Washington Sweeps Tennessee in National Semifinals

Dec. 15, 2005

SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 15, 2005) - Third-seed Washington (31-1) continued its string of unbeaten 2005 NCAA Division I Tournament match game scores by defeating 15th-seed Tennessee (25-9) 30-25, 30-19, 30-21 on Dec. 15 at the Alamodome in San Antonio in the first national semifinal. The Huskies, which fell in the national semifinals last year, advanced to their first national championship match and will face the winner of the second semifinal between Nebraska and Santa Clara on Dec. 17 at 3 pm (PT).

The Huskies broke a 16-all tie in game one with a 5-1 run and never allowed the Lady Vols closer than two points to close out the opener 30-25. After leading 12-9, Washington won six of the next seven points to take an 18-10 advantage en route to a 30-19 victory. The Huskies bolted to a 6-0 lead in game three and the Lady Vols never closed closer than three points as Washington concluded the match with a 30-21 victory.

Washington's Christal Morrison tallied a team-high 18 kills while hitting .375. Brie Hagerty added 16 kills for the Huskies, while Sanja Tomasevic racked up 12 kills, eight digs and three blocks. Darla Myhre contributed seven kills while hitting .500 with a team-high six blocks. Alesha Deesing hit .417 on 12 swings and three blocks. Courtney Thompson led the Huskies to a .338 team attack percentage with 54 assists. Candace Lee was credited with 16 digs on the back row.

Washington held a 60-44 kill advantage over the Lady Vols. The Huskies held a 9-7 block advantage and a 50-46 dig advantage. The Huskies have won 27 of their 32 matches in three games.

Tennessee's Kristen Andre produced a match-high 21 kills while hitting .390. Sarah Blum turned in nine kills on .348 hitting. Julie Knytych set the Lady Vols to a .243 percentage with 36 assists, 14 digs and four kills. Amy Morris compiled a team-high 15 digs. Yuliya Stoyanova charted five kills for Tennessee.

Tennessee picked up the first two-points lead in game one at 8-6 on Andre's fourth kill. However, the Huskies quickly tied at 8-all as Tomasevic put down a kill after a Lady Vol attack error. Washington gained its first two-point lead at 12-10 and increased it to 13-10 on three straight Tennessee attack errors. The Huskies went into the media timeout with a 15-11 advantage after back-to-back kills from Tomasevic and Hagerty. The Lady Vols came out of the break on a 3-0 run started by a block from Flynn and Blum followed by kills from Andre and Stoyanova. After a Washington point, Andre connected for consecutive kills to tie the game at 16-all. Morrison hammered a kill for Washington, followed by an ace from Ashley Aratani to give the Huskies an 18-16 lead. Washington built a three-point lead after a Tomasevic kill and Andre attack error prompting Tennessee Head Coach Rob Patrick to call the team's first time out down 17-20. Washington stretched the lead to points out of the time out as Andre committed a second consecutive error. The Lady Vols cut in the lead at 22-20 as Blum downed a kill followed by a combined block with Flynn. Washington regained its four-point lead at 25-20 leading to the Tennessee timeout as Morrison downed a kill from the back row after Hagerty was credited with a kill. The Huskies took a 27-21 lead and weathered a 3-0 run by the Lady Vols to win 30-25. Morrison hit .500 with five kills to lead the Huskies in game one. Washington hit .319 in the first game and held the Lady Vols to a .279 percentage.

After the Lady Vols started out game two up 2-0, the Huskies rattled off five straight points capped by a Morrison ace. Washington extended the lead to 7-3 as Hagerty and Tomasevic put down consecutive kills. The teams traded through 13-9 before the Huskies ended the trend with Hagerty putting down a kill at 14-9. Washington built an 18-10 lead after putting together a 4-0 run. The Lady Vols chipped away at the lead with two consecutive points, but the Huskies won four of the next five points ending on an Aratani ace at 22-13. Tennessee scored two quick points, but the Huskies pocketed four straight points to take a commanding 27-16 lead. Washington closed out the game at 30-19 on a Deesing kill. The Huskies hit .400 in the second game and the Lady Vols hit .273.

Washington took a 6-0 lead in game three as Morrison contributed on five of the six points on Thompson's serve. Tennessee closed to 9-6 as Stoyanova tallied a kill and combined for a block with Andre. Washington rebuilt its lead to 12-6 as Hagerty tallied a kill followed by a Danka Danicic ace and Lady Vol ball handling error. After a Lady Vol timeout, Morrison charted a kill, while Deesing and Thompson ended two long rallies with a block to give the Huskies a 15-6 advantage. Andre ended the Huskies 6-0 run with a kill and block solo to slice the gap to 15-8. Tennessee moved to within five at 16-11 as Kelsey Fautsch tallied a kill sandwiched by Husky errors. Tennessee scored the next point out of the timeout on an Andre kill for a 16-12 score. Washington took a 20-14 lead on a kill from Morrison out of the back row. Washington took back serve at 24-18 on a Lady Vol service error, then increase the lead to 25-18 on a Morrison kill leading to a Tennessee timeout. Darla Myhre recorded a kill at 27-20, followed by a block solo from Deesing and a Lady Vol attack error to give the Huskies match point at 29-20. Tennessee saved one match point on a block, but Tomasevic put the match away at 30-21 on a kill. Washington hit .295 in the third game as Morrison tallied eight kills on 18 swings to lead the Huskies. Tennessee hit .179 in the third game, paced by Andre's six kills on 15 attacks.

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