Volleyball Looks For Win Friday Versus Washington State

Oct. 24, 2000

SEATTLE - The Plan: Washington will look to regroup again this weekend with an always important conference match with Washington State at Pullman before returning home Sunday for a noon non-conference match versus Idaho State. The Huskies have not played a non-conference match since traveling to Idaho (Sept. 26) almost a month ago.

On The Tube: The Huskies road match at Washington State (Oct. 27) will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (PT) on Fox Sports Net. This is the first and only televised match that the Huskies are scheduled to appear in, however, the UW-Oregon State match on November 10 also may be chosen as the 'wildcard' selection as a specific match has yet to be picked. Fox Sports Net will televised a Pac-10 women's volleyball matches each Friday from September 15 through November 17 at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Block Party: The Huskies have done their job at the net, having outblocked their opponents 11 times in 18 matches. During that span, the UW has reached double-figures in team blocks six times with five of the six coming in four-game matches. In the six matches in which Washington was outblocked (the UW tied Arizona State with nine team blocks apiece back on Sept. 22), five have been to teams that are currently ranked in the AVCA top 25 poll and all six have been to teams that one time or another this season have been ranked in the top 25.

Changing Places: The Huskies' game one starting lineup has been pretty much a soap opera this season with everyone constantly changing places. So far this season, Washington has had 11 different starting lineups in the 18 matches. The most constant starting lineup occurred in the first three matches of the season when seniors Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) and Sabrina Page (Spokane, Wash.), juniors Malena Thompson (Santa Fe, N.M.), Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) and Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) and sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) all started.

Moving On Up: Washington junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill is climbing up the Husky record books. Over the past month, Underhill has entered the all-time top 10 in block assists (8th, 241) and career total blocks with 270 (10th). Junior setter Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) also is currently seventh in assists with 1,447, while Underhill has the third-best hitting percentage in UW school history (.269). Both players are ranked among the active Pac-10 Conference career leaders in blocks (Underhill - 5th) and assists (Churnside - 7th).

Double Their Pleasure: Washington's list of players with double-double performances has grown over the past few weeks. Junior setter Britni Churnside had her streak of four straight double-doubles broken against Arizona, but got back on track with a 60-assist, 21-dig performance against Arizona State. Churnside is first on the team in that category with nine this season, while Allison Richardson is second on the team in double-doubles with five, followed by sophomores Gretchen Maurer and Paige Benjamin with three apiece.

Around the Pac-10: The national rankings played true to form when it came to Pac-10 teams last weekend as the Arizona schools swept the Washington school and USC and UCLA both downed Cal and Stanford. Oregon finally got into the Pac-10 win column with an upset victory over rival Oregon State.

Scouting Washington State: Washington State will take a 12-8 overall record and a 3-8 mark in the Pac-10 into Friday night's match. The Cougars three conference wins have been against the UW and both of the Oregon schools. Under head coach Cindy Fredrick, Washington State has gotten a well-rounded effort from her team. Offensively, sophomore LaToya Harris is tops on the team in kills per game (4.03), while setter Kali Surplus runs the offense, averaging 12.76 assists per game. Defensively, Harris carries a 3.23 digs per game average, while Holly Harris and Trina Kightlinger have both averaged over a block a game. The Huskies hold a 42-17 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools and will try to avenge the loss to the Cougars earlier this season in Seattle.

Apple Cup Tidbits: Since 1987, Washington and Washington State have faced each twice each year with the Huskies holding a 18-9 advantage ... the Huskies have swept the Cougars (2-0) six times and the two schools have split their meetings six times ... 1999 was the first time that the Cougars had ever won both matches and was just the second time in the history of the Washington volleyball, which began in 1974, that the Huskies had not grabbed at least one win against the Cougars ... Washington is 6-6 in Pullman since 1987 ... the home team has won 18 of the two schools' last 27 meetings (since 1987) ... Friday's match marks the second meeting between two former high school teammates, UW freshman Libba Lawrence and Washington State junior Kerry Lewis. Lawrence and Lewis led West Linn High School (Ore.) to a runner-up finish at the state tournament in 1997

Scouting Idaho State: Washington and Idaho State face each other for the first time since 1986 this Sunday, with the two-match series split at one match apiece. This season, Idaho State, under first-year head coach Mike Welch, is 7-16 overall and 3-9 in the Big Sky Conference. The Bengals are led by senior middle blocker Amanda Berg, who averages 4.15 kills per game, while junior Joy Deatherage and sophomore Melanie Tucker both add to their team's offense. Berg also is first on the team in digs (2.74/g) and blocks (1.50/g) and setter freshman Sarah Kozlowski runs the Idaho State offense (10.00 a/g).

In The Stats: In the seventh set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released October 23, junior Lisa Underhill is ranked third overall in blocks per game (1.18) and is fourth in blocks in conference matches (1.32/g). Sophomore Gretchen Maurer and junior Britni Churnside also appear in both lists as Maurer is ranked fourth overall (0.37) and ninth in conference matches (0.31) in aces per game and Churnside is ninth overall (7.21) and eighth in conference matches (8.39) in assists per game. Freshman Kara Bjorklund has also made a mark in the conference blocking charts with the eighth-best blocks per game average (1.11).

Promotions, Promotions: The following promotional offerings are on tap for upcoming Washington volleyball matches in October and early November: *Every Friday - Family Friday: For $20 receive five tickets, five hotdogs and five sodas. *Oct. 29 vs. Idaho State - Free admission *Nov. 2 vs. Stanford - Free Baden mini-volleyballs while supplies last. *Nov. 3 vs. California - Free admission for faculty and staff with a coupon, Jr. Husky Night., Hydro Night. Group tickets are available for $1 each for groups of 25 or more. For more information call (206) 543-2200 or visit www.gohuskies.com.

The New Arena: For the second straight season, the Huskies will play their home schedule at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition, while the new 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena is completed. The new arena will not open until November 24, when the women's basketball team plays host to defending national champion Connecticut.

The Best Of The Best: The 2000 Husky schedule once again includes some of the best volleyball teams in the nation. Six of the UW opponents, including number one UCLA, have been ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation according to the preseason USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll released August 14. Besides the Bruins, the Huskies also will face #3 Stanford, #7 USC, #10 Arizona, #18 Texas and #19 Texas A&M this season.

Head Coach Bill Neville: On October 4, 1991, Washington head coach Bill Neville coached his first game as a Husky, a 3-0 win at Oregon. Now, 10 years later, Neville remains as the fifth women's volleyball head coach in school history, compiling a 123-130 record. Neville has coached two All-Americans in his time at the UW, including Makare Desilets (1997) and Angela Bransom (1996), while leading the team to three NCAA tournament berths and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1997. A world-renowned figure in the national and international coaching circles, Neville was the head coach of the Canadian men's national team at the 1976 Olympics and was an assistant with the U.S. men's program at both the 1968 and 1984 Olympics. Neville's career record of 260-245 includes seven seasons at Montana State.

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