No. 2 Volleyball Hosts Arizona Schools This Week

Sept. 28, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Washington volleyball team (10-0) hosts the Arizona schools this week in its first home games since Aug. 27. The Huskies take on Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 30 and No. 13 Arizona on Sat., Oct. 1 with both matches scheduled for a 7 pm start. Washington has yet to drop a game this season, winning all 30 games it has played. Last season, the Huskies set a school record with 22 match victories to open the year.

DAWG CHANNEL ALL-ACCESS: All home Washington volleyball matches will air live on the Dawg Channel, a subscription-only video streaming service on (click on multimedia to sign up). Noah Cohen will call the play-by-play. Gametracker will also be available for all home matches.

A LOOK BACK: Washington swept Washington State in straight games last Friday to open the Pac-10 season, 30-12, 30-18, 30-18. Senior Candace Lee (Eugene, Ore.) tallied 11 digs in the win to take over the No. 3 spot on the Pac-10 all-time list with 1,631 career digs. Washington out hit WSU .368 to -.075, marking the fourth time this season a UW opponent has been held to a negative hitting percentage. The Huskies out blocked the Cougars 12-8, despite WSU leading the conference in stuffs, and held advantages in kills (49-21) and digs (37-25). Seniors Sanja Tomasevic (Uzice, Serbia and Montenegro) and Brie Hagerty (Defiance, Ohio) led the offensive attack for Washington with 15 and 10 kills, respectively. Sophomore Christal Morrison (Puyallup, Wash.) added nine kills in the UW win and senior Darla Myhre (Victoria, B.C.) chipped in eight. Junior setter Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) paced the offense with 39 assists, while collecting eight digs. Sophomore Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.) had seven blocks and Myhre added five.

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils (6-6, 1-1 Pac-10) split over the weekend with the Oregon schools, sweeping Oregon 3-0 and falling to Oregon State in five games. Margie Giordano headlines the offense with 3.15 kpg, while Nicole Morton averages 2.97 kpg and Staci Smith chips in 2.50 kpg. Giovana Melo and Rachel Mittelstaedt share setting duties, averaging 9.50 and 5.36 apg, respectively. Libero Sydney Donahue leads the Pac-10 with 6.51 dpg. ASU is 0-2 against top-25 teams this season, losing to No. 11 Texas and No. 23 Saint Mary's in straight games. Washington leads Arizona State 21-17 in the all-time series.

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats (10-1, 2-0 Pac-10) have won six matches in a row, including 3-0 sweeps over the Oregon schools last weekend. Kim Glass and Jennifer Abernathy lead the offensive attack with 4.42 and 4.28 kpg, respectively. Brittany Leonard anchors the defense with 3.65 kpg, while Glass and Abernathy each average over 3.00 dpg. Arizona is 2-1 against ranked teams, defeating No. 18 UC Santa Barbara and No. 20 Georgia Tech in straight games and falling to No. 25 Santa Clara in four games. UA leads Washington 22-16 in the all-time series.

TOMASEVIC APPROACHES 1,000TH DIG: Senior Sanja Tomasevic had nine digs against Washington State last week and ranks No. 5 spot on the UW all-time career list with 993 career digs. She is seven 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.

THOMPSON ON THE VERGE OF ASSIST RECORD: Junior Courtney Thompson's 3,682 career assists rank second on the UW all-time chart and she is 25 assists away from breaking the school record of 3,707 held by Melinda Beckenhauer (1987-89). She has 449 assists this season and ranks second in the nation with 14.97 apg. 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 career assists per game average with 14.50 apg. The current record holder is UCLA's Erika Selsor who averaged 14.00 apg from 1998-2001.

UW RANKED SECOND IN CSTV/AVCA TOP-25 POLL: The Huskies are ranked No. 2 in this week's CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, receiving two first-place votes for a total of 1,430 points. Nebraska held onto top billing with 1,498 points, including 58 first-place votes. 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.

AND THEN THERE WERE FIVE: Washington is one of five schools remaining in the top-25 poll without a loss this season. Other undefeated teams include No. 1 Nebraska (11-0), No. 6 Louisville (11-0), No. 7 Missouri (10-0) and No. 20 Brigham Young (9-0).

HUSKIES AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Washington leads the country in hitting percentage (.422) and ranks second in kills per game (17.53) and fifth in assists per game (15.9). Sophomore middle blocker Alesha Deesing leads the country with a .534 hitting percentage (Darla Myhre is hitting .566 but has too few attempts), while senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic ranks ninth (.436). Junior setter Country Thompson ranks second in the country with 14.97 assists per game.

WASHINGTON PACES THE PAC-10: The Huskies lead the Pac-10 in every statistical category except blocks (Washington State), assists (Stanford) and digs (Arizona State). Washington paces the league in hitting percentage (.422), opponent hitting percentage (.060), kills (17.53) and service aces (2.27). UW has four players ranking among the league's top-10 in hitting percentage, including No. 1 Darla Myhre (.566), No. 2 Alesha Deesing (.534), No. 3 Sanja Tomasevic (.436) and No. 5 Christal Morrison (.400).

HUSKIES KEEP OPPONENTS IN THE RED: Washington has held its opponents to a negative hitting percentage four times this season and no team has hit in the .200's. All totaled, UW opponents are hitting .060, while the Huskies are leading the country with a .422 hitting percentage. Montana State has had the most luck of any team against the UW defense with a .165 hitting percentage on Aug. 27. UW opponents have recorded 278 kills and 219 errors, while Washington has collected 526 kills and just 100 errors.

YOU GOT SERVED: The Huskies have logged 68 aces through the first 10 matches of the season while only giving up 14 aces to their opponents. Sophomore Christal Morrison leads the way for Washington with 19 aces, while Sanja Tomasevic has 10 and Courtney Thompson has nine. Tomasevic ranks third on the UW all-time career chart with 133 aces and is 13 away from the school record held by Genne Terry (146, 1982-86).

BIG DIGGER: Senior libero Candace Lee tallied 11 digs against Washington State last Friday to bring her career total to 1,631 and take over the No. 3 spot on the Pac-10 all-time list. She is 71 dig away from the No. 2 spot held by former USC standout Katie Haller (1,702, 1990-03). 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 (1,631) records at Washington. If the season were to end today, Lee would hold the Pac-10 record for digs average with 4.54 dpg. Zartman holds the record with 4.46 dpg.

BUILDING BLOCKS: Senior Darla Myhre had five blocks over the weekend to bring her career total to 370, which ranks fourth on the Washington all-time list. Lisa Underhill (1998-01) holds the No. 3 spot with 415 blocks. Three Huskies rank among the league's top-10 in blocks, including Alesha Deesing (third, 1.58 bpg), Myhre (fifth, 1.26 bpg) and Sanja Tomasevic (sixth, 1.21 bpg)

BROWNIE POINTS: Senior Brie Hagerty became just the third UW player to collect 1,000 points in a career when she tallied 30 points against Hawaii, Sept. 16-17. Hagerty ranks No. 2 on the Washington all-time chart with 1.037.5 points, behind Sanja Tomasevic with 1,723.5 points.

HUSKIES SWEEP NO. 6 HAWAII, TWICE: Washington passed its first test of the season Sept. 16-17 with two sweeps over sixth-ranked Hawaii on the road. The wins marked just the second and third in UW history in 11 meeting against the Rainbow Wahine and the first since 1992. Christal Morrison led the Huskies with 5.17 kpg and 35 points. Brie Hagerty and Sanja Tomasevic added 4.67 and 4.50 kpg, respectively. Junior Courtney Thompson guided Washington to a .301 hitting percentage, while posting 17.17 apg. In addition to her 103 assists, she added 19 digs (3.17 dpg) and five blocks (0.83 bpg) to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Sophomore middle blocker Alesha Deesing also had a strong weekend against Hawaii as she led the squad with a .405 hitting percentage with 3.33 kpg and 2.00 dpg. Senior Candace Lee led the defense with 5.67 dpg.

PERFECT IN FARGO: 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 games. Junior setter Courtney Thompson 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 and sophomore Christal Morrison 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.

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.

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.

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 a 92-39 record at UW over four seasons, a 174-82 career record as a women's coach (8 years) and 316-157 career record at the college level (men's and women's teams, 15 years).

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.

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).

TRAVEL TO CHINA WITH THE UW VOLLEYBALL TEAM: TranSports Athletic Team Tours, in conjunction with University of Washington Volleyball, is proud to announce an exciting opportunity to travel with the Husky Volleyball team on a trip of a lifetime to Beijing and Shanghai, China, June 12-23, 2006. Enjoy 12 days and 11 nights in two of the most fascinating cities in the world as you watch one of the finest volleyball teams in the United States compete against some of the best teams China (the Gold Medal winners in the Athens Olympics) can put together. This will be a trip of cultural experiences and site and sounds that you will remember for the rest of your life. TranSports Athletic Team Tours invites you to come to Beijing, home of the 2008 Summer Olympics, and Shanghai, a city like no other, for the experience of a lifetime. For more information, visit or attend an informational meeting on Oct. 14 at 5:30 pm (preceeding the USC match.) at the Founder's Club of Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

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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