Volleyball Hits The Road For Pac-10 Matches Versus Oregon, Oregon State

Nov. 6, 2000

SEATTLE - Road Trip: Washington will travel to Oregon and Oregon State this weekend for its final road trip of the season before returning to Seattle for three matches next weekend.

On The Tube: The Huskies road match at Oregon State (Nov. 10) will be televised on Fox Sports Northwest on a tape-delayed basis. The match currently is set to air on November 13 at 1 p.m. This will be the Huskies' second televised match of the season.

En Fuego: Since moving from her swing hitter position into the quick hitter spot against Arizona State (Oct. 21), junior Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) has been on fire. Richardson led the Huskies in both matches last week, averaging 5.25 kills per game (42-14-87) on .322 hitting to go along with 2.25 digs per game and 1.38 blocks per game. She had a career night versus Stanford, including a team-high 24 kills (career high) and a team-best seven blocks (career high). A day later, Richardson led the Huskies in kills with 18 and in blocks with four versus California. Over the last five matches, she has averaged 4.33 kills per game on .403 hitting with 2.77 digs per game and 1.22 blocks per game.

Double Their Pleasure: Allison Richardson has not been the only Husky on a hot streak as of late. Junior setter Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) has posted five straight double-doubles following a 65-assist, 11-dig performance versus Stanford and a 44-assist, 15-dig match against California. Churnside now has nine double-doubles in the last 10 matches and leads the team in that category with 13 this season. Richardson is second on the team in double-doubles with seven, followed by sophomores Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) and Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) with four apiece.

Block Party: Despite having been outblocked in each of last week's two matches, the Huskies have done their job at the net, having outblocked their opponents 13 times in 22 matches. During that span, the UW has reached double-figures in team blocks nine times with six of the nine coming in four-game matches. In the eight matches in which Washington was outblocked (the UW tied Arizona State with nine team blocks apiece back on Sept. 22), six have been to teams that are currently ranked in the AVCA top 25 poll and seven have been to teams that one time or another this season have been ranked in the top 25.

Moving On Up: Washington junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) is climbing up the Husky record books. Over the past month, Underhill has entered the all-time top 10 in block assists (8th, 256) and career total blocks with 290 (8th). Junior setter Britni Churnside also is currently seventh in assists with 1,660, while Underhill has the third-best hitting percentage in UW school history (.274). Both players are ranked among the active Pac-10 Conference career leaders in blocks (Underhill - 5th) and assists (Churnside - 7th).

Around the Pac-10: For the first time this season, Arizona jumped into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with a 14-1 record after USC (12-2) was swept by UCLA (12-2). The Arizona schools, meanwhile, went 4-0 against the Oregon schools, and Washington State extended its conference win streak to three with victories over both Cal and Stanford. Several critical conference matches will be on tap this weekend as USC and UCLA face Arizona and Arizona State.

Scouting Oregon: The Ducks and the Huskies will enter Thursday's contest with matching conference records at 1-13. UW defeated Oregon in four games in mid-October behind sophomore Paige Benjamin's 16 kills and career-high 15 digs. The Ducks' only conference win this season was a surprise three-game sweep over in-state rival Oregon State in Corvallis. Under first-year head coach Carl Ferreira, the Ducks have been led by Monique Tobbagi's 3.73 kills per game and Halie Mazza's 3.00 kills per game. Setter Sydney Chute averages 0.43 aces per game for a team which leads the Pac-10 in that category (1.65 a/g). Tobbagi also is a valuable threat on defense with her team-high 2.55 digs per game, while Mazza has averaged 0.94 blocks per game. The Huskies hold a huge advantage in the all-time series between the two schools at 38-15, while the UW has been victorious in 10 of the last 11 meetings. The last time the Ducks beat the Huskies was back in 1995 in Eugene.

Scouting Oregon State: After scoring huge victories over California, UCLA and Arizona State in the first half of Pac-10 play, the Beavers have cooled off and will bring a 15-11 overall record and a 5-9 mark in conference matches to Friday's contest. The Beavers' keys to success, under head coach Nancy Somera, have been the offensive output of outside hitter Gina Schmidt (4.49 k/g) and Angie Shirley (3.16 k/g), while setter Brandi Bonnarens has averaged 13.22 assists per game. Schmidt has also averaged over three digs a game, while Michele Solomon and Shirley are leading the team in blocks. Like its Thursday opponent, Washington owns a winning all-time record against Oregon State, which currently stands at 32-19. The Huskies have beaten the Beavers in seven of their last 11 meetings, with OSU winning the two schools' first meeting this year in four games.

Connections, Connections: A native of Eugene, Ore., Washington junior setter Britni Churnside will be making her third career appearance in her hometown when the Huskies face the Ducks .... the Huskies are 2-0 in Eugene with a pair of four-game wins with Churnside on the roster ... two Central Catholic High School alums will square off this Friday when the Huskies face Oregon State. UW senior Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) and OSU sophomore Nikki Neuburger both attended the Portland, Ore., school with Seacat graduating in 1996 and Neuburger finishing in 1999.

In The Stats: In the ninth set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released November 6, several Huskies are among the conference leaders in a number of categories. * Lisa Underhill - Tenth in overall hitting percentage (.310), ninth in overall kills per game (3.51), sixth in overall blocks per game (1.21), third in conference blocks per game (1.30). * Britni Churnside - Seventh in both overall assists per game (8.59) and conference assists per game (9.73). * Gretchen Maurer - Third in overall service aces per game (0.36) and seventh in conference service aces (0.31).

Promotions, Promotions: The following promotional offerings are on tap for the final three Washington volleyball matches: *Every Friday - Family Friday: For $20 receive five tickets, five hotdogs and five sodas. *Nov. 17 vs. UCLA - Tyee Night: Free admission for Tyee members and guest with coupon. *Nov. 18 vs. USC- Alumni Night, Largest Group Contest and Nike Clinic (morning). *Nov. 19 vs. Gonzaga - UW Faculty/Staff Day 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 124-133 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 261-248 includes seven seasons at Montana State.

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