Volleyball Looks To Rebound Versus Oregon, Oregon State

Oct. 23, 2001

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SEATTLE - Last Week:
10/16 Portland W, 3-1
10/19 at #4 Stanford* L, 0-3
10/20 at California* L, 0-3

This Week:
10/26 Oregon State* 7:00 PM
10/27 Oregon* 7:00 PM

Next Week:
11/2 at USC* 7:00 PM
11/3 at UCLA* 7:00 PM

Breaking The Streak: The Washington volleyball team looks to end a two-match losing streak with wins over Oregon State (Oct. 26) and Oregon (Oct. 27) this weekend at Bank of America Arena.

The Huskies, who have played five of their last six matches on the road, have had great recent success at home against both Oregon schools. The UW has won 10 straight at home versus the Ducks dating back to 1991, while Washington has defeated the Beavers six of the last 10 times at home.

1,000 (Finally!): After hovering near the milestone mark for several matches, UW senior Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) became the eighth player in UW history to record her 1,000th career kill. Underhill reached the mark October 16, in the second game of the team's non-conference win over Portland. The senior center blocker currently ranks eighth in school history in career kills with 1,025.

UW Career kills - Top-10
1. 1,676 Angela Bransom (1993-96)
2. 1,580 Laurie Wetzel (1985-88)
3. 1,305 Dragana Djordjevic (1991-95)
4. 1,253 Kristina Laffling (1996-1999)
5. 1,240 Makare Desilets (1994-97)
6. 1,146 Leslie Tuiasosopo (1995-98)
7. 1,097 Lisa McCammond (1986-89)
8. 1,025 Lisa Underhill (1998- )
9. 993 Kayley Grim (1986-89)
10. 952 Genne Terry (1982-86)

Injury Report: The Huskies will be without the services of outside hitter Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Calif.) this weekend. Gilliam, who is questionable for the rest of the 2001 season, broke her left hand while blocking in the team's match at Stanford, October 19.

Prior to her injury, Gilliam had played in all but one of the team's matches, starting 14 times. The 6-2 freshman averaged 2.41 kills per game and 1.34 digs per game, while playing an integral role in the team's starting rotation.

With the injury, the Huskies are down to just 10 players on their active roster. UW freshman Patricia DeCiman (Regina, Saskatchewan) and sophomore Egan Metcalf (Kenmore, Wash.) are both red-shirting the season, while red-shirt freshman Alexis McDonald (Long Beach, Calif.) has been injured for most of the year, appearing in just one game in 2001.

Above Average: UW junior Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) has found her rhythm offensively in the toughest part of the Huskies' 2001 schedule. Benjamin has hit above the .300 mark in nine of the last 10 matches and currently is second in the Pac-10 in conference hitting percentage with an impressive .402 mark.

Part of the above average hitting may be due to her move from outside hitter to center blocker, but Benjamin also ranks third overall in UW's record book with a .291 career hitting percentage.

Within The Ranks: Three Washington players once again rank within the top 10 of several categories in the conference's most recent leader charts. Junior setter Gretchen Maurer's (San Clemente, Calif.) 12.39 assists per game is fourth-best in the Pac-10, while senior Lisa Underhill is eighth in hitting percentage (.360) and fifth in blocks per game (1.23). Senior Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) appears in four categories, including kills (fourth), aces (ninth), digs (eighth) and points (fourth).

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.), still are among the active career leaders in the Pac-10 Conference. Underhill has the most career blocks of any player in the conference (386), while she is sixth in kills with 1,025. Churnside, meanwhile, is seventh on the active career leader list in assists (1,899) and ninth in digs (750).

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

Pac-10 Power: Of Washington's 10 losses this season, six have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25, while two others have been versus teams that have received votes in the national poll sometime this season.

For the fourth straight week, the Pac-10 has four schools ranked in the top seven including No. 3 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona. The Pac-10's four ranked teams are rivaled only by the Big Ten Conference, which also has four schools in the top 25, including No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 13 Penn State and No. 21 Minnesota.

Scouting Oregon State: At 13-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play, the Oregon State Beavers currently sit fourth in the Pac-10 standings, although they have yet to face either No. 3 USC or No. 6 UCLA in 2001.

Under head coach Nancy Somera, the Beavers' big gun is outside hitter Gina Schmidt, who averages a team-best 3.78 kills per game and 3.24 digs per game. Michelle Solomon (2.59 k/g) and Joscelyn Hannaford (2.29 k/g) also add offensive firepower, while setter Laura Collins has averaged 12.03 assists per game.

Washington, which fell in three games to Oregon State back in late September, still owns a 33-20 all-time record versus OSU. The UW has won six of the two schools' last 10 meetings in Seattle.

Scouting Oregon: After opening the season with a six-match win streak, Oregon (8-11, 0-9 Pac-10), has lost its last 10 matches prior to its Tuesday meeting with non-conference foe Gonzaga.

Under head coach Carl Ferreira, the Ducks are once again led by outside hitter Monique Tobbagi, who averages 3.50 kills per game. Middle blocker Stephanie Martin (3.32 kills per game) is second on the team in kills and first in blocks (1.20), while setter Sydney Chute runs the Duck offense (9.83 a/g). Melanie Taylor and Lindsay Murphy both average 2.50 digs per game as their team's top defensive players in 2001.

The UW swept the last place Ducks earlier this season in Eugene, and own a 10-match home win streak, dating back to 1991, entering this Saturday's meeting. The Huskies are 39-16 all-time versus Oregon.

Upcoming: The Huskies head out on their final Pac-10 road trip of the year, facing a pair of ranked foes in No. 3 USC and No. 6 UCLA, November 2-3 in Los Angeles, Calif. The last time the UW beat either school was in 1997, when the Huskies swept both matches in Los Angeles.

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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