Volleyball Falls To USC In Five Games

Nov. 26, 2004

SEATTLE-- The No. 3 Washington volleyball team (23-2,15-2 Pac-10) lost a five-game heartbreaker to No. 6 USC (19-4, 14-3 Pac-10) this evening at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies nearly pulled off a comeback after losing the first two games and forcing a fifth game. UW had match point in the tiebreaker but the Women of Troy took advantage of a pair of Huskies errors to snatch the victory at 17-15. Game scores were 28-30, 20-30, 30-25, 30-22, 15-17.

'The loss hurts,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'Sometimes it hurts a little more in the morning. These kids give everything they have every day, every play. We've got to learn from that and come back and do what we did after Stanford. After the first two losses we took care of the ball at a higher level and got into a nice rhythm and met our sideout standards. We were able to serve a little tougher and it got them into a little bit of trouble. We were more aggressive in those late games.'

Despite the loss, the Huskies guarantee themselves the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Washington already clinched at least of share of the Pac-10 title last week and a win in tomorrow's final match vs. UCLA would make them the outright winners. A loss could put them into a tiebreaker situation with either USC or Stanford but with two game victories tonight, the Huskies would get the automatic bid into the postseason tournament based upon the Pac-10's tiebreaker rules.

The Huskies pulled 5,688 fans through the gate tonight, falling just short of the school's record of 5,712 set earlier this season vs. Stanford. It marked the fourth-highest attendance in Pac-10 history. The match was taped by FSN and will air Saturday at 4 p.m.

Senior All-American Sanja Tomasevic made her first start and second appearance overall since breaking her hand on Oct. 14 and led Washington with 20 kills and 30 digs. Kaitlin Leck, Christal Morrison and Alesha Deesing each added 15 kills for the Huskies, while Courtney Thompson dished 69 assists.

Candace Lee anchored UW's defensive effort with 34 digs to bring her season total to 401, breaking her own school record of 367 set last season. Thompson and Danka Danicic each tallied 13 digs. Deesing notched seven blocks for the Huskies after coming off the bench.

USC out hit Washington .221 to .214 and held advantages in kills (83-80), digs (106-101) and blocks (18-13.5).

The Women of Troy were led by Keao Burdine with 22 kills, while Bibiana Candelas had 18 and Emily Adams added 14. Burdine and Debora Seilhamer each had 29 digs.

The Huskies close out the regular season tomorrow against No. 16 UCLA at 7 p.m. Washington will recognized seniors Tomasevic, Leck and Egan Metcalf before the match on 'Senior Night'.