Washington Volleyball Defeats Idaho In NCAA First Round

Dec. 3, 2004

SEATTLE - The seventh-seeded Washington volleyball team (25-2) defeated Idaho (17-13) in straight games this evening to open the NCAA Championship Tournament at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies, now 6-1 all-time in postseason matches played at home, out hit the Vandals, .321 to .081 en route to the first round victory.

'Idaho is a good and a dangerous team,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'We had to play well to beat them. We controlled the ball well, and we stayed on their tendencies throughout the match. We were intellectually connected tonight and understood who they wanted to set to and where they wanted to hit, which is a very tough thing, but we stayed on it. We were good at the pins offensively, and it took awhile to get our quick hitters going but overall I thought it was a good match.'

Sanja Tomassevic led all players with 21 kill on 40 swings with no errors for a .525 hitting percentage. Brie Hagerty added 15 kills for the Huskies and Kaitlin Leck added 12. Setter Courtney Thompson dished 44 assits.

Junior Candace Lee anchored the defense with 21 digs, while Tomasevic picked up her eighth double-double of the season with 13 digs.

The Huskies opened the match strong, using a pair of 4-0 runs to jump out to the quick 11-4 lead. Washington pushed its lead to 11 points at 17-6 and again at 20-9 but Idaho continued to battle. The Vandals went on a 5-0 run that included a pair of Sarah Meek kills to chip Washington's lead to four points at 23-19. UW used a Lee ace and kills by Jessica Veris and Hagerty to put the game away at 30-22.

Washington out hit Idaho .250 to .140 in game one and was led by Tomasevic with seven kills and Hagerty with six. Lee had two aces in the set.

The Huskies dominated game two, using an 11-0 run to take the 21-6 lead. Tomasevic had six kills in the rally. Washington took its largest lead of the match at 26-9 and closed out the match at 30-14 with kills by Hagerty and Tomasevic.

UW out hit the Vandals .432 to .056 in the game. Tomasevic led all players with seven kills, while Leck added five. Kati Tikker had five kills for Idaho.

Washington put the match away with a 30-19 victory in the third set. The Huskies jumped out to a quick eight-point lead at 17-9 after a UW 4-0 run that included kills by Tomasevic and Leck and two by Hagerty. UW pushed its lead to 13-points at 27-14 with back-to-back Tomasevic kills to trigger an Idaho timeout. Washington picked up the 30-19 win with a Leck kill and Vandal hitting error.

The Huskies out hit Idaho .304 to .045. Tomasevic had seven kills in game three, while Leck and Hagerty each added five.

Washington will face Kansas in the second round match Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the Regional Tournament in Seattle, Dec. 10-11.