National Champion Huskies To Visit White House

March 29, 2006

SEATTLE-- The Washington national champion volleyball team will be honored at the White House and will travel to Washington D.C. for a championship reception with President George W. Bush on Thursday, April 6.

The team and coaching staff will join fellow national champions Portland Women's Soccer and Maryland Men's Soccer in meeting President Bush as part of the National Student-Athlete Day.

The teams will enjoy a historic tour of the White House rooms before listening to remarks by President Bush on the White House South Lawn. The Huskies will pose for photos with the president and a team representative will present the president with a gift.

The Huskies defeated Nebraska 30-26, 30-25, 30-26 to claim its first-ever NCAA Division I National Championship on Dec. 17, before 8,482 fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Washington, who was making its first title match appearance, became just the third UW program to win an NCAA championship, joining women's crew and football.

The Huskies won all six of their postseason matches in three games, becoming just the second program in NCAA volleyball history to sweep through the NCAA Tournament. Texas won five matches en route to its national title in 1998, when the tournament was a 32-team field.

Sophomore outside hitter Christal Morrison was named the championship's Most Outstanding Player after leading the Huskies with 5.50 kills per game and 6.75 points per game. Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic and junior setter Courtney Thompson were also named to the all-tournament team.

With the victory, head coach Jim McLaughlin became the first coach to capture Division I Volleyball titles with both the men and women after winning the 1990 national championship with the USC men.

Four Huskies earned All-America honors, including first team selections Thompson and Tomasevic. Senior libero Candace Lee was a second team selection and Morrison was named to the third team. Thompson was selected as the Honda Award winner, recognizing the nation's top female collegiate volleyball player.

Other season accolades included Tomasevic being named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and CVU.com Player of the Year, Thompson as the CVU.com Setter of the Year and McLaughlin as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.

The Huskies captured their second straight Pac-10 Championship with a 17-1 record and finished the season with a 32-1 overall record. Washington boasted the fifth-highest attendance average in the nation with 2,888 fans per match, which topped the Pac-10. UW was undefeated at Bank of America Arena (11-0) in 2005 and has won 16 consecutive home matches.

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