Volleyball Looks To Finish 2001 Campaign With A Win Over Washington State

Nov. 13, 2001


Last Week:
11/9 #4 Arizona* (FOX) L, 1-3
11/10 Arizona State* L, 1-3

This Week:
11/16 Washington St.* (FOX NW) 7:00 PM

Next Week: End of 2001 Season

The Final Showdown: The Washington volleyball team plays host to its final match of the season Friday, versus in-state rival Washington State. The Huskies will be looking to break a five-match losing streak versus the Cougars, with the last UW win coming in 1998.

The match is the final appearance for three UW seniors - Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.), Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) and Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.).

See Us On TV: If you're looking to see a Husky match without leaving your home, Fox Sports and the Pac-10 have made it all possible. Washington's match with Washington State will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest on a tape delay basis. The game is scheduled to air Saturday, November 17, at 10 a.m.

One Match = 10 kills: Washington senior Allison Richardson will look to jump deeper into the Husky record books in her final career appearance. Richardson needs just 10 kills to become the ninth player in Husky history, and the second this season, to reach the 1,000th-career kill mark. The 6-1 team co-captain would join classmate Lisa Underhill, who recorded her 1,000th career kill versus Portland earlier this season.

Richardson, who began the year with 601 kills in her first three seasons, has already tallied 389 kills in 2001.

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. 1,091 Lisa Underhill (1998- )
9. 993 Kayley Grim (1986-89)
10. 990 Allison Richardson (1998- )

In The Books: With their UW careers coming to a close, all three seniors, Britni Churnside , Allison Richardson and Lisa Underhill have entered the Husky record books in at least two categories.

Richardson made her way onto the career kills list last weekend, grabbing the No. 10 slot with 990 kills. Two weeks ago, she jumped into the top 10 in both career attempts (2,611 - 9th) and career aces (85 - 10th). Richardson should move up a slot in both attempts and kills Friday, while she is poised to reach the 10th slot in career digs, needing just 10 more to tie Genne Terry with 787.

Churnside, who already is sixth in career assists with 1,908, moved from 11th to 8th two weeks ago to rank 8th in career digs with 831. Underhill appears in the most categories of any of this year's seniors, ranking eighth in kills (1,091), second in hitting percentage (.293) and third in both block assists (369) and total blocks (413).

The First Time: Two Washington volleyball players recorded career firsts last weekend at Bank of America Arena. Red-shirt freshman Alexis McDonald (Long Beach, Calif.) made her home debut, coming in during the end of the third game versus Arizona Friday. McDonald made her presence felt, recording four block assists during the fourth game, in only her third career appearance.

Red-shirt freshman Diane Halvarson (Kirkland, Wash.) recorded her first career kill Saturday against Arizona State, tallying a kill on two attempts in the fourth game.

All About Al: With her Husky career coming to a close, senior Allison Richardson has posted one of the best individual seasons of any Husky in recent memory and is a strong candidate for Pac-10 and all-district honors.

Below are just some of Richardson's highlights from this season:

1.) Leads the Huskies, both overall and in conference, in kills (4.27/g), attempts (1,017), digs (3.03/g) and points (455.5).

2.) Reached double-figures in kills in 22 of 25 matches (14 of 17 conference matches) .. team-high 15 double-doubles, with nine coming versus Pac-10 teams ... has led UW in kills in 16 of 26 matches and 13 of 17 conference matches.

3.) Ranked in the conference top-10 in both kills per game (2nd), points (3rd) and digs (9th).4.) Reached the 20 kill mark four times, all against Pac-10 teams, including 20 versus both #4 Stanford and #4 Arizona, 27 against Oregon State and 28 at #8 UCLA.

5.) Posted career highs in almost every category this season, including a career-best 28 kills at UCLA (2nd in the Pac-10), 67 attempts versus Stanford (4th), seven aces against Purdue (1st), 20 digs at Arizona State and 10 blocks against Denver (3rd).

Injury Report: The Huskies will once again be without the services of outside hitter Vanessa Gilliam (Fairfield, Calif.) this weekend. Gilliam has missed seven matches after breaking 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.

Other Player Notes: Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) has hit above the .300 mark in 12 of 17 Pac-10 matches, including an eight-match streak during mid-season ... Benjamin has reached double-figures in kills in six of the last seven conference matches, including a 20-kill and 20-dig effort at UCLA ... Lisa Underhill has hit above .300 in nine conference matches, including six performances above .450 ... Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) has recorded seven double-doubles this season, all of which have come versus Pac-10 schools ... Maurer's career-best 68 assists versus Oregon State is second most in the Pac-10, while her 67 assists at UCLA ranks third ... Britni Churnside has reached double-digits in digs 15 times in 2001, including nine times in her last 11 matches.

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.) 12.54 assists per game is third-best in the Pac-10, while senior Lisa Underhill is seventh in blocks per game (1.20). Senior Allison Richardson appears in three categories, including kills (third), digs (seventh) 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.

Pac-10 Power: Of Washington's 15 losses this season, nine have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25, while four others have been versus teams that have received votes in the national poll sometime this season.

For the sixth straight week, the Pac-10 has four schools ranked in the top 12 including No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 Arizona, No. 5 USC and No. 12 UCLA. The Pac-10's four ranked teams are rivaled only by the Big Ten and Big 12 Conference, which each have four schools in the top 25.

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

Under head coach Cindy Fredrick, the Cougars sport a 14-11 overall and 8-9 mark in conference play. Outside hitter LaToya Harris ranks first on her team in both kills per game (3.61) and digs per game (3.00), while Adrian Hankoff is a threat both offensively (3.25 k/g) and behind the service line (0.49 aces/game).

Washington holds a 42-19 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.

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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