Volleyball Remains Undefeated With Sweep Over No. 22 Arizona

Nov. 12, 2004

SEATTLE- The top ranked Washington volleyball team (21-0, 13-0 Pac-10) defeated No. 21 Arizona (15-9, 7-7 Pac-10) in straight sets this evening in front of 2,039 fans at Bank of America Arena. The win marked the Huskies, 21st in a row to tie the program's record for best start set in 1977. The victory also gives UW its 13th Pac-10 win, tying its most conference victories in program history. Game scores were 30-20, 30-27 and 30-23.

Washington's best conference record was 13-5, set in 1989 and again in 1997, when the team placed second in the league. Washington volleyball has never won a Pac-10 Championship and is currently in first place with a three-match lead over USC (10-3) with five league matches remaining. Tonight's sweep also marks Washington's sixth 3-0 victory in as many home matches this season.

Junior libero Candace Lee became the all-time digs leader at Washington, picking up 16 digs tonight to bring her career total to 1,239. The previous dig record of 1,237 was set by Lisa McCammond from 1986-89. Lee now ranks 29th on the Pac-10 all-time list.

'We did good things and we played real steady tonight,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'I thought that we played hard and pretty good collectively. We passed well and we were in rhythm. Any time that we are in rhythm, we pressure the other team. Candace had a great night. She is the best. I don't think that records mean anything to her but I have coached for a long time and a lot of people both men and women, and I believe she is the best in the country at her position. I am a little biased, but she deserves the record for sure.

'Setting program records tonight for best start and most Pac-10 wins is just another step along the way. We understand that there is meaning in it, but I think that we can get better. We want to get better, so we'll start preparing for Arizona State tonight and get ready. Playing at home has been really fun for us. We have an unbelievable fan base. We want to thank our fans because they help us play better. They are a great crowd and they are a part of what's happening with this team.'

Washington out hit Arizona .359 to .228 this evening and held statistical advantages in kills (59-47), assists (55-45) and blocks (7-5). The Wildcats out dug the Huskies 54-51.

Senior Kaitlin Leck led the team with 16 kills, while Christal Morrison added 14. Brie Hagerty collected 12 kills for UW and Jessica Veris added 11. Setter Courtney Thompson had 48 assists on the night.

Lee anchored the defense with 16 digs, while Thompson posted 10 and Leck and Danka Danicic each chipped in six. Darla Myhre had three blocks and Hagerty had four, including two solos.

Washington took the early 5-1 lead in game one with four-straight UW kills, including two by Leck, to trigger an Arizona timeout. The Huskies increased their lead to six points at the 12-6 mark with three consecutive points, including a Morrison kill and a Thompson ace to force another Wildcat timeout. Arizona went on a 4-1 run to pull within four points at 17-13, causing Washington to call its first timeout of the match. UW scored the next three points out of the break and never looked back, charging to the 30-20 win.

Washington out hit Arizona .319 to .073 in the game. Leck led all players with eight kills, while Morrison added six. Lee had seven digs in game one.

UW's 3-0 start in game two spurred a quick Arizona timeout. The Wildcats pulled even at the 8-all mark after three straight kills by Kim Glass. Bre Ladd then recorded UA's fourth consecutive kill to trigger a UW timeout at 8-9. The score knotted three more times through 12-all before Washington edged out to a 3-0 lead at 18-15 with a kill by Leck and a Danicic ace. Arizona pulled even at 22-all after two Husky errors and a kill by Kristina Baum gave UA the lead to force a UW timeout. The Wildcats scored the next two points to take the three-point advantage at 22-25. The Huskies battled back, using a 4-1 run that included an ace and a kill be Veris to knot the score at 26-all and trigger Arizona's second timeout of the game. The Huskies went up 28-26 with a UA error and a block by Myhre and Morrison. Another Arizona error gave Washington game-point and Danicic recorded her second kill of the night to lift UW to the 30-27 victory.

The Huskies out hit the Wildcats .289 to .267 in game two, including five Leck kills and four kills by Morrison. Glass tallied nine kills for the Wildcats in the set.

Game three opened even through 5-all before Washington went on a 4-0 run to cause UA to call a timeout. Arizona pulled to within one point at 10-9 with a Wildcat rally that included two kills by Jolene Killough. The Huskies surged ahead to take the five point lead at 18-13 with a pair of kills by Morrison and Hagerty. UW never trailed by less than four points for the remainder of the match. Washington put the game away with two kills by Veris and a kill by Morrison to make the score 30-23.

UW out hit UA .487 to .351 in game three. Hagerty had six kills in the game, while Veris added five.

Washington returns to action tomorrow with a 7 p.m. match against Arizona State.