Volleyball Hosts California & Stanford This Week

Oct. 18, 2004

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THIS WEEK: The No. 1 Washington volleyball team (15-0, 7-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 13 California and No. 11 Stanford this weekend, taking on the Golden Bears on Friday, Oct. 22 and the Cardinal on Saturday, Oct. 23. Saturday's game will be a rematch of last season's Sweet 16 match in which UW won 3-1 to advance to the Elite Eight. Washington is in first place of the Pacific-10 Conference but Stanford is just one game back with a 6-1 mark and California is tied with USC for third place with a 5-2 record. The Huskies look to continue their 15-match winning streak and are one of just three undefeated teams left in the country (Hawaii, Ohio State).

UW RANKED NO. 1 IN AVCA POLL: The Washington volleyball team (15-0, 7-0 Pac-10) remained ranked No. 1 for the third week in a row in the USA Today/CSTV top 25 poll tabulated by the AVCA and released on Oct. 18. The Huskies received 1,623 points and 63 of 65 first-place votes to maintain the top ranking in the nation ahead of No. 2 Minnesota who received 1,508 points. Washington won road matches against Arizona State and No. 22 Arizona last weekend. The Huskies have won 15 matches in a row and join No. 3 Hawaii (16-0) and No. 7 Ohio State (18-0) as the only undefeated teams remaining in the country. Hawaii received the other two first-place votes in this week's poll. The UW volleyball team is the sixth Washington program to hold a No. 1 ranking. Other Husky programs to hold the coveted top ranking include football (last on 11-7-92), softball (last on 5-10-00), men's soccer (last on 9-21-98), women's crew (last on 5-14-03) and men's crew (last on 5-6-02).

SCOUTING CALIFORNIA: California (10-6, 5-2 Pac-10) is on a three-match winning streak with wins over Oregon (3-1) and Oregon State (3-0) last weekend and a victory over USC (3-0) on Oct. 9. The Golden Bears have three players averaging 3.00 or more kills, including Angie Pressey (3.93), Gabrielle Abernathy (3.76) and Camille Leffall (3.00). Samantha Carter runs California's offense and averages 13.36 apg and leads the squad with 20 service aces. Jillian Davis anchor's Cal's defense with 5.52 dpg, while Pressey averages 2.61 dpg and Jenna Brown chips in 2.40 dpg. The Golden Bears are out hitting their opponents .217 to .195 and hold advantages in kills (16.57 to .14.22) and digs (16.78 to 13.96).

SCOUTING STANFORD: Stanford (14-4, 6-1 Pac-10) has won four of its last five matches with its only Pac-10 loss coming at the hands of then-No. 2 USC, 3-1, on Oct. 8. The Cardinal are led by Ogonna Nnamani with a league-leading 5.70 kpg, while Kristin Richards averages 3.86 kpg and Jennifer Hucke adds 2.79 kpg. Bryn Kehoe paces Stanford's offense with 11.61 apg and leads the squad with 23 aces this season. Richards anchor's the defense with 3.80 dpg and Lizzie Suiter averages 1.61 bpg. The Cardinal are out hitting their opponents .282 to .181 and are out blocking the competition 3.46 to 2.49.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Washington trails California and Stanford in the all-time series records. Cal holds the slight 21-20 advantage over the Huskies, including three wins in a row. Stanford holds the 37-4 lead over Washington in the all-time series but Washington won two out of three last season, including a 3-1 match at the NCAA Regional Tournament.

MORRISON NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman outside hitter Christal Morrison was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 18 after leading the Huskies to wins at Arizona State and No. 22 Arizona. With an injury sidelining senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic, the seventh-most prolific offensive player in Washington history with 1,176 career kills, Morrison captained the Washington offense, collecting 38 kills on 86 attempts over the weekend. She also contributed 27 digs. Against the Sun Devils, Morrison tallied 18 kills and 15 digs for her third double-double of the season. The 15 digs fell one shy of her career-best. Morrison followed that up against the Wildcats with another double-double (her fourth) on a career-best-tying 20 kills and 12 digs. She also tied her career best for aces with two.

BEST PAC-10 START EVER: Washington's 7-0 start in the Pacific-10 Conference marks its best conference start in the program's history. UW's previous best Pac-10 start was 3-0 in 1988 and 1997. In 1988, Washington advanced to its first Elite Eight, while the 1997 squad made it to the Sweet 16. The Huskies' 15-0 record this season is also its best overall start since the 1977 squad began the season with 21 wins.

TOMASEVIC OUT WITH HAND INJURY: Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic suffered a hand injury during practice Oct. 14 and had surgery Oct. 15 to repair displaced fractures of her third and fourth metacarpal bones in her right hand. Tomasevic injured the hand when it struck a wall during a diving drill in the East Gym of Bank of American Arena. She is expected to return to practice in 4-5 weeks. Tomasevic leads the Huskies in nearly every statistical category and ranks among the top three in the Pac-10 in kills, services aces and points. She was a second team All-America selection last season.

RECORD ATTENDANCE: The Huskies broke the school's attendance record on Oct. 8 vs. Washington State with 3.673 fans. Washington's previous record of 3,203 was set last season vs. the Cougars. UW currently ranks seventh in the nation with 2,410 fans per game. The Huskies have pulled 7.229 fans through its doors this season in three home matches. Washington has the highest attendance average in the Pacific-10 Conference.

HUSKIES LEAD PAC-10: Washington leads the Pac-10 in nearly every statistical category, including hitting percentage (.322), opponent hitting percentage (.126), assists (15.71), kills (17.14) and digs (17.51). The only categories UW does not pace the Pac-10 in are services aces (2nd- 1.73) and blocks (7th- 2.50). Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson also leads the Pac-10 with 14.27 apg.

UW SHUTS THEM OUT: Washington has tallied 3-0 victories in 12 of 15 matches this season. Washington holds the 45-4 edge in game victories over its opponents with one game going to UCLA and Arizona and two games going to USC.

1,000 KILL CLUB: With 18 kills against Butler on Sept. 3 Sanja Tomasevic became just the 11th player in Husky history to tally 1,000 career kills. She currently ranks seventh on the Husky all-time chart with 1,176 kills.

1,000 DIG CLUB: Candace Lee became just the fourth player in Husky history to enter the 1,000 dig club when she tallied 22 digs against USC on Sept. 24. She currently ranks fourth on the UW all-time list with 1,095 digs.

2,000 ASSIST CLUB: Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson has tallied 2,289 assists in her career to become just the seventh Husky to record 2,000 assists. She ranks sixth on the all-time list and leads the Pac-10 with 14.27 apg, which ranks fourth nationally.

RECORDS WATCH: Candace Lee ranks fourth on the UW career digs list with 1,095 ... Lee is just 75 digs away from the No. 3 spot (1,170- Ashleigh Robertson, 1989-92) ... Sanja Tomasevic ranks sixth on the Washington all-time chart with 116 career aces ... she is just seven aces away from the No. 5 spot (123- Lisa McCammond, 1986-89) ... Tomasevic ranks seventh on the UW charts with 1,176 career kills ...she is 64 kills away from the No. 6 spot (1,240- Makare Desilets, 1994-97).

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin begins his fourth year as head coach of the Washington volleyball team and has helped catapult it to the No. 1 national ranking. 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 68-36 (.654) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 292-154 (.655) all-time (men's and women's record).

TOMASEVIC EARNS PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS: Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 20-26. Tomasevic, led Washington to wins at No. 10 UCLA and No. 2 USC, the Huskies' first road sweep of the Los Angeles schools since 1997 and second all-time. Against the Bruins, Tomasevic collected 27 kills, 12 digs and eight block assists, while hitting at a .453 clip. She followed that with 18 kills and 14 digs in the Huskies' five-game upset win over the Women of Troy. For the weekend, Tomasevic recorded 45 kills (5.00 kpg), 26 digs (2.89 dpg), nine blocks (1.00 bpg), and 50.5 points (5.61 ppg).

WASHINGTON WINS NORTHWEST CLASSIC: Washington defeated Montana (3-0) and host Boise State (3-0) to win the Northwest Classic, Sept. 18. Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson was named tournament MVP with 78 assists (13.00 apg) in six games. Brie Hagerty, Christal Morrison and Sanja Tomasevic were also named to the all-tournament team. Hagerty averaged 3.17 kpg with a .326 hitting percentage, while Tomasevic averaged 4.80 kpg and 1.00 bpg with a .396 hitting percentage. Morrison contributed 2.50 kpg and 1.67 bpg.

HUSKIES WIN GREEN MILL CLASSIC: The Huskies picked up their second-straight tournament title on Sept. 11, 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).

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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