No. 2 Volleyball Heads To Arizona

Oct. 25, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The second-ranked Washington volleyball team (18-0, 9-0 Pac-10) opens the second half of the Pac-10 season at No. 9 Arizona (15-3, 7-2 Pac-10) and Arizona State, Oct. 27-28. The Huskies hold a two match lead in the Pac-10 standings over Arizona. Washington swept both teams in Seattle last month. UW has won all 19 of its matches this season and is approaching the school record set last year with 22 consecutive victories. The Huskies won their first 14 Pac-10 matches in 2004 en route to the team's first Pac-10 Championship (16-2).

A LOOK BACK: The Huskies swept Oregon and Oregon State last weekend to complete the first half of the Pac-10 season with a perfect 9-0 mark. Christal Morrison led UW with 13 kills vs. Oregon, while Alesha Deesing added 12 and Sanja Tomasevic chipped in 11 kills. Candace Lee led the defense with 16 digs and Deesing and Tomasevic each tallied five blocks. Morrison and Brie Hagerty led Washington against Oregon State with 12 kills apiece. Lee had 14 digs and Darla Myhre had five blocks.

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats (15-3, 7-2 Pac-10) split with the Los Angeles schools last weekend, defeating No. 21 UCLA in four games before falling to No. 19 Southern California in four games. Arizona has proven a tough competitor on its home floor with a 7-0 record at the McKale Center. The team is led by senior Kim Glass with 4.75 kpg, 3.25 dpg and 0.87 bpg. Senior Jennifer Abernathy adds 4.10 kpg and 3.33 dpg, while senior Bre Ladd chips in 2.20 kpg and 1.10 bpg. Setter Amy Dyck paces the Arizona offense with 11.48 apg. The Wildcats are 5-3 against top-25 teams this season with wins over No. 3 Stanford, No. 13 California, No. 18 UC Santa Barbara, No. 20 Georgia Tech and No. 21 UCLA and loses to No. 2 Washington, No. 19 USC and No. 25 Santa Clara.

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils (6-13, 1-8 Pac-10) have lost eight matches in a row after defeating Oregon 3-0 in their Pac-10 opener. Nicole Morton headlines the offense with 3.02 kpg, while Margie Giordano averages 2.67 kpg and 2.54 dpg. Giovana Melo and Rachel Mittelstaedt share setting duties and average 8.86 and 5.05 apg, respectively. Sydney Donahue anchors the defense with 6.01 dpg, while Staci Smith adds 1.02 bpg.

NATIONAL ATTENDANCE: Washington boasts the eighth best attendance in the country this season and the best in the Pac-10 with 2,377 fans per match. The Huskies have pulled 14,260 fans through its doors in sixth home matches this season. Last year, the Huskies had the third best attendance in the nation with 3,311 fans per match. Hawaii leads the nation with 7,212 fans per match, while Nebraska averages 4,490 and Wisconsin and Minnesota each average over 3,000 fans per match.

MCLAUGHLIN NABS 100th UW WIN: Head Coach Jim McLaughlin picked up his 100th win at the helm of UW volleyball on Oct. 22. He has a 100-39 record at Washington in five seasons and a 182-82 record as a women's collegiate coach over eight years. McLaughlin also coached seven seasons with the USC men's team and has an overall coaching record of 324-157 in 15 seasons as a college coach.

SWEEPING THE COMPETITION: Sixteen of Washington's 18 victories this season have come by way of the 3-0 sweep. The Huskies have lost just three games this season, dropping two to California and one to Stanford. UW opened the season with 36 consecutive game victories, setting a program record. The previous record was 22 consecutive games, set last season to open 2004.

MYHRE MARCHES UP CAREER BLOCKS LISTS: Senior middle blocker Darla Myhre is climbing up the UW career blocks lists. She ranks third on the block assists list (389) and is five blocks away from tying the No. 3 spot on the career total blocks list (415, Lisa Underhill, 1998-2001).

THOMPSON SETS CAREER ASSISTS RECORD: With 49 assists against Arizona State on Sept. 30, junior All-American Courtney Thompson became the school's all-time career assists leader. Thompson has 4,092 career assists and is the first Husky to amass 4,000 career assists. She is 153 assists away from the Pac-10 top-10 list (4,245- UCLA, Ashley Bowles). Thompson already holds the UW single-season assists record (1,643, 2004). If her career were to end today, Thompson would also hold the Pac-10 record for assists per game average with 14.56 apg. The current record holder is UCLA's Erika Selsor who averaged 14.00 apg from 1998-2001.

LEE MOVES INTO SECOND ON PAC-10 LIST: Senior libero Candace Lee had 24 digs against UCLA on Oct. 13 to take over the No. 2 spot on the Pac-10 all-time digs. Lee has 1,756 career digs and is 309 digs away from the Pac-10 record of 2,065 digs held by former UCLA Bruin Chrissie Zartman (2001-04). Lee already holds the season (666, 2004) and career (1,756) 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.

TOMASEVIC JOINS 1,000 DIG CLUB: Senior Sanja Tomasevic had six digs vs. Arizona on Oct. 1 to become just the fifth Husky to join the 1,000 digs club. She currently has 1,059 digs and ranks fifth on the UW top-10 list. Tomasevic is just 11 digs away from the No. 4 spot held by Ashleigh Robertson (1,170, 1989-92. She is only the third player in Washington history to amass both 1,000 kills and digs in a career.

DEESING AMONG NATION'S BEST IN HITTING PERCENTAGE: Sophomore middle blocker Alesha Deesing's .446 hitting percentage ranks fourth in the nation and leads the Pac-10. Washington has four players listed among the top-10 in the Pac-10, including No. 1 Deesing, No. 2 Darla Myhre (.423), No. 5 Christal Morrison (.372) and No. 6 Sanja Tomasevic (.371).

UW RANKED SECOND IN CSTV/AVCA TOP-25 POLL: The Huskies have been ranked No. 2 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll all season behind top-ranked Nebraska. Washington received five first-place votes this week for a total of 1,443 points. Nebraska has 1,495 points, including 55 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 FOUR: Washington is one of four schools remaining in the top-25 poll without a loss this season. Other undefeated teams include No. 1 Nebraska (19-0), No. 6 Louisville (20-0) and No. 13 Brigham Young (18-0). Last season, the Huskies set program records for best start and consecutive wins when they opened with 22 victories.

HUSKIES AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Washington leads the country in hitting percentage (.376) and ranks third in kills per game (17.44) and fourth in assists per game (16.02). Junior setter Country Thompson leads the country with 15.07 assists per game, while sophomore middle blocker Alesha Deesing ranks fourth in hitting percentage (.466) and 18th in blocks (1.51 bpg).

WASHINGTON PACES THE PAC-10: The Huskies lead the Pac-10 in every statistical category except blocks (Washington State) and digs (Southern California). Washington paces the league in hitting percentage (.376), opponent hitting percentage (.107), kills (17.44), assists (16.02) and service aces (1.96) and ranks second in blocks (3.39). Junior setter Courtney Thompson leads the league with 15.07 apg, while sophomore middle blocker Alesha Deesing leads the Pac-10 with a .466 hitting percentage and is second in blocks with 1.51 stuffs per game. Sophomore outside hitter Christal Morrison is second in the conference with 0.55 aces per game.

HUSKIES KEEP OPPONENTS IN THE RED: Washington has held its opponents to a negative hitting percentage four times this season and only two teams have hit above .200. All totaled, UW opponents are hitting .107, while the Huskies are leading the country with a .376 hitting percentage. Stanford had the most luck of any team against the UW defense with a .247 hitting percentage on Oct. 8. UW opponents have recorded 617 kills and 403 errors on 2,007 attempts, while Washington has collected 994 kills and just 217 errors on 2,066 attempts.

ACE IN THE HOLE: The Huskies have logged 112 aces this season while only giving up 38 to their opponents. Sophomore Christal Morrison leads the way for Washington with 31 aces, while Sanja Tomasevic has 17 and Danka Danicic had 16. Tomasevic ranks third on the UW all-time career chart with 140 aces and is six away from the school record held by Genne Terry (146, 1982-86).

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 1,141.5 points, behind Sanja Tomasevic with 1,868.5 points.

TOMASEVIC NAMED NATIONAL/PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Washington senior Sanja Tomasevic was selected as the Sports Imports National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 10 after leading the Huskies to a pair of road wins over Cal and Stanford. She averaged 6.60 points, 5.00 kills, 1.44 blocks, 3.22 digs and 0.33 aces per game. Tomasevic missed out on a triple-double in a five-game win over California with 25 kills, 18 digs and nine blocks. The 25 kills and 18 digs were season-highs for Tomasevic and the nine blocks fell one shy of her season best. Tomasevic attacked at a .333 percentage with 20 kills, 11 digs, four blocks and two aces in a four-game win vs. Stanford the next night. The National Player of the Week award is the second of Tomasevic's career as she also received the award on Sept. 2, 2003. She has been selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Week four times.

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 straight 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 is in his fifth year with 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 100-39 record at UW over four seasons, a 182-82 career record as a women's coach (8 years) and 324-157 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 http://gohuskies.collegesports.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/05-china-tri....

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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