Volleyball Kicks Off 12-Day Chinese Tour Monday

June 9, 2006

SEATTLE-- The University of Washington volleyball team will take the court for the first time since winning the 2005 NCAA National Championship Friday when it faces the first of four international teams in China during a 12-day tour.

Washington will open play June 15 vs. Beijing Jiao Tong University, which won the equivalent of the college national championship last season.

The Huskies will then take on the national runner-up, Beijing Astronomic University, on June 16. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. and will take place on the campus of Beijing Astronomic University.

While in Beijing, Washington will also take in the local culture and will learn about the country's history. The Huskies are scheduled to tour the Forbidden City, Tian An Man Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, the Great Wall of China, Sacred Way of Ming Tomb and enjoy the Hutong tour on rickshaw.

UW players will also experience some of the finest shopping in Beijing and are set to visit the Silk Market and enjoy a Peking Duck dinner on their final night in the city.

The Huskies will fly to Shanghai on June 19 and will play vs. the Shanghai Youth Team, made up of the best volleyball players in the city. Washington will play its last match vs. the Shanghai Team, comprised of Chinese Junior National Team players, on June 20. Both matches are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and will take place at the national training center.

While in Shanghai, Washington will tour the Jade Buddha Temple, Bund and Nang Jing Road, People's Square, Shanghai Museum, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong New Bund, Yu Garden Market Place and Huai Hai Road-- the Xiang Yang Market.

The Huskies will attend an acrobatic show on June 21 and will return to Seattle on June 23.

The trip has been organized by TransSports out of Savannah, Georgia, and the team travel party also includes approximately 30 family and friends of the Washington program.

Seven members of the national championship team will be on the trip, including All-American setter Courtney Thompson, All-American outside hitter Christal Morrison and All-Pacific-10 middle blockers Alesha Deesing and Darla Myhre.

All-American libero Candace Lee, All-American outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic and All-Pac-10 outside hitter Brie Hagerty will not make the trip. Lee is training with the USA National Team and Tomasevic and Hagerty have already played professionally and have lost their amateur status.

Four players will make their Washington debuts in China, including transfer Janine Sandell and three players who red shirted the 2005 season, including Stevie Mussie, Lindsey Thiry and Tamari Miyashiro.

Sandell is a senior outside hitter transfer from UC Santa Barbara where she was the 2005 Big West Conference Player of the Year.

Mussie, a junior outside hitter, joined the UW squad in the fall of 2005 but sat out last season with a knee injury.

Thiry and Miyashiro are red shirt freshman and will be making their first appearances in purple and gold next week.

Head Coach Jim McLaughlin returns for his sixth season at the helm of Husky Volleyball, while assistant coaches Leslie Tuiasosopo and Jose 'Keno' Gandara also return to the coaching staff.

Fans interested in following along with the Huskies' experiences can read player diary entries and view photo galleries on the gohuskies.com website: http://gohuskies.cstv.com/sports/w-volley/spec-rel/06-china-index.html

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