Huskies Host Oregon & Oregon State This Week

Oct. 4, 2006

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THIS WEEK: The fifth-ranked Washington volleyball team (12-3, 2-2 Pac-10) looks to rebound this week after a pair of tough losses to No. 3 UCLA and No. 5 USC in Los Angeles last week. The Huskies host Oregon and Oregon State, Oct. 6-7, with both matches slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. GameTracker and live video streaming will be available through the Dawg Channel on GoHuskies.com for both matches with Benton Strong calling play-by-play and former UW Husky Carolyn Farny providing expert analysis. Both features are free.

HOME SWEET HOME: Washington has won all six of its home matches this season, extending its home win streak to 22 matches, which is a program record. The Huskies won all 11 matches they played at Bank of America Arena last season and have not lost at home since dropping a five game heartbreaker to USC on Nov. 26, 2004 (28-30, 24-30, 30-25, 30-22, 15-17). All six of Washington's home wins this season have come via the 3-0 sweep.

SCOUTING OREGON: The Oregon Ducks (11-2, 1-2 Pac-10) picked up their first Pac-10 win of the season last week with a 3-1 victory over Oregon State. The Ducks lead the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.119) and service aces (0.69 sapg), and rank fifth in blocks (3.05 bpg). Three Oregon players average three or more kills per game, including Mira Djuric (3.37), Erin Little (3.08) and Sonja Newcombe (3.08). Nevena Djordjevic and Lindsey Stone share setting duties and average 7.89 and 6.64 apg, respectively. Katie Swoboda headlines the defense with 4.63 digs per game, while Karen Waddington averages 1.60 blocks per game. Washington leads Oregon 48-16 in the all-time series and Washington has won the last 10 in a row.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Oregon State Beavers (3-9, 0-3 Pac-10) look for their first Pac-10 win after suffering a four-game loss to Oregon last week. The loss snapped a six-match win streak for the Beaver over Oregon and marked its first loss in Eugene since 1999. Rachel Rourke leads OSU with 4.47 kpg, while Brittany Cahoon and Kristin Murray average 2.89 and 2.70 kpg, respectively. Camilla Ah-Hoy and Ashley Evans share setting duties with Ah-Hoy averaging 7.29 apg and Evans chipping in 4.48 apg. Tricia Yoshimura anchors the Beavers defense with 3.56 dpg, while Cahoon headlines the blocking game with 0.93 bpg. Washington leads Oregon State 41-21 in the all-time series and has won the last eight matches.

UW RANKED FIFTH IN NATIONAL POLLS: The Huskies dipped one spot to No. 5 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Oct. 2), after losses to No. 3 USC and No. 5 USC last week. Washington is ranked fourth in the most recent Molten/Volleyball Women's College Top 20 Poll (Sept. 25).

RECORDS WATCH: Junior Christal Morrison (Puyallup, Wash.) tallied 47.5 points on the UCLA/USC road trip to move into the No. 2 spot on the all-time points list, surpassing Brie Hagerty ... Morrison now has 1,310.0 career points, second only to two-time All-American and 2005 Pac-10 Player of the Year Sanja Tomasevic who posted 2,159.5 points from 2002-05 ... Morrison also moved into the top-10 career kills list with 41 kills in the UCLA/USC weekend, moving her into 10th on the all-time list with 1,110 career put-aways ... She is 37 kills away from over taking No. 9 Leslie Tuiasosopo who recorded 1,146 kills from 1995-98 ... Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) had 31 kills vs. UCLA and USC to move into the eighth spot on the UW all-time career list ... Thompson now has 891 digs and needs three more to surpass No. 7 Diane Flick who collected 893 digs from 1989-92.

THOMPSON JOINS 5,000-ASSIST CLUB: Senior All-American Courtney Thompson picked up her 5,000th career assist vs. Morehead State on Sept. 1 to become the first person in UW history and just the fifth in Pac-10 history to accomplish the feat. Her career total stands at 5,563 assists and counting, which ranks second on the Pac-10 all-time list. She is 699 assists away from breaking the conference record held by UCLA's Erika Selsor who tallied 6,234 assists from 1998-2001. 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. Selsor set the current record with 14.00 apg.

ACE IN THE HOLE: Courtney Thompson has 15 service aces over this season to bring her career total to 103, which ranks seventh on the UW all-time list. Christal Morrison is also making a run at the top-10 list with 91 career aces, which is four away from the 10th spot held by Melinda Beckenhauer who had 95 aces from 1987-89.

MULTI-TALENTED MORRISON: Junior outside hitter Christal Morrison is coming off her best season yet in a Huskies uniform, earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Championship after leading UW to its first national title in 2005. Morrison has led or tied for the team lead in kills seven times this season and has five double-doubles. She currently ranks third in the Pac-10 with 5.39 ppg and 4.52 kkp, and ranks fifth with 0.35 sapg. The Mizuno Wildcat Classic Most Valuable Player in September, Morrison has littered her name throughout the UW career record book, with the third-highest kills per game average (4.29) and eighth-highest hitting percentage (.309) in Husky history.

MORRISON NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Outside hitter Christal Morrison was named the Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 18-24 after leading Washington to a pair of 3-0 sweeps over No. 8 California and No. 6 Stanford. On Friday, Sept. 22, Morrison celebrated her 21st birthday with a sweep of Stanford and went on to lead the Huskies with 17 kills on 46 swings with no errors, giving her a .370 hitting percentage. She also picked up 12 digs for her third double-double of the season and collected a pair of blocks. Morrison opened the weekend with a 10-kill performance against California. She went on to add an ace, three digs, and four blocks. The weekend sweep gave Washington its 22nd consecutive match win at home, with all 12 of its wins this season coming from 3-0 sweeps. This weekly honor marked the second for Morrison, and Washington's 18th Pac-10 Player of the Week all-time.

MARVELOUS MUSSIE: Junior transfer Stevie Mussie (Puyallup, Wash.) ranks second on the team with 4.38 kpg, while chipping in 2.49 dpg and 0.64 bpg. She has led the team in kills seven times this season, including a career-high 23 kills vs. UCLA (Sept. 28). Mussie ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in kills per game and seventh in points per game (5.00). She transferred to Washington from the University of Pacific after the 2004 season but redshirted last year after undergoing knee surgery.

SPLENDID SANDELL: Senior outside hitter Janine Sandell (London, England) joins the Washington roster after transferring from UC Santa Barbara where she was the 2005 Big West Player of the Year and an All-America honorable mention selection. Sandell averaged 5.26 kpg last season, which led the Big West and ranked eighth nationally. Her 572 kills ranked fourth on the UCSB all-time list. Sandell has made nine starts for the Huskies this season and averages 1.93 kpg, 0.83 dpg and 0.98 blocks per game.

DAZZELING DEESING: Junior middle blocker Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.), a first team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-Pacific Region selection last season, has started every match for the Dawgs this season, averaging 2.60 kpg, 1.12 bpg and a .467 hitting percentage, which ranks fifth in the nation.

TENACIOUS TAMARI: Redshirt freshman Tamari Miyashiro (Honolulu, Hawaii) anchors the UW defense with 4.00 dpg and has led the team in digs 11 times this season. Miyashiro was named the Mizuno Wildcat Classic Libero of the Tournament, Sept. 1, after averaging 2.89 dpg. Miyashiro has taken over the starting position at libero after the graduation of two-time All-American Candace Lee who is now a member of the U.S. National Team. Miyashiro has 12 double-figure dig performances, including 30 digs vs. USC (Sept. 29), and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in digs per game.

STELLAR SWARBRICK: Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) ranks second on the team with a .433 hitting percentage, which ranks 10th in the nation. She averages 2.66 kpg and leads UW with 1.42 bpg, which ranks sixth in the conference. Swarbrick has led Washington or has tied for the team lead in blocks nine times, including eight block performances vs. Texas (Aug. 26), UC Davis (Sept. 15) and USC (Sept. 29).

ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS: Three All-Americans grace Washington's roster, accounting for five All-America awards. Courtney Thompson is a two-time first team All-American, while Christal Morrison was a second team selection in 2004 and a third team pick last season. Janine Sandell was an honorable mention All-American for UC Santa Barbara last year.

COACH Jim McLaughlin: Jim McLaughlin begins his sixth year at the helm of the Washington volleyball program after leading the 2005 Huskies to their first-ever NCAA National Championship and repeating as Pacific-10 Conference Champions. The Huskies finished the season with a 32-1 record and cruised through the postseason, winning all six matches by 3-0 scores, an NCAA record, to win the national title. The national championship marked the second for McLaughlin, who led the 1990 USC men to the national title. He is the only coach in NCAA history to win titles with both men and women. McLaughlin joined the Washington program in 2001 and inherited a team that finished last in the Pac-10 standings in 2000. In five seasons, he has led the Huskies to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the 2004 national semifinal and 2005 championship, and has built Washington into one of the nation's premier volleyball programs. He has won three Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2005, 2004, 2002) and was the 2004 National Coach of the Year. At Washington, McLaughlin has rebuilt the program from the ground up to become just the third UW program to win an NCAA national championship, joining women's crew and football. Over five seasons, McLaughlin has developed 13 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans and 19 All-Conference players. He has also led the Huskies to the No. 1 national ranking both in 2004 and 2005. McLaughlin has a 126-43 record at UW.

HUSKY CLASSIC RECAP: Washington went 4-0 at the Husky Classic, Sept. 7-9, defeating Portland State, UMBC, North Dakota State and Gonzaga all by 3-0 sweeps. UW won the first match vs. Portland State in its home opener to improve to 24-8 all-time in home debuts and 5-1 in the Jim McLaughlin era. Christal Morrison led the Dawgs with 4.90 kills per game, while Stevie Mussie chipped in 4.22 kpg. Middle blockers Jessica Swarbrick and Alesha Deesing led the Huskies with .545 and .434 hitting percentages, respectively. Swarbrick averaged 3.00 kpg and 1.08 bpg, while Deesing had 2.42 kpg and 1.33 bpg. Senior setter Courtney Thompson paced Washington to a .380 hitting percentage over the weekend and dished 15.92 assists per game. Freshman libero Tamari Miyashiro led the defense with 4.67 digs per game.

HUSKIES SWEEP THROUGH MIZUNO WILDCAT CLASSIC: Washington shared the Mizuno Wildcat Classic Tournament title with 15th-ranked Ohio after both teams finished competition with 3-0 records. The Huskies defeated host Davidson, Morehead State and Liberty in straight sets. Christal Morrison was named the tournament MVP after leading the Dawgs with 4.67 kills per game and 2.89 digs per game. he also tallied six service aces and four blocks and boasted a .461 hitting percentage. Tamari Miyashiro received the Libero of the Tournament award after tying Morrison for the team lead with 2.89 dpg. Miyashiro also led the team with seven service aces. Courtney Thompson was also named to the all-tournament team as she paced UW to a .364 hitting percentage, dishing 13.67 assists per game.

HUSKIES FALL TO TEXAS IN AVCA COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL SHOWCASE CHAMPIONSHIP: Washington defeated No. 15 Ohio, 3-0, in the semifinal of the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase to advance to the championship match vs. No. 8 Texas. With the teams tied at two games apiece, Washington edged out to the 13-11 lead before Texas' Destinee Hooker reeled off four consecutive kills to lift the Longhorns to the 15-13 win and upset over Washington. The loss marked the first for the Huskies since they fell to UCLA on Nov. 12, 2005 and just their second loss since the 2004 season. Junior Stevie Mussie led the Huskies with 3.86 kills per game, while junior Christal Morrison added 3.75 kpg, and sophomore Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) added 3.14 kpg. Senior Courtney Thompson paced the UW offense with 14.12 assists per game, while leading the defense with 3.88 digs per game. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick led UW, which averaged 3.00 blocks per game, with 1.38 bpg.

HUSKIES TO HOST NCAA REGIONAL: Washington, home of the 2005 Women's Volleyball National Champions, has been selected as one of four sites to host a 2006 regional tournament. The 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena will serve as the venue site for three matches, Dec. 8-9, from which the winner will advance to the Women's Volleyball Championship in Omaha, Neb. The other three sites chosen to host a regional include Gainesville, Fla. (Stephen C. O'Connell Center), Honolulu, Hawai'i (Stan Sheriff Center) and Austin, Texas (Gregory Gym). The 2006 selection marks Washington's second time hosting since the NCAA moved to predetermined regional sites in 2003. The Huskies last hosted a regional in 2004, the season Washington advanced to its first-ever Women's Volleyball Championship. Tickets will be on sale at the first home match on Sept. 7 vs. Portland State.

HUSKIES PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN PAC-10: The Washington volleyball team, the 2005 NCAA Champion and two-time defending Pacific-10 Conference champion, is predicted to finish third by the league's coaches in the 2006 conference race behind Stanford and UCLA. Stanford, the 2005 Pac-10 runner-up, is predicted to win the championship, receiving 89 points, including eight first place votes. The Cardinal finished one match behind Washington last season with a 16-2 Pac-10 record. UCLA, the only team to defeated Washington in 2005, is picked to finish second after receiving 79 points, including the two remaining first place votes. Washington was right on the Bruins' heels with 76 points, followed by California in fourth with 64 points and USC in fifth with 62 points. Arizona (48), Oregon State (41), Oregon (32), Arizona State (30) and Washington State (19) round out the poll. The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 10 of the previous 17 polls.

UW ON THE TUBE: The Pacific-10 Conference and FSN have selected two University of Washington volleyball matches to be televised as part of its 10-match line-up. Washington's match against Stanford on Sept. 22 will kick-off the Pac-10/FSN television package, while its match vs. UCLA on Oct. 27 has also been selected for broadcast. Both games will take place in Seattle at 7 p.m. Ten Pac-10 matches will be shown on FSN throughout the season beginning Sept. 22 and running through Nov. 24. All matches will be televised on a delayed basis. The Nov. 24 game will be a wildcard match with the featured match-up announced on Nov. 13. Washington's road match vs. Stanford is up for the wildcard spot.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 13-player Washington roster includes six returning letterwinners and three returning starters. The 2006 team includes two seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. The team represents six states and two countries, including Washington (5), Hawaii (2), Oregon (2), California (1), Texas (1), Utah (1) and London (1).

2005 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Washington won its first NCAA national title last season behind a record-setting postseason run as the Huskies became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to win all six of its matches in three games. UW finished the season with a 32-1 record and won its second straight Pac-10 title with a 17-1 league mark. Four Huskies earned All-America honors, including first team outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic, first team setter Courtney Thompson, second team libero Candace Lee and third team outside hitter Christal Morrison. Jim McLaughlin was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and Tomasevic was selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

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