Volleyball Travels To Face No. 6 Hawaii In Two Matches

Sept. 12, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Washington volleyball team (7-0) gets its first real test this week when it travels to Hawaii to take on the sixth-ranked Rainbow Wahine (5-3) in two matches, Sept. 16 and 17. The matches will mark the first of the season for Washington against a top-25 team. Hawaii has already faced five teams ranked in the top-10, defeating USC (3-0) and UCLA (3-1) but falling to No. 1 Nebraska (3-0) and No. 5 Penn State (3-0/ 3-0), twice. Friday's match is slated for 4 pm (PST) and Staurday's match is set for 3 pm (PST). Matches will be broadcast live on www.kkea1420.com by Sports Radio.

A LOOK BACK: Washington swept through tournament play at the Doublewood Inn Classic in Fargo, N.D. to win a share of the tournament title. South Dakota also finished the tournament with a 3-0 record. The Huskies defeated host North Dakota State, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Sam Houston State in straight sets and have yet to loss a game all season. Junior setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as she dished 140 assists over nine games for a 15.56 assists per game average. She also collected 11 digs and five blocks over the weekend. Senior Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Serbia and Montenegro) and sophomore Christal Morrison (Puyallup, Wash.) were also named to the all-tournament team. Tomasevic averaged 2.75 kills per game, 1.75 digs per game and 1.12 blocks per game, while Morrison led the team with 4.12 kpg and a .552 average.

SCOUTING HAWAII: The sixth-ranked Rainbow Wahine (5-3) are on a four match winning streak. Hawaii has faced five top-10 opponents this season and has come away with a 2-3 record. UH's victories vs. ranked opponents came against fellow Pac-10 teams No. 7 USC and No. 10 UCLA. Hawaii lost its season opener to top-ranked Nebraska and dropped two matches to No. 5 Penn State. Jamie Houston leads the team with 3.96 kpg, while Victoria Prince and Suzie Boogaard average 3.37 and 3.06 kpg, respectively. Kanoe Kamana `o runs the Rainbow Wahine offense and averages 14.25 apg, while she and Boogaard rank second on the team with 2.93 dpg. Ashley Watanabe headlines the defense with 3.29 dpg. Hawaii leads Washington 7-1 in the all-time series, including a 3-0 (30-26, 39-37, 30-25) victory at the 2002 NCAA second round in Honolulu. UW's lone win came on Sept. 12, 1992 with a five-game barn burner in Honolulu (15-10, 9-15, 15-10, 7-15, 15-13). The matches should prove to be two of the toughest road matches this season for the Huskies as Hawaii leads the nation with 7,114 fans per game.

ONLY ONE REMAINS: The Huskies are the only team remaining in the Pac-10 without a loss. Stanford, UCLA, California, Oregon and Arizona have each lost one match, while Oregon State has lost two, Washington State has lost three and USC and Arizona State have lost four.

UW RANKED SECOND IN CSTV/AVCA TOP-25 POLL: The Huskies are ranked No. 2 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, receiving three first-place votes for a total of 1,423 points. Nebraska held onto top billing this week with 1,497 points, including 57 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, setter Courtney Thompson and libero Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.).

HUSKIES KEEP OPPONENTS IN THE RED: Washington has held its opponents to a negative hitting percentage three times this season. All totaled, UW opponents are hitting at a .032 percent while the Huskies are hitting .485 as a team. Montana State has had the most luck of any team against the UW defense with a .165 hitting percentage. UW opponents have recorded 173 kills and 153 errors, while Washington has collected 360 kills and just 50 errors.

ZEROED IN: Senior Dalra Myhre (Victoria, B.C.) hit .667 (15-1-21) over the weekend to bring her career hitting percentage to .364 (530-104-1170) and take over the top spot on the UW all-time list. Only four UW players have ever graduated with a .300 hitting percentage or better.

SMOKIN' SERVES: The Huskies have logged 50 aces through the first seven matches of the season while only giving up nine aces to their opponents. Sophomore Christal Morrison leads the way for Washington with 16 aces, including seven last week, while Courtney Thompson has nine aces and Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) and Sanja Tomasevic have seven each.

BIG DIGGERS: Senior libero Candace Lee tallied 35 digs over the weekend to bring her career total to 1,586, which ranks fifth on the Pac-10 all-time list. She is 16 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 (1,586) records at Washington. If the season were to end today, Lee would hold the Pac-10 record for digs average with 4.53 dpg. Zartman holds the record with 4.46 dpg.

Senior Sanja Tomasevic ranks No. 6 on the UW all-time chart with 965 dpg and is three digs away from the No. 5 spot held by Kristina Laffling (968, 1996-99). Tomasevic is 35 digs away from joining the 1,000 dig club. If she can do it, she will become just the fifth person 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 has broken 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 14.45 apg. The current record holder is UCLA's Erika Selsor who averaged 14.00 apg from 1998-2001. Thompson's 3,540 career assists rank second on the UW all-time chart behind Melinda Beckenhauer who collected 3,707 assists from 1987-89. She has 307 assists this season and is averaging 14.62 apg.

BUILDING BLOCKS: Senior Darla Myhre had eight blocks over the weekend to bring her career total to 357, which ranks fourth on the Washington all-time list. Lisa Underhill (1998-01) holds the No. 3 spot with 415 blocks.

SUPERSIZED SERVING: Senior Sanja Tomasevic ranks third on the UW all-time list with 130 service aces. She is 12 aces away from the No. 2 spot held by Dragana Djordjevic (142, 1991-95) and 16 away from the school 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 .500 or better this season. Senior Darla Myhre is hitting .660 (36-3-50), while sophomore Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.) is hitting .641 (45-4-64) and freshman Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) is hitting .500 (27-5-44).

BROWNIE POINTS: Senior Brie Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) ranks third on the UW all-time chart with 996 points. She is four 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 2004 grad Kaitlin Leck ranks second with 1,040 career points.

UW WINS SHARE OF NIKE INVITATIONAL: 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 was named the tournament Most Valuable Player, while senior middle blocker Darla Myhre 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 with 4.83 kpg and 2.00 bpg and Brie Hagerty with 4.75 kpg.

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.

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 89-39 record at UW over four seasons, a 171-82 career record as a women's coach (8 years) and 313-157 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 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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