Volleyball Heads To Texas To Play In The Mean Green Classic

Sept. 11, 2002

Washington Travels To North Texas Tournament
The Huskies pack their bags again this weekend for their third straight tournament on the road. Washington takes an impressive 5-1 record to Denton, Texas to compete in the Mean Green Classic against host North Texas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Louisiana Tech, September 13-14. The Huskies failed to lose a game in their first five matches of the season , before falling to No. 3 Hawaii, 3-1, in the championship game of the Eighth Aston Imua Wahine Volleyball Challenge, September 7.

Benjamin Makes A Killing
Senior Paige Benjamin led the Huskies in all three matches last weekend, including a career-high 23-kill performance against San Diego State on Thursday. She followed up with an 18-kill outing against San Francisco in which she committed no errors to hit .562. In the tournament championship, Benjamin led Washington with 20 kills and 10 digs. On the season, she leads the team with 5.21 kills per game and is second with a .386 hitting percentage.

An Ace On Serve
Kaitlin Leck was deadly on serve against San Francisco, tying the school record with eight aces in three games. The record was originally set in 1984 by Kara Hardesty and was tied in 1994 by Dragana Djordevic, both in five-game matches.

All-Tournament Honors
Paige Benjamin and Kaitlin Leck were named to the Eighth Aston Imua Wahine All-Tournament team last Saturday. Benjamin led the team with 61 kills (6.10 kpg) and hit .397 over the three matches. Leck showed her versatility with 25 kills (2.50 kpg), 17 digs (1.70 dpg) and 12 service aces (1.20 apg). It marked the second such honor for Benjamin and Leck this season who were also selected to the All-Tournament team at the Miami-Best Western Classic along with teammate Alexis McDonald.

Tomasevic Is Tremendous
Sophomore Sanja Tomasevic's addition to the Husky volleyball program this season has been instrumental in Washington's early success in 2002. Tomasevic leads the squad with a 3.47 digs per game average and ranks second with a 3.58 kills per game average. In UW's six matches this season Tomasevic has recorded double-figure kills five times, including 15 kills against No. 3 Hawaii. She has also collected double-digit digs twice, including 21 against the Rainbow Wahine.

Maurer Power
Senior Gretchen Maurer has been the heart of the Washington offense, dishing 13.37 assists per game. She also ranks second on the team with nine aces and is third in blocks with 18 stops. As a team, Washington averages three assists more than its opponents per game (14.7 to 11.4). Last season, Maurer averaged 12.53 apg to rank 28th nationally and fourth in the Pac-10.

A Look Back
Washington continued its winning ways in Hawaii, sweeping San Diego and San Francisco before dropping to No. 3 Hawaii. With the wins, the Huskies improved their win streak to five matches, equalling the best season start for Washington since 1987, in which the Huskies started the season 9-0. In the championship game of the Eighth Aston Imua Wahine Volleyball Challenge, Washington stunned Hawaii by winning the first game, 30-26. The Huskies were unable to hold on, however, as the Rainbow Wahine won the next three games to win the match and tournament title.

Scouting North Texas
Washington and North Texas will meet for the first time in history Friday, September 13. The Mean Green, under Head Coach Cassie Headrick, enter the tournament on a four-match slide and a 2-7 record. North Texas lost all three of its matches last weekend to Arkansas (3-0), Southern Mississippi (3-2) and Tennessee-Martin (3-0). The Mean Green is led by Corina Marginas and Brieanne Fowler who rank first and second in both kills and digs. Marginas leads the squad with 4.14 kills per game and 3.12 digs per game, while Fowler adds 2.91 kpg and 2.85 dpg. Setter Kristin Sheppard runs the offense with a 10.14 assists per game average. She also ranks fourth on the team with 2.34 dpg. North Texas averages a .180 hitting percentage but has won both matches in which it hit .266 or better, including a sweep over Air Force (.284) and a five-game victory against UT- San Antonio (.266).

Scouting Texas A&M- Corpus Christi
The Huskies face off against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on September 14 for the first time in the program's history. The Islanders, under Head Coach Frances Kinnison started the season with a shaky 0-4 start before winning four of their next five matches. Texas A&M-CC is led on offense by Lauren Smith with 3.07 kills per game and Laney Bardin with 2.60 kpg. Jennifer Darilek runs the Islander offense as the starting setter and averages 8.57 assists per game. Anchoring the Texas A&M-CC defense are Erin McClanahan (2.50 digs per game) and Alexis Berger (2.40 dpg).

Scouting Louisiana Tech
Saturday evening's match between Washington and Louisiana Tech will be the first ever. After dropping their first three matches of the season, the Bulldogs have won five of their last six matches, including three consecutively to improve to 5-4 overall. The Bulldogs receive their offensive punch from Christine Sant' Anne (3.48 kills per game), Brianna Sibley (2.90 kpg) and Tanya Jarvis (2.67 kpg). Louisiana Tech's quarterback is Lia Mora who averages 11.52 assists per game. Sant' Anne also leads the team defense with 3.07 digs per game followed by Heather Anderson who chips in 2.76 dpg.

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