Volleyball Plays Host To Final Three Matches This Weekend

Nov. 14, 2000

SEATTLE - Senior/Alumnae Night: The Washington volleyball alumnae will welcome two new members to its group this weekend as the Huskies will celebrate senior and alumnae night this Saturday versus USC. The UW has two seniors this season in Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) and Sabrina Page (Greenacres, Wash.). Seacat has been a member of the UW volleyball program for the last five seasons after red-shirting the 1996 season. The 6-3 opposite saw starting time for the Huskies in each of her four seasons, serving as team captain and tallying almost 500 career kills. Page, who joined the Huskies in 1999, has been one of the team's starting defensive specialists over the last two seasons. Despite suffering a season-ending injury a few weeks ago, Page will finish her career with over 200 digs to her credit.

Game Time Set: The Huskies' match with non-conference foe Gonzaga has been officially set for a 3 p.m. start this Sunday, Nov. 19. The match-up with the Bulldogs is the Huskies' last scheduled match of the season.

Taking The Next Step: Washington juniors Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) and Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) both made moves up the Husky career charts after last week's two matches. Underhill moved from third to second in career hitting percentage with a .286 mark and into a tie for seventh all-time with former standout Amy Tutt in career block assists (258). Churnside, meanwhile, jumped over Angie Short for the sixth slot in career assists with 1,794. Underhill also is eight in career total blocks with 293. Both players are ranked among the active Pac-10 Conference career leaders in blocks (Underhill - 5th) and assists (Churnside - 7th).

Double Their Pleasure: Junior setter Britni Churnside has continued her streak by posting her sixth and seventh straight double-doubles following a 68-assist, 18-dig performance at Oregon and a 66-assist, 14-dig match against Oregon State. Churnside now has 11 double-doubles in the last 12 matches and leads the team in that category with 15 this season. Junior Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) and sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) are tied for second on the team in double-doubles with seven, followed by sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) with four.

Around the Pac-10: Just a week after taking over sole possession of first place, Arizona fell to USC in four games leaving the Wildcats with a 15-2 conference record and the Trojans at 14-2. USC and UCLA will travel to Seattle and Pullman this weekend, while Arizona takes on rival Arizona State Saturday.

Scouting UCLA: The Bruins (19-6, 13-3 Pac-10) have rebounded from a crazy beginning to their 2000 season by winning 13 of their last 16 matches, including a 3-0 win over third-ranked USC on November 3. The Bruins, under head coach Andy Banachowski, are led by junior All-America candidate Kristee Porter, who is averaging a 5.85 kills per game to go along with 3.29 digs per game. Senior Elizabeth Bachman is also a force averaging 3.41 kills/g and 1.46 blocks per game at the net, while setter Erika Selsor (14.49 assists/g) runs the Bruin offense. UCLA, which will face Washington State Thursday, holds a 32-5 all-time record against the Huskies with Washington's last two victories both coming in 1997.

Scouting USC: USC (21-2 overall, 14-2 Pac-10) is currently ranked third in this week's USA Today/AVCA poll, having lost just two matches this season to Arizona and UCLA. Under interim head coach Jerritt Elliott, the Trojans have won 15 of their 21 matches in three games. Offensively, freshman April Ross has averaged 3.60 kills per game, while Tracy Linquist and Toni Anderson have split the setting duties. The Trojans, who will face University of San Diego on Tuesday, have claimed the last five meetings between the two schools and own a 23-9 record versus the Huskies.

Scouting Gonzaga: After beginning the season with Portland State (0-25 record in 2000), the Huskies will end the season with another struggling team, the Gonzaga Bulldogs (4-23), who have lost their last 18 matches, not including their Saturday match versus Portland. Under head coach Eva Windlin-Jansen, Gonzaga has been led by Heather Osberg's 3.43 kills per game and 2.51 digs per game. Britt Witing also is an offensive threat with her 2.79 kills per game, while Emilie Heggli has a 9.87 assists per game average. The Bulldogs and Huskies have not faced each other since 1996, with the UW holding an 8-2 advantage in the all-time series.

In The Stats: In the 10th set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released November 13, several Huskies are among the conference leaders in a number of categories. * Lisa Underhill - Seventh in overall hitting percentage (.340), eighth in overall kills per game (3.67), fifth in overall blocks per game (1.11), ninth in conference hitting percentage (.325), eighth in kills per conference game (3.75), seventh in conference blocks per game (1.13). * Britni Churnside - Seventh in both overall assists per game (9.26) and conference assists per game (10.54). * Gretchen Maurer - Eighth in overall service aces per game (0.33) and 10th in conference service aces (0.26).

Olympic Proportions: Prior to this Sunday's final match versus Gonzaga, the University of Washington will play host to a free Olympic volleyball exhibition sponsored by Speedo from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition. The exhibition will feature 2000 Olympians Kevin Wong and Jeff Nygaard, along with former Husky standout Dragana Djordjevic (1991-95) and a player to be announced later. The format, which will be determined by the size of the audience, will either be an exhibition match or a clinic-type setting. Admission is free.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Nike and USA Volleyball also will sponsor a volleyball clinic for kids from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while a coaches' clinic will follow from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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 125-134 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 262-249 includes seven seasons at Montana State.

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