Volleyball Hosts No. 22 Arizona & ASU This Week

Nov. 9, 2004

THIS WEEK: The top-ranked Washington volleyball team (20-0, 12-0 Pac-10) hosts No. 22 Arizona (15-8, 7-6 Pac-10) and Arizona State (9-13, 4-9 Pac-10) this week. UW opens play vs. Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 11 and faces ASU on Friday, Nov. 12. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm both nights. The Huskies are chasing the program's best start record of 21 wins, set in 1977. Washington sits atop the Pac-10 standings with a three-match lead over USC (10-3 Pac-10). Six matches remain for Washington in the regular season.

UW RANKED NO. 1 IN AVCA POLL: The Washington volleyball team (20-0, 12-0 Pac-10) maintained its No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/CSTV top 25 poll tabulated by the AVCA and released on Nov. 8. The Huskies, who have the top-billing for the sixth week in a row, received 1,620 points and 60 of 65 first-place votes this week. No. 2 Hawaii (21-0) picked up two first-place votes and 1,537 points, while No. 3 Nebraska (22-1) had two first-place votes and 1,513 points. 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 ARIZONA: No. 22 Arizona (15-8, 7-6 Pac-10) has won seven of its last nine matches, including 3-0 victories over Oregon and Oregon State last week. The Wildcats are led by Kim Glass with 4.56 kpg and 5.38 ppg. Meghan Cumpston and Jennifer Abernathy also contribute to Arizona's offense with 3.88 and 3.67 kpg, respectively. Stephanie Butkus runs the UA offense with 12.10 apg. Kelli Mulvany anchors the defense with 3.32 dpg, while Glass chips in 2.93 dpg.

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State (9-13, 4-9 Pac-10) broke a five match losing streak with a 3-0 sweep over Oregon last week. The Sun Devils are led by Nicole Morton with 3.61 kpg and Sarah Watkins with 2.89 kpg. Rachel Mittelstaedt runs the ASU offense with 10.55 apg and also averages 0.84 bpg. Sydney Donahue leads the defense with 4.48 dpg, while Colette Meek adds 1.20 bpg.

ALL-TIME SERIES: Washington trails Arizona 24-16 in the all-time series record but the Huskes have won the last two matches, including a 3-1 win in Tucson earlier this season. The Huskies lead Arizona State 23-18 in the all-time series, including the last four matches in a row. Washington swept ASU in Tempe earlier this season.

BEST PAC-10 START EVER: Washington has won all 12 of its Pac-10 matches this season, marking 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' 20-0 record this season is also its best overall start since the 1977 squad began the season with 21 wins.

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO: No. 1 Washington and No. 2 Hawaii are the only undefeated teams remaining in the nation. \Washington is 20-0 (12-0 Pac-10), while Hawaii is 21-0 (11-0 Western Athletic). UW has five wins over teams ranked in the top-25, while the Rainbow Wahine have four. The Huskies have defeated No. 22 Arizona, No. 10 UCLA, No. 2 USC, No. 13 California and No. 11 Stanford. Hawaii has defeated No. 17 Arizona, No. 17 Santa Clara, No. 3 UCLA and No. 14 California.

RECORD ATTENDANCE: The Huskies have broken the school's home attendance record twice this season. UW first broke the record on Oct. 8 vs. Washington State with 3,673 fans, topping the previous record of 3,203 set last season vs. the Cougars. Washington shattered the record two weeks later, pulling in 5,712 fans vs. Stanford on Oct. 23, marking the fourth-highest attendance figure in Pac-10 history. UW currently ranks fifth in the nation with 2,973 fans per game. The Huskies have pulled 14,863 fans through its doors this season in five home matches.Washington has the highest attendance average in the Pacific-10 Conference.

LEE APPROACHES DIG RECORD: Junior libero 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 third on the UW all-time list with 1,224 digs and needs just 14 digs to take over the No. 1 spot (1,237- Lisa McCammond, 1986-89).

HAGERTY HITS HER MARK: Junior outside hitter Brie Hagerty has hit .500 or better four times this season and has produced four of Washington's top-five hitting performances. Hagerty hit .647 (12-1-17) at Butler, .607 vs. Oregon (19-2-28), .533 vs. California (18-2-30) and .500 at Northern Illinois (13-1-24). Sanja Tomasevic is the only other Husky to hit above .500 in a match this season (with a minimum 12 kills) with a .562 performance at Northern Illinois (19-1-32).

OFF THE BENCH: Since Sanja Tomasevic broke her hand on Oct. 14, the Huskies have asked senior Kaitlin Leck and junior Jessica Veris to pick up the scoring slack. Since Tomasevic's injury, Leck has increased her offensive output from 2.86 kpg to 3.69 kpg. She has also increased her defensive contributions from 1.00 dpg to 2.06 dpg. Leck had 27 kills and 16 digs vs. Oregon State and 12 kills and 10 digs vs. Oregon for her first double-doubles of the season. Veris has increased her offensive production from 1.39 kpg to 1.70 kpg and is leading all UW hitters with a .382 hitting percentage over the last seven matches. She has also tallied six aces and 23 blocks. Veris has notched eight or more kills in six of the last seven matches, including 11 vs. Stanford (Oct. 23).

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 4-6 weeks. At the time of the injury, Tomasevic led the Huskies in nearly every statistical category and ranked among the top three in the Pac-10 in kills, services aces and points. She was a second team All-America selection last season.

HUSKIES LEAD PAC-10: Washington leads the Pac-10 in nearly every statistical category, including hitting percentage (.310), opponent hitting percentage (.137), assists (16.18), kills (17.40) and digs (17.99). The only categories UW does not pace the Pac-10 in are services aces (2nd- 1.57) and blocks (6th- 2.57). Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson leads the Pac-10 with 14.84 apg and junior libero Candace Lee leads the league with 5.62 dpg. Freshman Christal Morrison ranks second in the Pac-10 with 5.03 ppg and 4.39 kpg.

UW SHUTS THEM OUT: Washington has tallied 3-0 victories in 15 of 20 matches this season. Washington holds the 60-8 edge in game victories over its opponents with one game going to UCLA and Arizona and two games going to USC, Oregon State and Washington State.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.

2,500 ASSIST CLUB: Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson has tallied 2,599 assists in her career and is just the sixth Husky to record 2,500 assists. She ranks fifth on the all-time list and needs 25 assists to tie for the No. 4 spot (2,624- Diane Flick, 1989-92). Thompson leads the Pac-10 with 14.84 apg, which ranks second nationally.

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 73-36 (.667) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 297-154 (.658) all-time (men's and women's record).

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 carried 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.

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, three 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 (2) 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.