Volleyball Has Three Matches On Tap At IPFW Tournament

Sept. 3, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The No. 23-ranked Washington volleyball team (3-0) enters the second week of the season with three matches slated at the IPFW Tournament in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Huskies, who are fresh off three victories and the Badger Invitational Championship, open play on Friday, Sept. 5 against Middle Tennessee State at 4:30 p.m. (CT). Washington will then face Ohio at 11 a.m. and host IPFW at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Friday, September 5: Washington vs. Middle Tennessee State, 4:30 p.m. (CT)
Saturday, September 6: Washington vs. Ohio, 11 a.m. (CT)
Saturday, September 6: Washington at IPFW, 7 p.m. (CT)

SERIES HISTORY: Washington will make its first appearances against Middle Tennessee State and Ohio at the IPFW Tournament. The Huskies have faced IPFW just once, winning a 3-0 decision last season.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: In just his second year at the helm of the Washington volleyball program, Jim McLaughlin earned Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading the 2002 squad to its best finish in the Pacfic-10 Conference in five seasons and its seventh NCAA appearance. McLaughlin also helped develop Washington's first All-America honoree since 1997 with first team selection Paige Benjamin.

A 13-year veteran head coach, McLaughlin has proved his ability to recruit talented student-athletes and cultivate championship programs. He has made 12 appearances in the NCAA postseason, including four with Kansas State, which advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2000. He also spent seven seasons as the men's head coach at USC, where he won a national championship in 1990 and finished as runner-up a year later.

McLaughlin's record is 34-27 at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 258-145 (.640) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington opened the season with three victories to win the Badger Invitational in Madison, Wis., Aug. 29-30. The Huskies posted three-game sweeps over UMKC, New Hampshire and No. 17 Wisconsin to win the tournament. Sanja Tomasevic was the tournament MVP as she led the Huskies with 8.22 points per game and 6.00 kills per game. Courtney Thompson and Brie Hagerty were also named to the all-tournament team. Thompson dished 127 assists as the starting setter for a 14.11 assists per game average. She also added 16 digs, six aces and six blocks. Hagerty averaged 4.00 kpg with a .561 average. She also picked up 18 digs and six aces.

SCOUTING MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE: The Lady Raiders (3-1) opened the season with wins over TCU, Delaware and College of Charleston to win the CofC Tournament. Andressa Lyra was named MVP and Dara McLean was selected to the all-tournament team. MTSU also lost to Georgia State last week in five games. McLean and KeKe Deckard each recorded 16 kills and four aces against Georgia State, while Deckard added 15 digs. Karisse Baker chipped in 12 kills and five aces for the Lady Raiders and Megan Sumrell dished 32 assists in the loss.

SCOUTING OHIO: The Bobcats opened their season with a 1-2 record at the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Ohio lost to eventual tournament champion San Diego and Utah but defeated Arizona State, 3-1.

Laura Hageman led the Bobcats with a 3.36 kills per game average to earn all-tournament honors. She averaged 1.27 blocks per game and ranked second in digs with 2.36 dpg. Lindsay Judice led the team with a .311 hitting percentage and chipped in 2.80 kpg.

Tricia Ruszkowski anchored the defense with 3.67 dpg and setter Briana Adamovsky added 9.55 assists per game for Ohio.

SCOUTING IPFW: IPFW made its season debut with a 2-1 record at the Central Michigan Tournament. The Mastodons defeated Illinois-Chicago and Central Michigan but lost to Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Championship.

Middle blockers Fabiana Souza leads IPFW with 3.94 kills per game. Kirsta Solberg and Janelle Pollard are also key to the Mastodon attack, adding 3.11 and 2.61 kpg, respectively. Lindi Bankowski runs the offense and leads the defense, averaging 9.40 assists per game and 3.20 digs per game.

AVCA/SPORTS IMPORTS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sanja Tomasevic was selected as the AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week on Sept. 3 for her performance in three matches at the Badger Invitational (Aug. 29-30). Tomasevic averaged 6.00 kills per game with 18-kill performances in each of the three matches. She also averaged 8.22 points per game with a .485 hitting percentage to earn MVP honors at the tournament and the Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week award. It is just the second national POTW award for the UW program. Makare Desilets received the award in 1997.

ACCURATE ATTACK: The Huskies are hitting .470 as a team. A key to their success has been keeping their errors to a minimum. Washington has committed just 24 attack errors this season, compared to 54 errors by their opponents. UW has yet to finish a match with errors in the double-figures, posting nine errors versus Wisconsin, eight against New Hampshire and seven versus UMKC. Sophomore Brie Hagerty leads the team with a .561 (36-4-57) hitting percentage, while junior Kaitlin Leck is second at a .538 (24-3-39) clip.

SERVING ACES: UW has been tough with its serves this season, recording 26 service aces over the weekend, compared to four aces by its opponents. Sanja Tomasevic leads the way with nine aces (1.00 sapg), including a career-best performance versus UMKC with five aces. Brie Hagerty and Courtney Thompson each have six aces this season. Kaitlin Leck, who tied the UW match record with eight aces last season, has two aces so far, as does Libba Lawrence.

NATIONALLY RANKED: With the upset victory over No. 17 Wisconsin in the opening weekend of the season, the Washington volleyball team propelled itself into this week's USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll at the No. 23 position. UW, who received votes but was not listed on the Aug. 11 preseason poll, makes its first appearance in the rankings since Nov. 11, 2002.

TEAM CAPTAINS: The Washington volleyball players selected Sanja Tomasevic and Courtney Thompson as team captains for the 2003 season.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 15-player Washington roster includes 12 returning letterwinners and four returning starters. The 2003 team includes two seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The team represents six states and three countries, including Washington (5), California (2), Oregon (2), Indiana (1), Nevada (1), Ohio (1), British Columbia (1) and Yugoslavia (2).

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Huskies have 11 matches slated on the 2003 schedule against opponents who currently rank on the American Volleyball Coaches' Association top 25 poll. Six of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 10 Arizona, No. 11 UCLA, No. 22 California. Washington also played against No. 24 Wisconsin on Aug. 30.

HUSKIES PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH: Pac-10 head coaches picked Washington to finish the 2003 season sixth. The Huskies, who tied for fifth last season with a 9-9 record, received 49 points to fall short of California who received 61 points for the fifth spot. Leading the Pac-10 predictions is defending national champion USC (90 points), Stanford (82), Arizona (68) and UCLA (68). Rounding out the list is Arizona State (39), Washington State (36), Oregon State (28) and Oregon (19).

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