No. 13 Volleyball Heads To Bay Area

Sept. 22, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The 13th-ranked Washington volleyball team (11-0) travels to California this weekend for the second week of Pac-10 action. The Huskies will take on the 11th-ranked Cal Bears on Friday, Sept. 26 before squaring off against No. 4 Stanford on Sept. 27. Game times are slated for 7 p.m. both nights. UW is riding an 11-match win streak, which marks a school record for best start to a season. The previous record was a 9-0 start in 1987.

Friday, September 26: Washington at California, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 27: Washington at Stanford, 7 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington holds the slim 20-19 (.512) lead in the all-time series over California. Last season, the Huskies defeated the Bear 3-2 in Seattle but lost in Berkeley in five games. UW trails Stanford 2-36 (.053) in the all-time series, with the Cardinal boasting a 26 match win streak over UW. The last time Washington defeated Stanford was in 1989, 3-1.

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 Paige Benjamin, Washington's first All-America honoree since 1997.

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 42-27 (.609) at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 266-145 (.647) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington (11-0, 2-0 Pac-10) opened the Pac-10 season with wins over Arizona State (3-1) and No. 16 Arizona (3-2). Sanja Tomasevic led the Huskies with her fifth double-double of the season against ASU with 19 kills and 13 digs. Brie Hagerty and Kara Bjorklund chipped in 13 and 11 kills, respectively. Candace Lee led the defense with 15 digs, while Alexis McDonald picked up six blocks.

Tomasevic also led the Huskies in the five-game victory over 16th-ranked Arizona. She collected 25 kills on the night, including eight in the pivotal fifth game. Bjorklund logged 15 kills behind a .609 hitting percentage, while Hagerty added 17 kills in the win. Washington tallied 10 service aces on the night, including five by Tomasevic. Lee recorded 17 digs to lead the defense and McDonald picked up five blocks.

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: No. 11 California's 10-0 start (2-0 Pac-10) is a school record. The Bears lead the Pac-10 in digs (17.09 dpg) and rank second in assists (15.78 apg) and opponent hitting percentage (.127).

Mia Jerkov provides Cal's spark, averaging 6.16 kills per game and 6.84 points per game. Setter Samantha Carter runs the Cal offense with 13.12 assists per game, while Gabrielle Abernathy is the Bear's biggest weapon on serve, chipping in 17 aces this season.

Camille Leffall anchors the defense with 1.62 blocks per game and Jillian Davis leads the team with 3.42 digs per game.

California has lost just two games this season, playing to five games against Cal State Northridge and Colorado State.

SCOUTING STANFORD: No. 4 Stanford (8-2, 2-0 Pac-10) has been tested early, losing matches to No. 2 Hawaii (3-2) and No. 3 Florida (3-0).

Ogonna Nnamani headlines the Cardinal offense with 5.41 kpg, while Kristen Richards logs 3.00 kpg. Stanford relies on a pair of setters to run its offense in Katie Goldham (9.14 apg) and Anna Robinson (5.48 apg).

The Cardinal boast a tough defense that leads the Pac-10 in blocks (3.61 bpg). Jennifer Harvey averages 1.83 bpg, while Sara McGee tallies 1.06 bpg.

SENSATIONAL START: Washington is off to the program's best start in school history with an 11-0 record. The previous record was 9-0, set in 1987.

TOMASEVIC TOPS PAC-10: Sanja Tomasevic leads the Pac-10 with 7.04 points per game. She also ranks second kills (5.92 kpg) and service aces (0.70 sapg) and is ninth in hitting percentage (.375).

ACCURATE ATTACK: The Huskies are hitting .351 as a team to lead the Pac-10. The key to their success has been keeping their errors to a minimum. Washington has committed just 152 attack errors this season, compared to 227 errors by their opponents. Darla Myhre leads the conference with a .444 hitting percentage (50-6-99), while Kara Bjorklund ranks third with a .433 clip (77-12-150).

SETTING UP THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Courtney Thompson has been instrumental to Washington's early success this season. Thompson currently leads the Pac-10 with 13.22 assists per game

SERVING ACES:UW has been tough with its serves this season, recording 84 service aces (2.27 sapg) to lead the Pac-10. In return, UW has given up just 40 aces to its opponents. Sanja Tomasevic leads the way with 24 aces (second-best in Pac-10), including five aces versus UMKC and Arizona. Courtney Thompson has posted 19 aces, while Brie Hagerty and Kaitlin Leck have notched 12 and 11, respectively. Leck tied the UW match record of eight aces last season.

DIG LEADER: Candace Lee leads the Pac-10 with 4.22 digs per game. She's had nine double-figure dig matches, including two 20-plus showings. Lee recorded 20 digs versus Ohio on Sept. 6 and 21 digs against Idaho on Sept. 12.

NATIONALLY RANKED: With an 11-0 start, including two Pac-10 wins last week, Washington jumped one position in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll to No. 13. The top 15 national ranking is the highest for the Huskies since 1997 when Washington peaked at No. 11 in the final poll of the season.

UW ON TV: Four of Washington's matches will be televised this season. Fox Sports Net will air Washington's Oct. 10 match at Oregon and UW's match against California on Oct. 24 in Seattle. Fox Sports Northwest will air Washington's match on Oct. 11 versus Oregon State and the Huskies' match against Washington State on Oct. 17.

Date-Network-Air Date
October 10: UW at Oregon-Fox Sports Net-October 11
October 11: UW at Oregon State-Fox Sports Northwest-October 12
October 17: UW at Washington State-Fox Sports Northwest-October 19
October 24: UW vs. California-Fox Sports Net-October 25

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.

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 USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. Six of those opponents are Pac-10 members, including No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA, No. 11 California, and No. 22 Arizona. Washington also played against No. 23 Wisconsin on Aug. 30.

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