No. 11 Volleyball Hosts Washington State This Friday

Nov. 12, 2003

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THIS WEEKEND: The 11th-ranked Washington volleyball team (17-7, 8-7 Pac-10) hosts Washington State this Friday night. It marks UW's final home Pac-10 match of the season. The Huskies defeated WSU on Oct. 17, 3-0, in Pullman. Sophomore outside hitter Brie Hagerty led the team with 17 kills.

Friday, November 14: Washington vs. Washington State, 7 p.m.

SERIES HISTORY: Washington leads the all-time series against Washington State 44-21 (.672) and holds the 13-4 advantage in Seattle. The Huskies swep the Cougars in Pullman on Oct. 17.

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 48-34 (.585) at UW and his 13 year coaching career boasts a record of 272-152 (.642) all-time.

LAST TIME OUT: The Huskies swept the Oregon schools in straight games last week to improve to 8-7 in the Pac-10. Washington defeated OSU 30-21, 30-23, 30-22. Senior Kara Bjorklund put on a spectacular hitting performance, logging 13 kills on 17 swings for a .706 hitting percentage. Washington had four players tally double figure kills, including Sanja Tomasevic (15), Bjorklund (13), Jessica Veris (12) and Kaitlin Leck (11). Candace Lee and Tomasevic led the defensive effort with 16 digs each, while Bjorklund collected four blocks. Freshman setter Courtney Thompson dished 51 assists and logged eight digs for the Huskies.

UW defeated Oregon, 30-14, 30-19, 30-16 on Saturday night. The Huskies out hit the Ducks .468 to .075 and made just eight attack errors on 94 swings. UW also out served (10-0) and out blocked the Ducks (13-4). Tomasevic and Leck led Washington's offense, each posting double figure kills and hitting above the .400 mark. Tomasevic tallied 15 kills with a .481 hitting percentage, while Leck had 12 kills and hit .455. Lee anchored the defense with 11 digs, while Tomasevic tallied seven blocks, including four solos. Thompson finished the match with 47 assists.

SCOUTING WASHINGTON STATE: Washington State (8-18, 4-11 Pac-10) snapped a seven match losing streak with a 3-0 win over Oregon last week. The Cougars are 2-5 against top 25 teams, defeating No. 16 Arizona (3-1) and No. 22 Loyola Marymount (3-1) in mid-September.

Zanda Bautre and Kristen Carlson lead WSU on offense and defense. Bautre averages 3.40 kpg and 3.14 dpg, while Carlson chips in 3.14 kpg and 3.05 dpg.

Jennifer Todd and Jen Barcus lead the Cougars with 1.23 and 1.20 bpg, respectively. Brenn Larson runs Washington State's offense with 10.32 apg.

A FULL HOUSE: The Huskies are averaging 1,313 fans per match this season to rank 25th nationally. Stanford boasts the Pac-10's highest attendance average with 1,866 fans per game to rank eighth.

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.

ASSIST LEADER: Freshman setter Courtney Thompson leads the Pac-10 and ranks fourth nationally with 14.11 assists per game. If the season were to end today, Thompson would hold the school record for assists per game average, a record currently held by Washington assistant coach Michelle Patton who averaged 13.28 apg in 1996. Thompson's 1,185 assists this season rank eighth on the UW top 10 list and she needs just 23 dishes against the Cougars to move into the No. 7 spot. Gretchen Maurer holds the record for most assists in a season with 1,425 set last year.

HITTING THEIR TARGETS: Middle blockers Darla Myhre and Kara Bjorklund currently lead the Huskies in hitting percentage. Myhre, a sophomore, ranks third in the Pac-10 and ninth nationally with a .416 clip, while Bjorklund, a senior, ranks fourth in the conference and 10th nationally with a .411 hitting percentage. Bjorklund already ranks second on the UW single season chart with a .397 hitting percentage set last year to fall just short of Becky Stone's 1984 average of .402. Bjorklund boasts a career hitting percentage of .311 (562-157-1302), which ranks second on the Huskies' top 10 list behind Stone (.361).

The Huskies are hitting .307 as a team, which ranks second in the conference and sixth in the nation. Washington's best hitting percentage ever is .287 in 2002.

TWO WINS AWAY: Head coach Jim McLaughlin is just two wins away from capturing his 50th win at the helm of the Washington volleyball team.

DYNAMITE DIGGER: Sophomore libero Candace Lee has been the mainstay of Washington's defense this season and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 4.23 digs per game. Lee has notched double figure digs 20 times, including the last 11 consecutive matches. She has posted 20 or more digs six times, highlighted by a 33 digs match against No. 8 UCLA on Oct. 3. Lee has led the Huskies in digs in 19 matches and her 4.23 dpg average challenges Washington's single-season record. The current season record belongs to Ashleigh Robertson who averaged 4.04 dpg in 1991.

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 (California's Mia Jerkov has since had a 34 kill match vs. Santa Clara). 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 second-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.

HUSKIES DOWN STANFORD: Washington's four-game win over No. 6 Stanford on Oct. 23 marked the Huskies' first win over the Cardinal since the 1989 season. It was just the third win for UW over Stanford in school history, spanning 23 years and 39 matches. It was Washington's first-ever win in Seattle and broke a 28-match Stanford win streak. Game scores were 30-25, 30-27, 20-30 and 30-28.

The Huskies used a balanced attack to down Stanford with five players recording double-digit kills. Junior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic led with way with her eighth double-double. Tomasevic tallied 24 kills, while Brie Hagerty added 15 kills and Kaitlin Leck , Kara Bjorklund and Darla Myhre each chipped in 11 kills.

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.

TOMASEVIC SETS THE PACE: Sanja Tomasevic ranks second in the Pac-10 with 0.51 service aces per game. She also ranks third in the conference with 5.35 kills per game (17th nationally) and 6.37 points per game.

SERVING ACES: Sanja Tomasevic is Washington's 'ace' on serve, leading the team with 41 aces (0.51 aspg) this season. Her 41 aces tied her season total set last season and ties for No. 5 on the UW all-time chart. Tomasevic tallied a career-best six aces against California on Oct. 24 and had five aces versus UMKC and Arizona. Courtney Thompson and Kaitlin Leck are second on the squad with 24 aces. Last season, Leck tied the UW match record with eight aces against San Francisco.

NATIONALLY RANKED: With a pair of wins against Oregon State and Oregon last week, Washington maintained its No. 11 ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. UW's highest ranking ever was in 1988 when it finished the season ranked ninth.

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 10 matches against ranked teams this season. The Huskies have played No. 1 USC, twice, No. 4 and No. 6 Stanford, No. 8 UCLA, twice, No. 7 and No. 11 California, No. 16 Arizona and No. 17 Wisconsin. UW is 3-7 against those teams.

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