Volleyball Hosts No. 1 Stanford and California

Nov. 12, 2002

A Look Ahead
No. 22 Washington (7-7 Pac-10, 15-8) makes its final homestand of the season this Friday and Saturday as No. 1 Stanford (13-2 Pac-10, 24-3) and California (6-9 Pac-10, 16-9) roll into town. The Huskies split the series on the road in Oct., taking the Cal match, 3-2, and dropping to the Cardinal, 3-0. Saturday night's match will be Senior Night as Washington pays tribute to its three seniors: Paige Benjamin, Gretchen Maurer and Elissa Ross. Game time is set for 7 p.m. on both nights.

Last Week
Washington lost to intrastate rival Washington State (7-7 Pac-10, 17-7) last week in Pullman, 3-0. With the win, the Cougars avenged a five-game loss to the Huskies in Seattle on Oct. 11. The loss dropped Washington to 15-8 overall and 7-7 in the Pac-10 to tie with WSU for fifth place in the conference.

The Cougars out-hit the Huskies .258-.142, and held the advantage in kills, aces and blocks.

Senior Paige Benjamin was the only Husky to record double-figure kills with 20, while sophomore Sanja Tomasevic added nine kills. Tomasevic, freshman Candace Lee and senior Gretchen Maurer anchored the defense with 11 digs, apiece.

The Stanford Series
The Cardinal hold the commanding 35-2 (.946) lead in the all-time series over Washington, including a 3-0 loss in Palo Alto, Calif. earlier this season. The Huskies' last win over Stanford was 25 matches ago when Washington won a 3-1 road game on Nov. 17, 1989.

Scouting The Cardinal
Stanford went 3-0 last week notching home wins over No. 16 Arizona (3-0) and No. 23 Arizona State (3-0) as well as a road victory over No. 1 Hawaii (3-0). The Cardinal handed the Rainbow Wahines their first loss of the season with the three game victory in Honolulu.

As a team, the Cardinal hit .358 against its three ranked opponents, averaging 19.00 kills per game. Ogonna Nnamani averaged 4.78 kills last week while hitting at a .543 clip. Jennifer Harvey led the team with 1.22 blocks per game. Logan Tom had 26 kills in Stanford's win over Arizona, followed by 18 kills against ASU. Nnamani led the squad with 19 kills against Hawaii while hitting .630 (19-2-27). Ashley Ivy averaged a team-leading 3.89 digs per game. Setter Anna Robinson chipped in 13.33 assists per game. Tom led the squad averaging 6.67 kills per game last week.

The Cal Series
The Bears trail the all-time series 17-21 against Washington, including a five-game match to the Huskies in Oct. 17.

Scouting The Bears
After a three game slide, Cal received a huge boost last week with the return of Mia Jerkov, who had missed four matches with a sprained left ankle. Jerkov sparked the Bears with 20 kills and a .472 hitting percentage in Cal's 3-0 upset of No. 23 ASU Nov. 9 at Haas Pavilion. The Bears' victory over ASU gave them their 16th win - the most victories for Cal since 1989. It was also the Bears third win over a team ranked in the AVCA Top 25 poll (Oct. 12 vs. No. 20 ranked Arizona, Oct. 12 vs. No. 17 WSU, Nov. 9 vs. No. 23 ASU).

Washington Remains Into Top 25
Despite a 3-0 loss to WSU last week, the Huskies slipped just one spot in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll to No. 22. It marks the first season since 1997 that Washington has been listed among the country's top 25 programs. That season, the Huskies advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 after posting a 7-11 record in the Pac-10. The 2002 squad has already tallied eight league wins this season and is tied with the Cougars for fifth in the conference.

Huskies Among Top in NCAA Statistical Categories
Senior co-captains Paige Benjamin and Gretchen Maurer continue to rank among the nation's top in assists and kills. Benjamin ranks 19th with 5.11 kpg, while Maurer is 20th with 12.97 apg. As a team, Washington ranks 16th in hitting percentage (.280).Benjamin & Tomasevic Pack One-Two Punch

Senior outside hitter Paige Benjamin and sophomore outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic continue to provide the scoring touch for the Husky offense. Benjamin led Washington with 20kills against WSU last week and ranks second in the conference with 5.11 kpg. She also ranks fourth in points with 5.67 ppg. Benjamin has posted double-digit kill totals in 20 consecutive matches and has tallied 20 or more kills six times this season, including a career-high 28 kills against Arizona on Oct. 4.

Tomasevic ranks eighth in the conference with 3.81 kpg and seventh in points (4.57). Tomasevic has tallied 18 double-figure kill performances, including a career-high 23 kills against California.

Digging Duo
Freshman libero Candace Lee and sophomore Sanja Tomasevic have anchored the Husky defense all season. Lee ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with 3.26 digs per game, including 11 against WSU last week.

Tomasevic ranks eighth in the Pac-10 with 3.15 digs per game and has collected 20-plus digs three times this season. Her career-high of 25 came against Arizona State on Oct. 3.

Career Milestones
Senior Paige Benjamin became just the 10th player in Husky history to record 1,000 career kills with her 19-kill performance against the California Bears on Oct. 17. Her career mark now stands at 1,118 and is seventh on the school's all-time chart.

Senior'Gretchen Maurer also etched her name in the Husky history books in the Cal match as she surpassed the 2,500 career assist mark. Maurer is just the fifth UW player to reach the milestone and ranks second all-time at Washington with 2,790 dishes.

Dynamic Defender
Sophomore Alexis McDonald has been essential to the Husky defense this season as she leads the team with 86 blocks (1.19 bpg). Her block total ranks fourth among the Pac-10 and accounts for 40 percent of the Huskies' blocks this season (217).

Serving Aces
Washington continues to lead the Pac-10 in service aces with 1.84per 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 three games.

Leader Of The 'Dawg' Pack
Senior setter Gretchen Maurer leads the conference with 12.97 assists per game this season, which also ranks 20tht on the national chart. Last year, Maurer ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with 12.53 apg.

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