No. 13 Volleyball Travels To Oregon To Face The Ducks & Beavers

Oct. 7, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The 13th-ranked Washington volleyball team (11-2, 2-4 Pac-10) looks to rebound from a four-match skid with Pac-10 matches at Oregon and Oregon State this weekend. The Huskies open play versus the Ducks on Friday, Oct. 10 and close out the weekend against the Beavers on Saturday, Oct. 11. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start and will be televised on a tape-delayed basis. The Oregon match will be aired by Fox Sports Net on Oct. 11, while the OSU match will be aired by Fox Sports Northwest on Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Check your local listings for the Oregon match air time.

Friday, October 10: Washington at Oregon, 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 11: Washington at Oregon State, 7 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington leads the all-time series against Oregon and Oregon State. The Huskies lead the Ducks 42-16 (.724), including the last four matches in a row. UW has won nine of the last 10 matches against Oregon, with its last loss coming in Seattle in 2000. Washington leads OSU 35-21 (.625) including two wins last season. The Huskies and Beavers are 5-5 over the last 10 meetings with UW winning three of the last five.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin is in the midst of his third season as head coach at Washington. Last season, he earned Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year honors, led the Huskies to their best finish in the Pacfic-10 Conference in five seasons and led them to their seventh NCAA tournament. 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 42-31 (.575) at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 266-149 (.641) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: Washington lost matches to No. 8 UCLA and No. 1 USC last weekend. The Huskies lost a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Bruins in which game five played out to a 24-22 final. Tomasevic fell just short of a triple-double with 32 kills, 23 digs and nine assists. Two other UW players finished the match with double figure kills, including Bjorklund, who matched her career-high with 15 kills, and Brie Hagerty who chipped in 12. Courtney Thompson dished a career-best 69 assists, while also picking up six kills and 12 digs. Candace Lee anchored the defense with a career-best 33 digs, while Libba Lawrence added 17 digs.

Against top ranked USC, UW lost 3-0. Tomasevic was Washington's leading scorer with 13 kills, while Hagerty and Darla Myhre each tallied 10 kills. Lee anchored the UW defense with 10 digs, while Jessica Veris added nine digs.

SCOUTING OREGON: The Oregon Ducks (3-11, 0-5 Pac-10) are on a six match skid, including five Pac-10 losses and a non-conference loss to Portland. Oregon has faced five ranked teams this season, losing all five match-ups, 3-0.

The Ducks are led offensively by Kelly Russell with 3.95 kills per game and a .292 average. Jaclyn Jones addes 2.80 kpg, while Sarah Mason chips in 2.73 kpg. Jodi Bell runs the Duck offense, dishing 9.14 assists per game. Libero Katie O'Neil leads Oregon with 2.98 digs per game and Bell averages 1.76 dpg. The Ducks have a 1.98 blocks per game average, led by Kristen Bitter with 0.98 bpg.

SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The Oregon State Beavers (11-6, 1-4 Pac-10) have won two matches in a row after sweeping Portland and Oregon last week. OSU has lost all four of its matches versus ranked opponents but took one game from No. 4 Stanford and No. 8 UCLA.

The Beavers are led by Allison Lawrence who ranks among the Pac-10 top 10 with 3.81 kills per game and 3.41 digs per game. Anne Watts-Roberts also contributes to the OSU offense with 3.25 kpg. Laura Collins runs Oregon State's offense, averaging 10.30 assists per game, which is fifth-best in the Pac-10. Libero K.C. Frederic adds 2.74 dpg, while Amanda Eggert tallies 0.87 blocks per game.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Washington's match against Utah Valley State, previously scheduled for Nov. 26, has been moved to Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m.

HUSKIES HAVE CAREER DAY VS. BRUINS: The Huskies set nine personal bests in the Oct. 3 match versus No. 8 UCLA. Sanja Tomasevic set a Pac-10 and UW record with 96 total attacks and her career-best 32 kills marked the most of any Pac-10 player this season. Tomasevic also logged a career-best nine blocks against the Bruins. Candace Lee tallied a career-high 33 digs in the match, also the most of any conference player this season. Kara Bjorklund tied her career kill record with 15. Courtney Thompson notched the most assists of any Pac-10 player this season with 69 and posted career-highs with six kills and nine attacks. Brie Hagerty tied her personal-best defensive effort with nine digs.

SENSATIONAL START: Washington opened the season with an 11-0 record, marking the program's best start in school history. The previous record was 9-0, set in 1987. The Huskies are now 11-4.

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.

October 10: UW at Oregon,Fox Sports Net, to be aired October 11
October 11:UW at Oregon State, Fox Sports Northwest, to be aired October 12 (2 p.m.)
October 17: UW at Washington State, Fox Sports Northwest, to be aired October 19
October 24: UW vs. California, Fox Sports Net, to be aired October 25

TOMASEVIC SETS THE PACE: Sanja Tomasevic leads the Pac-10 with 6.79 points per game and ranks second with 5.65 kills per game and 0.67 service aces per game.

ACCURATE ATTACK: The Huskies, who ranked fifth in the nation with a .324 hitting percentage as of the last statistical report (9/29) are hitting .307 after the UCLA and USC series. The .307 clip ranks second in the Pac-10. Two UW players rank among the Pac-10's top 10, including Darla Myhre (.435, second) and Kara Bjorklund (.385, eighth).

SETTING UP THE OFFENSE: Freshman setter Courtney Thompson has been instrumental to Washington's success this season. Thompson currently ranks second in the Pac-10 with 13.08 assists per game and her 69 assist performance versus UCLA last week is the best in the Pac-10 this season.

SERVING ACES:UW has been tough with its serves this season, recording 99 service aces (1.99 sapg) to lead the Pac-10. In return, UW has given up just 54 aces to its opponents. Sanja Tomasevic leads the way with 28 aces (second-best in Pac-10), including five aces versus UMKC and Arizona. Courtney Thompson has posted 20 aces, while Brie Hagerty has notched 15 and Kaitlin Leck has added 14. Leck tied the UW match record with eight aces last season.

BIG DIGS: Candace Lee ranks second in the Pac-10 with 4.00 digs per game and is just two-one hundreths out of the top spot. She's had 11 double-figure dig totals in 15 matches, including a career-best 33 digs against UCLA on Oct. 3. Her 33 digs are the most by any player in the conference this season. Lee also recorded 20 digs versus Ohio on Sept. 6 and 21 digs against Idaho on Sept. 12.

NATIONALLY RANKED: Despite a four-match losing streak, the Huskies maintained their No. 13 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. All four losses have come to opponents ranked 11th or higher, including No. 11 California, No. 8 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford and No. 1 USC. 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. Washington's highest ranking ever was No. 9 in 1988.

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: Washington has played six matches against ranked teams this season. The Huskies have played No. 1 USC, No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA, No. 11 California (currently No. 9), No. 16 Arizona (currently not ranked) and No. 17 Wisconsin (currently No. 21). UW is 2-4 against these teams and holds the advantage in service aces (1.35 vs. 0.91 sapg) and blocks (2.80 vs. 2.65 bpg).

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