Volleyball Fights Off Portland For Four-Game Victory

Oct. 16, 2001

SEATTLE - UW senior Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) recorded her 1,000th-career kill as the Washington volleyball team overcame a slow start, defeating the University of Portland (3-1), 30-26, 31-33, 30-16, 30-24, Tuesday at Bank of America Arena. With the win, the Huskies moved to 10-8 overall, while the Pilots fell to 4-11, following the non-conference match.

'Portland played very well,' UW head coach Jim McLaughlin said. 'They're an all or nothing team and their serve took us out of our system. Once we got our hands on some balls both on defense and blocking at the net, we were able to regroup and come back in game three.'

Underhill finished the match with a match-high 16 kills, including her 1,000th-career kill, which came at 6-9 in the second game. Three other UW players reached double-figures in kills, including senior Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) and freshman Kaitlin Leck (Carson City, Calif.), who both added 14 kills. Husky junior setter Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) contributed her fourth double-double of the season with a career-best 58 assists and 12 digs, while senior Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) had a team-high 15 digs.

Portland got off to a 3-0 start to begin the match on an ace, a Husky hitting error and a kill. Washington caught up with the Pilots early at 8-8, but Portland vaulted ahead again, building a five-point advantage at 11-16. The Huskies chipped away at the lead, tying the score again at 16-16. The two schools were then tied seven more times, before Washington took the lead for good at 26-25 on a kill by Richardson. Two more kills by freshman Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Calif.), combined with an ace from Libba Lawrence (West Linn, Ore.) and a Pilot hitting error, gave the UW the game-one victory at 30-26.

The Huskies fell behind once again in game two, as Portland vaulted out to a four-point advantage at 9-5. Washington would finally get into the game with a seven-point scoring run, taking over the lead at 16-12. The UW pulled out to a pair of five-point leads, but the Pilots did not give in, eventually tying the game at 26-26 and later staving off one UW game point at 29-28. Portland rebounded with game points of its own at 29-30 and 31-30, before capitalizing at 31-32, off a UW hitting error to win the game at 33-31.

The Huskies came out of the locker room with a renewed spirit, jumping out to a 16-4 lead in game three and never relinquishing it, despite several Portland charges, winning 30-16.

The fourth game proved to be just as competitive as the first two, as Washington posted a pair of seven-point leads at 15-8 and 16-9, before the Pilots came roaring back to get to within two at 20-22 on a kill from Bridget Beschen. The Huskies recovered to rebuild a six-point lead at 27-21, before closing out the match with three straight points, the last of which came on a block by Richardson and Underhill, ending the game and match with a 30-24 UW victory.

Portland was led by Beschen, a high school teammate of Maurer's, who finished with 12 kills and 22 digs.

The Washington volleyball team resumes its Pac-10 volleyball schedule with a pair of matches at No. 4 Stanford and California, October 19-20.

Washington vs. Portland - Seattle, Wash. (Oct. 16, 2001)
Washington (10-8) def. Portland (4-11) 30-26, 31-33, 30-16, 30-24

Kills: UW 67 (Underhill 16), UP 52 (Beschen 12), Hitting Pct: UW (.270), UP (.088), Assists: UW 62 (Maurer 58), UP 50 (Engstrom 26), Digs: UW 64 (Churnside 15), UP 82 (Beschen 22), Aces: UW 9, UP 6, Blocks: UW (16.0), UP (4.0).

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