Volleyball Plays Host To Pair of Ranked Foes Thursday, Friday

Oct. 2, 2001

SEATTLE - Last Week:
9/24 Idaho W, 3-0
9/27 at Oregon State* L, 0-3
9/28 at Oregon* W, 3-0

This Week:
10/4 #5 UCLA* 7:00 PM
10/5 #4 USC* 7:00 PM

Next Week:
10/8 at Washington St.*^ 5:00 PM
10/12 at Arizona State* 7:00 PM
10/13 at Arizona* 7:00 PM

Upward Bound: At 8-4 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-10, the 2001 Huskies have already matched the team's win totals both in overall and conference victories from a year ago.

The UW will attempt to add to its total this weekend with matches versus fifth-ranked UCLA Thursday and third-ranked USC Friday.

The last time the Huskies beat both of the Los Angeles schools was back in 1997, when the team won three of the four matches en route to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Allison En Fuego: UW's Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) has been out to prove that her last year at the UW will be her best, as she ranks first on the team in kills per game (4.47), aces per game (0.47) and digs per game (3.08). Richardson has led the team in kills in nine of the 12 matches (one of which she missed due to injury) and has tallied double-doubles eight times.

The 6-1 senior also has already recorded career game-highs in hitting attempts with 67 versus Stanford (third best in Pac-10), service aces with seven versus Purdue (1st) and blocks with 10 at Denver (2nd).

Block Party: Although the team's streak of double-digit blocking matches came to an end last week, the UW still has recorded at least 10 blocks in eight of the team's 12 matches.

The UW has outblocked its opponents 111.5-74 over the past 10 matches, while three players, senior Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.), Allison Richardson and Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.), all still average over a block a game.

Hitting The Percentages: Not only is the UW outblocking its opponents at the net, the Huskies have also hit better than .300 in six of their last eight matches. Included in that streak is a .436 mark versus Air Force, which currently ranks third in the Pac-10. In addition, only two opponents, BYU (.281) and Oregon State (.315), have been able to hit above the .200 mark, while three have hit below .100.

Within The Ranks: Three Washington players currently rank within the top 10 of several categories in the conference's most recent leader charts. Junior setter Gretchen Maurer's (San Clemente, Calif.) 12.93 assists per game is second-best in the Pac-10, while senior Lisa Underhill is sixth in hitting percentage (.392) and first in blocks per game (1.49). Senior Allison Richardson appears in four categories, including kills (2nd), aces (5th), digs (6th) and points (third).

The points category is a new feature which came about this season as a result of the rally-only scoring format. Points are calculated by adding player kills, aces, block solos and half of their block assists.

Leading The Pac: A pair of UW seniors, Lisa Underhill and Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.), are currently among the active career leaders in the Pac-10 Conference. Underhill has the most career blocks of any player in the conference (361), while she ranks seventh in kills with 951. Churnside, meanwhile, is sixth on the active career leader list in assists (1,895) and ninth in digs (676).

Earlier this season, the Huskies' 16 aces versus Purdue tied for 10th-most on the all-time Pac-10 individual match list.

Fierce Freshmen: UW freshmen Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Nev.) and Kaitlin Leck (Carson City, Nev.) continue to be integral parts of the Husky starting line-up. The pair has combined to miss just seven of the team's 41 games, with Gilliam sitting out three of them in the team's match at Air Force. Both have played the entire rotation, providing the team with great all-around skills both offensively, defensively and behind the service line.

1,000-Kill Watch: With just 49 more kills, senior Lisa Underhill is on pace to become just the eighth player in school history to reach the 1,000 career kill milestone.

So far, Underhill has 951 career kills and also needs just two kills to move past Genne Terry for the number nine spot all-time.

Schedule Moves: The UW's match with in-state rival Washington State, which was scheduled for September 14, will be played on Monday, October 8, at 5 p.m. in Pullman. A possible make-up date for the team's non-conference match with Gonzaga, which was postponed on September 12, is still pending.

Washington's opponents for its October 12-13 matches in Arizona also have been switched. The Huskies will face Arizona State on Friday, October 12, before heading to Arizona on Saturday, October 13. The two schools had originally been flip-flopped on some schedules. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.

Back Home: The Huskies return home for a short two-match stop Thursday and Friday before hitting the road again for a Monday match at Washington State. The UW will attempt to claim its first victory over all three schools since sweeping Washington State in 1998.

Scouting UCLA: UCLA (7-2, 2-1) rebounded from a loss to cross-town rival USC with a pair of wins over Arizona and Arizona State last week. The fifth-ranked Bruins have won six of their seven matches this season in three games, including a sweep of then third-ranked Arizona.

UCLA, under head coach Andy Banachowski, has been led once again by All-American Kristee Porter, who averages nearly six kills a game (5.96) and is just 20 kills behind the conference and UCLA career kills record. Setter Erika Selsor leads the Pac-10 in assists per game (14.25), while Ashley Bowles is first on the team in digs per game with 3.18.

The Bruins hold a 33-5 lead in the all-time series between the two schools. The UW last defeated UCLA twice in 1997, including a three-game sweep at home September 26.

Scouting USC: After an early season loss to Wisconsin, the USC Trojans (8-1, 3-0) carry a seven-match winning streak into this weekend.

The Trojans, under first-year head coach Mick Haley, are led offensively by sophomore All-American April Ross (4.10 k/g) and freshman Keao Burdine (3.33 k/g). Ross also is tops on her team in digs per game with a 3.00 mark, while Jennifer Pahl and Katie Olsovsky both average more than a block per game. Tracy Lindquist and Toni Anderson share the team's starting setting duties.

USC is 24-9 all-time versus the Huskies, with the last UW win coming in 1997 at USC in five games.

Scouting Washington State: In the one of the team's biggest rivalries, the Huskies will look to end a four-match losing skid to the Cougars Monday in Pullman.

Under head coach Cindy Fredrick, the Cougars have nearly mirrored the Huskies so far this season, sporting a 7-4 overall and 2-2 mark in conference play. Both the UW and WSU own a pair of Pac-10 wins over California and Oregon, while dropping matches to both Stanford and Oregon State so far in 2001.

Outside hitter LaToya Harris ranks first on her team in both kills per game (3.44) and digs per game (3.11), while Adrian Hankoff is a threat both offensively (3.00 k/g) and behind the service line (0.68 aces/game).

Washington holds a 42-18 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.

Connections-Connections: Washington defensive specialist Libba Lawrence and WSU DS Kerry Lewis both attended West Linn High School in Oregon and played for the Portland Volleyball Club ... UW head coach Jim McLaughlin led the USC men's volleyball team to a NCAA title in 1990, serving as head coach of the Trojans for seven seasons from 1990-1996.

See Us On TV: If you're looking to see a Husky home match without leaving your home, Fox Sports and the Pac-10 have made it all possible. Washington's match with Arizona on Friday, Nov. 9, in Seattle will be televised by Fox Sports Net (national) on a tape-delay basis. The team's Nov. 16 meeting with Washington State also will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest and can be chosen as the 'wildcard' selection for Fox Sports Net.

Fox Sports Net will televise eight other Pac-10 women's volleyball matches in 2001, all of which are scheduled to air on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. from Sept. 22-Nov. 17.

A New Coach: Jim McLaughlin, head coach at Kansas State University for the past four seasons, was named head women's volleyball coach at the University of Washington on August 1, 2001. McLaughlin, who became the seventh head coach in school history, replaces former head coach Bill Neville, who announced his retirement on July 17, after 10 years at Washington.

McLaughlin spent the last four seasons building the Kansas State women's volleyball program into a national power, compiling an 82-43 record and taking the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Last season, McLaughlin led Kansas State to a 22-9 record, a program-best No. 16 national ranking and its first-ever trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Prior to a one-year stint as an assistant at Notre Dame in 1996, McLaughlin was the men's head coach at the University of Southern California for seven seasons, leading the Trojans to the NCAA title in 1990 (his first season as head coach) and a runner-up finish a year later.

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