Volleyball Heads To California For Two Pac-10 Matches
Oct. 14, 2002
A Look Ahead
Washington (11-5, 3-4) hits the road this week to face California and No. 6 Stanford on Oct. 17-18. Last season, the Huskies dropped all four matches against the Bears and Cardinal. Washington managed to win one game in the four matches, taking game one against Stanford, 30-24, in Palo Alto, Calif., on September 21.
Washington holds the narrow 19-18 (.514) edge over California. The Bears have won five of the last six match-ups, with Washington's last victory coming on September 20, 2001 in Seattle, 3-0.
The Huskies trail in the all-time series against Stanford, 2-34 (.056), with the Cardinal winning the last 24 straight matches. Washington's last win was a 3-1 victory on Nov. 17, 1989, in Palo Alto, Calif.
Washington upset No. 17 Washington State (13-3, 4-3) in four games (30-28, 20-30, 30-16, 30-25) on Oct. 11 at the Bank of America Arena in front of 1,719 fans.
The Huskies took game one, 30-28, as they out hit the Cougars, .250-.205. Senior Paige Benjamin led the Washington attack with six kills for a .462 hitting percentage. The game was evenly played through 23-23 but five Cougar errors and three kills by sophomores Alexis McDonald and Sanja Tomasevic put the game away.
Washington State came back in game two with increased firepower, hitting .432 to Washington's .150. The Cougars held the lead through the entire game with Washington never getting closer than three points at 10-13 and 12-15.
The Huskies rallied in the third game, dominating the net to take the 30-16 victory. Washington took advantage of a Cougar offense that hit -.018 and recorded nine errors to eight kills. Freshman Darla Myhre and Tomasevic each recorded four kills in the game and a pair of service aces by freshman Jessica Veris earned UW the victory.
Washington won game four, 30-25, to win the match behind a six-kill effort from Tomasevic, including the game-winner. The Huskies trailed until 8-7 and pushed its lead to five at 25-20 and 29-24 before Tomasevic put the match out of reach.
Four Washington players finished the match with double-figure kills, including Benjamin with 17, Tomasevic with 16 and McDonald and Mhyre with 11 apiece. Benjamin and Tomasevic also led the defensive effort with 22 digs each.
California (12-4, 3-4) split with the Arizona schools last week, losing to No. 21 Arizona State, 3-2 and defeating No. 19 Arizona, 3-0. The Bears are just one spot out of the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll, receiving 98 votes this week.
Mia Jerkov leads California with 5.88 kills per game and 3.29 digs per game. Jerkov's 329 kills account for 36 percent of the teams total kills this season. Also averaging more than two kills per game are Leah Young (2.89 kpg), Jenna Brown (2.67 kpg) and Camille Leffall (2.63 kpg). Caity Noonan runs the Bear offense and dishes 12.61 assists per game.
Joining Jerkov on the defensive stance are Brown (2.98 dpg) and Leffall (1.08 blocks per game).
Stanford is reeling from a five-game loss to No. 19 Arizona last week, which cut its record to 14-3 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-10. The loss also dropped the Cardinal two spots in the Top 25 poll, from No. 4 to No. 6.
Stanford has three players averaging three kills per game or better, including Logan Tom (4.61 kpg), Ogonna Nnamani (3.92 kpg) and Sara McGee (3.05 kpg). Running the offense is setter Anna Robinson with 11.20 assists per game.
Logan anchors Stanford's defense with 2.75 digs per game along with Ashley Ivy with 2.32 dpg and Jennifer Harvey with 1.49 blocks per game.
Huskies Rank Among Top in NCAA Statistics
Four Huskies rank among the nation's top statistically as reported by the NCAA. As of the last report on Oct. 6, senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin ranked 15th in kills per game (5.30) and 16th in hitting percentage (.383). Junior Kara Bjorklund ranked 11th in hitting percentage (.405). Senior setter Gretchen Maurer was listed 18th in the assist category with 12.86 dishes per game. Sophomore Alexis McDonald was also listed among the nation's best in blocks holding the 29th slot with 1.37 bpg.
Benjamin Carries Kill Load
Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin continues to lead the Husky offense after collecting 18 kills against Washington State last week. She has posted double-digit kill totals in 15 consecutive matches and has tallied 20 or more kills four times this season, including a career-high 28 kills against Arizona.
Tomasevic Comes Up Big On Defense
Sophomore outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic posted a career-high 25 digs against Arizona State on Oct. 3 and collected 22 more in the victory over WSU on Oct. 11. She has now recorded three 20-plus dig matches on the season and ranks 10th in the Pac-10 with 3.09 dpg.
Washington continues to lead the Pac-10 in service aces with 2.33 per game. The Huskies best team performance came against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 14 when they posted 14 aces in the three game match. Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlin Leck tied the school record earlier this season with eight aces against San Francisco on Sept. 6. Leck is just the third player in Washington history to accomplish that feat and the only one to do so in less then five games. Washington defeated USF in three games. The team's 126 total aces on the season are just five short of matching last year's season total of 131 aces.
Sophomore Alexis McDonald has been essential to the Husky defense this season as she leads the team with 62 blocks (1.32 bpg). Her block total ranks third among the Pac-10 and accounts for 44 percent of the Huskies blocks this season (141).
Lee In Libero
Freshman libero Candace Lee tallied 11 digs against WSU last week. Overall, Lee has recorded nine double-figure dig matches, including her last four in a row. Her career-best was 18 digs in the four-game loss to Hawaii on Sept. 7. Lee leads the team with 161 digs (3.10 dpg) which ranks ninth in the Pac-10.
Maurer Runs The Show
Senior setter Gretchen Maurer leads the conference with 12.93 assists per game. Last year, Maurer ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with 12.53 apg. She also ranks eighth in the league in aces, averaging 0.44 aces per game.