No. 3 Volleyball Heads To Idaho To Compete In Boise State Invitational

Sept. 14, 2004

THIS WEEK: The third-ranked Washington volleyball team (6-0) hits the road for the three-consecutive week to compete in the Boise State Invitational. The Huskies open play against Florida A&M (4-2) on Sept. 17 at 5 p.m., before facing Montana and Boise State on Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Florida A&M received votes in the latest AVCA USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll after upsetting then-No. 2 ranked Nebraska last weekend.

UW RANKED THIRD IN AVCA POLL: With three victories last week to win the Green Mill Classic, the Washington volleyball team (3-0) improved three spots to No. 3 in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Coaches Poll. The ranking is the highest nation ranking in Washington volleyball history. Six Pacific-10 Conference teams are ranked in this weeks poll, including No. 2 USC (5-1), No. 6 UCLA (6-1), No. 13 Stanford (4-2), No. 14 California (4-2) and No. 15 Arizona (5-2) with USC, UCLA and UW receiving first-place votes. The Huskies are fresh off the NIU Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational title with 3-0 victories over Butler, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Northern Illinois.

HUSKIES WIN GREEN MILL CLASSIC: The Huskies picked up their second-straight tournament title last weekend, sweeping Wichita State, Arkansas and Michigan State in straight sets to win the Green Mill Classic. Washington held advantages in every statistical category including hitting percentage (.314 to .096), kills (16.56 to 11.11 kpg) and digs (17.89 to 13.11 dpg). Junior libero Candace Lee earned MVP honors after averaging 5.56 dpg, including a 26 dig performance against Wichita State. Freshman Christal Morrison and senior Sanja Tomasevic were also named to the all-tournament team for their efforts. Morrison led the team in kills in all three match with a career-best 20 kills against Michigan State. Tomasevic averaged 3.22 kpg, 2.33 dpg and 1.00 bpg. UW also received solid play from Courtney Thompson (14.22 apg) and Brie Hagerty (4.00 kpg).

SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M: Florida A&M recieved votes in the latest AVCA top 25 poll after upsetting then-No. 2-ranked Nebraska last weekend, 3-1. The Lady Rattlers are just two spots out of the top 25 with 105 points. The team include eight players from Bulgaria, led by Adriana Kostadinova with 5.50 kpg and 3.60 dpg. Three other players average 2.5 kills or more, including Tereza Arellano (3.10 kpg), Andreina Ruiz (3.05 kpg) and Maria Andonova (2.55 kpg). Setter Mariela Portocarrero averages 13.59 assists per game, while Giulianna Velorio has tallied 18 blocks (0.90 bpg) this season.

SCOUTING MONTANA: Montana (2-5) won two out of three matches last weekend at the UC-Davis Invitational. The Grizzlies defeated Brown (3-0) and UC-Davis (3-2) and lost to Nevada (3-0). The team is led by Claudia Houle with 3.90 kpg, 2.34 dpg and a team-best .280 hitting percentage. Audrey Jensen, EvaLyn Whitehead and Micaela Parker also aid Montana's attack. Jensen averages 2.03 kpg while Whitehead chips in 1.93 kpg and Parker adds 2.00 kpg.

SCOUTING BOISE STATE: Boise State (7-1) went 3-1 last week with victories over Buffalo (3-0), Montana State (3-1) and Dartmouth (3-1) and a loss to Portland (3-2). BSU's 7-1 record ties its best start since 1990 and its sevens wins are one more victory than the program had in all of last year. Cameron Flunder and Jamie Claussen lead the Bronco attack with 3.77 kpg and 3.74 kpg, respectively. Claussen also anchors Boise State's defense with 3.15 dpg, while libero Jackie Stroud averages 3.60 dpg. BSU is holding its opponents to a .072 hitting percentage and is averaging more than double the aces (61 to 30) of its foes. Heather Malashak has headlined the Boise State blocking game, averaging 2.11 bpg.

SERIES HISTORY: The Huskies are making their first-ever appearances against Florida A&M. Washington leads Montana 20-1 in the all-time series and trails Boise State 2-5. UW has won 19 consecutive matches against Montana, including its last match up in 1996 (3-0). The Huskies have won the last two matches against Boise State with the last meeting occuring in 1991 and resulting in a 3-0 UW win.

RECORDS WATCH: With 29 kills over the weekend, Sanja Tomasevic became just the 11th player in Husky history to tally 1,000 career kills ...her career total stands at 1,013 ...Tomasevic also ranks sixth on the Washington all-time chart with 111 career aces ...Candace Lee has taken over the No. 5 spot on the career digs list with 947 ... Lee is just 53 digs away from becoming the fourth player in UW history to record 1,000 career digs ...Courtney Thompson is one assist away from the No. 8 spot on the all-time chart ...she currently ranks ninth with 1,718 assists.

UW TOPS PAC-10: The Huskies lead the Pacific-10 Conference in numerous statistical categories, including hitting percentage (.348), opponent hitting percentage (.091), assists (15.89) and digs (17.83) ...Courtney Thompspn leads the conference with 14.44 apg, while Candace Lee leads the league in digs (5.83 dpg) ...Sanja Tomasevic ranks second in aces (0.67 sapg) and points (5.78 ppg) and fifth in kills (4.44 kpg) ...Christal Morrison ranks third in the Pac-10 in kills (4.53 kpg) and fifth in points (5.78 ppg).

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin begins his fourth year as head coach of the Washington volleyball team and has helped catapult it to a top 10 program and national championship contender. After inheriting a program that finished last in the Pac-10 standings in 2000, McLaughlin has taken the Huskies to the postseason in each of the last two seasons, leading UW to an Elite Eight appearance last year. UW's record has improved in each season under McLaughlin's direction and the Huskies have reintroduced themselves as one of the country's top volleyball programs.

A 14-year veteran head coach, McLaughlin has proven his ability to recruit talented student-athletes and cultivate championship programs. He has made 13 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 60-36 (.625) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 284-154 (.648) all-time.

HUSKIES WIN NIU INVITATIONAL: Washington opened the season with a 3-0 record to win the NIU Comfort Inn & Suites Invitational last week. The Huskies defeated Butler, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and host Northern Illinois, all by a 3-0 score, to earn the tournament title. Washington held its opponents to 20 or less points in six of nine games and out-hit its opponents .384 to .083. Senior All-American Sanja Tomasevic and junior Brie Hagerty were named to the all-tournament team for their performances. Tomasevic led the squad with 5.67 kills per game, a .450 hitting percentage (51-6-100) and 6.38 points per game. She tallied double figure kills in all three matches and had a double-double against Butler in the season opener. Hagerty ranked second on the team with 3.67 kpg and 3.89 ppg, while hitting at a .483 clip (33-5-58). She hit .647 (12-1-17) in the opener and .500 vs. NIU (13-1-24), with just one error in each match. Other players with strong outings included libero Candace Lee (6.11 dpg), outside hitter Christal Morrison (3.38 kpg/1.00 bpg) and middle blocker Darla Myhre (2.44 kpg, 1.56 bpg).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 14-player Washington roster includes 10 returning letterwinners and four returning starters. The 2004 team includes three seniors, six juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. The team represents six states and three countries, including Washington (3), California (2), Hawaii (1), Oregon (2), Indiana (1), Nevada (1), Ohio (1), British Columbia (1) and Serbia & Montenegro (2).

HUSKIES PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN PAC-10: Pac-10 head coaches predict that Washington will finish third in the Pacific-10 Conference. Southern California, the defending national champion, was picked to win its third-straight title with 89 points, while UCLA was picked to place second with 78 points. Washington picked up the third spot with 78 points and was followed by Stanford (71 points) and California (58 points) to round out the top five. The remaining Pac-10 teams were Arizona (55), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (36), while Oregon and Washington State (23) tied for the last slot.

2003 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Last season, the Huskies placed fifth in the Pac-10 (10-8) before peaking in the postseason and defeating Utah, Northwestern and Stanford in the NCAA tournament to advance to the quarterfinals. Washington lost a five-game heartbreaker to Minnesota in the Elite Eight match to tie for its best NCAA finish in the program's history. The Huskies' 23-9 record was the second-best ever at Washington.

The Huskies received multiple honors and awards, highlighted with Sanja Tomasevic being named a second team All-American. Washington also had five athletes named to the Pac-10 All-Conference teams, including Tomasevic to the first team, Kara Bjorklund, Darla Myhre and Candace Lee to the honorable mention team and Courtney Thompson to the All-Freshman and honorable mention teams.

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