Volleyball Sets School Record For Best Start With Win Over ASU

Nov. 12, 2004

SEATTLE-- The top-ranked Washington volleyball team (22-0, 14-0 Pac-10) set the school record for best start to a season with its 22nd win this evening in a 3-0 sweep over Arizona State (10-14, 5-10 Pac-10). The Huskies had 2,657 fans witness the record at Bank of America Arena, surpassing the program's previous best start of 21 wins to open the 1977 season. Game scores were 30-28, 30-17 and 30-23.

With the victory, Washington maintains its first place standing in the Pacific-10 Conference with a three-match lead over USC and Stanford with four matches to go in the regular season. The 14 league wins mark the most ever for a Husky volleyball team in a single season.

Tonight's victory also marked the 300th career win for head coach Jim McLaughlin. He was greeted by a standing ovation from the Husky fans after the match and presented with a game ball for his accomplishments during his 15-year career.

Washington out hit Arizona State .256 to .167 in the match and held advantages in kills (59-39), aces (7-3), blocks (8-7) and digs (69-50).

Brie Hagerty led the Huskies with 15 kills, while Christal Morrison added 14 kills. Courtney Thompson paced Washington's offense with 45 assists and added 10 digs on defense. Candace Lee led all players with 25 digs, while Darla Myhre collected six blocks.

' This team is right up there with the best teams I've ever coached,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'What the team is doing and with the crowds that we are having at the University of Washington, I love it. It has been a good deal. This has been a great team full of great people. Coaching is a lot of fun, but these kids make it even more fun. Our crowds make the experience even better.

'Tonight we played well at times, but we were flat. I don't know if last night had anything to do with it, but our energy level was low. It was good when we had to get it going and we passed well. When we pass well we are okay. We served well tonight and only had five errors on seven aces. That is a nice ratio. I like the way that we made them handle the ball and we made them handle the ball in critical situations.'

Game one opened even with 10 ties through 10-all. Hagerty then tallied three straight kills to give Washington the slight 13-10 lead. The Sun Devils came back to knot the score at 15-all after two Husky errors but UW reeled off the next four points to take the 19-15 advantage and force Arizona State to call a timeout. Washington extended its lead to six points at 24-18 after a kill by Jessica Veris and a Kaitlin Leck service ace. ASU battled back, scoring the next three points, resulting in a UW timeout at the 24-21 mark. Arizona again chipped at the lead, pulling to within one point at 27-26 after a kill by Nina Reeves and block by Tierra Burnley and Rachel Mittelstardt to trigger another UW timeout. Washington notched the next point out of the timeout with an ASU error but the Sun Devils tallied the next two points with a kill and service ace to tie the game at 28-all. Arizona State made an attack error to give UW game-point and Hagerty notched her seventh kill of the game to give Washington the 30-28 victory.

Arizona State out hit Washington .217 to .208 but the Huskies held advantages in kills (20-14) and digs (25-21) to earn the win. Hagerty led all players with seven kills in the game, while Morrison added six.

Washington used a 5-0 run, including three Hagerty kills to take the 8-5 lead in game two and cause an ASU timeout. The Huskies increased their lead to seven points at the 19-12 mark after two Sun Devil errors and a block by Myhre and Hagerty, triggering another ASU timeout. Washington complied a late 6-0 run, including three Veris aces to take the 28-16 lead. The Huskies put the game away at 30-17 with a Thompson kill and a block by Leck and Myhre.

UW out hit the Sun Devils .385 to .103 in the game. Hagerty and Morrison each logged four kills for Washington, while ASU's Nicole Morton had five kills in the game.

Game three was played even through 9-all before Washington surged out to the 12-9 lead behind three consecutive Morrison kills. Arizona State came back to tie the score at 13-all but UW rattled off the next four points to go up 17-13. Leck and Myhre each had two blocks in the series. Washington kept the Sun Devils at bay, taking a 25-21 lead to result in an ASU timeout. The Huskies scored the next three points, including a Leck kill and Lee ace to go up 28-21. UW recorded match-point with a Veris kill and an Arizona State error gave Washington the 30-21 victory.

Washington out hit ASU .240 to .170 in the game. Leck had five kills in the third set, while Morrison and Hagerty each tallied four.

The Huskies return to action next week when they take on No. 14 California and No. 11 Stanford on the road. The weekend opens vs. the Cardinal on Nov. 18 and concludes on Nov. 19 vs. the Golden Bears.