLA's Erika Selsor who averaged 14.00 apg from 1998-2001. Thompson's 3,400 career assists ranks second on the UW all-time chart behind Melinda Beckenhauer who collected 3,707 assists from 1987-89. She has 167 assists this season and is averaging 13.92 apg.

BUILDING BLOCKS: Senior Darla Myhre had seven blocks over the weekend to bring her career total to 349, which ranks fourth on the Washington all-time list. The total surpasses former UW All-American Angela Bransom who tallied 341 blocks from 2002-04.

SUPERSIZED SERVING: Senior Sanja Tomasevic collected her 128th career service ace last Saturday to take over No. 3 spot on the Washington career list. She is 12 aces away from the No. 2 spot held by Dragana Djordjevic (142, 1991-95) and 18 aces away from the UW record held by Genne Terry (146, 1982-86).

MAGNIFICENT MIDDLES: Washington's middle blockers were errorless in the opening weekend of the season and are hitting .650 or better this season. Sophomore Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.) is hitting .658 (27-3-38), while senior Darla Myhre is hitting .655 (21-2-29) and freshman Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) is hitting .667 (11-1-15).

BROWNIE POINTS: Senior Brie Hagerty ranks third on the UW all-time chart with 965 points. She is 35 points away from becoming the third Husky to record 1,000 points in a career. Sanja Tomasevic holds the record with 1,644 career points and former player Kaitlin Leck ranks second with 1,040 career points.

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 86-39 record at UW over four seasons, a 168-82 career record as a women's coach (8 years) and 310-157 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 it 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 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 Pac-10 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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