Volleyball Hosts Saint Mary's In Sweet 16

Dec. 8, 2004

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UP NEXT: The No. 7 seed Washington volleyball team (26-2) will face No. 10 seed Saint Mary's (25-3) in the regional semifinal in Seattle on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m., in Bank of America Arena. No. 2 seed Penn State (29-2) will play No. 15 seed UCLA (20-10) in the other semifinal match at 5 p.m. Friday's winners will play each other on Sat., Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Final Four in Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 16-18.

NCAA REGIONAL TO BE TELEVISED: The NCAA Regional semifinal match between Washington and Saint Mary's on Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m., will be broadcast live in the Pacific Northwest on Fox Northwest. The Regional final will be televised live on CSTV at 7 p.m.

UW IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT: The Huskies have made eight previous appearances in the NCAA Tournament (1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003) and have an all-time mark of 12-8. UW is 8-1 in postseason matches played in Seattle. Last season, Washington tied its best-ever finish when it advanced to the Elite Eight. The Huskies fell to Minnesota in the match, 3-2.

HUSKIES DEFEAT IDAHO/KANSAS IN OPENING ROUNDS: The Huskies defeated Idaho (3-0) and Kansas (3-2) in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16. Sanja Tomasevic led Washington with 5.00 kpg and 5.12 dpg. The Huskies also received stong play from Brie Hagerty (4.62 kpg), Kaitlin Leck (3.38 kpg, 1.88 bpg) and Candace Lee (5.38 dpg).

WASHINGTON WINS FIRST PAC-10 TITLE: With a 3-1 victory over No. 16 UCLA on Nov. 27, Washington won its first-ever Pac-10 Championship outright. The Huskies won the Pac-10 with a 16-2 mark, edging out second place Stanford who finished one match back with a 15-3 record. With the conference title, Washington received the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

HUSKIES SET PROGRAM RECORD FOR BEST START/ MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS: Washington opened the season with 22-straight victories to set school records for best start and most consecutive wins. The previous record was a 21-0 start set by the 1977 volleyball team.

UW TALLIES BEST PAC-10 RECORD EVER: Washington finished the Pac-10 season with a 16-2 record, marking the most conference wins by UW in a single-season. Washington's previous best conference record was 13-5, set in 1988 and again in 1997, when the team's placed second in the Pac-10. In 1988, Washington advanced to its first Elite Eight, while the 1997 squad made it to the Sweet 16.

SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S: No. 10 seed Saint Mary's (25-3) is making its second-ever NCAA appearance and second in a row. The Gaels, who finished second in the West Coast Conference (12-2), knocked off Sacramento State and California in the first and second rounds for its first NCAA victories in program history. The team is led by Lindsey Bogason with 3.68 kills per game and Kaui Salzman with 3.33 kpg. Mandy Bible paces Saint Mary's offense with 13.04 assists per game and has received the Collegiate Volleyball Update National Player of the Week honors twice this season, including this week. Over the weekend, Bible averaged 123 assists, 41 digs, nine blocks, three kills and an ace. The Gael defense is led by Missie Stidham with 5.22 digs per game, while Stacey O'Connor adds 1.52 blocks per game.

SCOUTING PENN STATE: No. 2 seed Penn State (29-2) is one of four teams to have played in all previous 24 NCAA Tournaments since the NCAA began sponsoring the tournament in 1981 (Pacific, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara). The Nittany Lions, who won the Big Ten Championship for the second consecutive year, advanced to the Regional Tournament after 3-0 sweeps of American and Maryland. The team is led by Big Ten Freshman of the Year Kate Price with 3.94 kpg, while Ashley Pederson averages 3.86 kpg and Syndie Nadeau chips in 3.14 kpg. Sam Tortorello runs Penn State's offense with 14.01 assists per game and Kaleena Walters headlines the defense with 5.71 digs per game.

SCOUTING UCLA: No. 15 seed UCLA (20-10) is making its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bruins, who finished tied for fourth in the Pac-10 standings (11-7), defeated Loyola Marymount (3-1) and Long Beach State (3-0) to advance to the program's fifth Regional Semifinal in the last six years. The team is led by Brynn Murphy with 3.26 kills per game, while Becky Green adds 3.05 kpg. Krystal McFarland runs the Bruin offense with 12.45 assists per game and Chrissie Zartman anchors the defense with 5.85 digs per game.

HOME 'SWEEP' HOME: The Huskies have played 11 home matches this season, winning eight of those in straight 3-0 sets. Washington lost three games to USC on Nov. 27 in its only home loss, one game to UCLA on Nov. 28 and two games to Kansas on Dec. 4 in the NCAA second round. The Huskies hold a 32-6 game advantage in Bank of America Arena.

UW RANKED NO. 5 IN AVCA POLL: With a pair of wins to open the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies maintained their No. 5 ranking in the USA Today/ CSTV Top 25 poll. Washington, who held the No. 1 ranking for seven weeks earlier this season, received 1,362 points in the poll, including one first-place vote. UW volleyball is just the sixth Washington program to hold top-billing. 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).

Jim McLaughlin NAMED PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR: Washington head volleyball coach Jim McLaughlin has been named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year for the second time in three years after guiding the Huskies to their first ever Pac-10 Championship (16-2) and No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies opened the season with a school-record 22-match winning streak and finished the regular season at 24-2. Washington has been ranked among the top seven all season, including a seven-week stint at No. 1 in the USA Today/ CSTV Top 25 poll. McLaughlin, who also was tabbed Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2002, boasts a 159-81 (.663) career record over eight seasons coaching women's collegiate volleyball. He has a 80-38 (.678) record at Washington in four seasons. Prior to Washington, McLaughlin spent four seasons at Kansas State, compiling an 81-43 (.653) record and leading the Wildcats to four consecutive NCAA appearances. He was named Big 12 Coach of the Year in 1999. McLaughlin also coached six seasons with the USC men's team, leading the 1990 squad to the NCAA Championship.

Christal Morrison NAMED PAC-10 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Christal Morrison, an outside hitter from Puyallup, Wash., was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after ranking second in the conference with 4.40 kills per game and 5.01 points per game. She has 12 double-doubles on the season and has tallied double-figure kills in 23 matches. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors earlier this year and was named to the Northwest Classic and Green Mill Classic all-tournament teams. Morrison is Washington's first ever Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

FIVE HUSKIES NAMED TO ALL-PAC-10 TEAMS: Five Huskies were named to the All-Pac-10 teams, including first team members Brie Hagerty, Candace Lee, Christal Morrison and Courtney Thompson and honorable mention selection Darla Myhre. Hagerty ranks third in the Pac-10 in kills per game (4.13) and sixth in points per game (4.45). She has tallied double-digit kills 22 times and has hit .400 or better in seven matches. Lee ranks second in the Pac-10 and ranks 16th nationally with 5.71 digs per game. She broke Washington's single-season and career records this season and became just the fourth player in Huskies' history to enter the 1,000 dig club. Morrison is the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and ranks second in the league in kills (4.35 kpg) and points (4.96). Thompson leads the Pac-10 and ranks second nationally with 14.70 assists per game. She ranks second on the team with a .389 hitting percentage and has dished 50 or more assists 16 times. Myhre leads the team and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 1.40 blocks per game. She has notched eight or more block six times this season, including an 11 block performance against UCLA on Sept. 25.

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 has pulled 32,954 fans through its doors this season in 11 home matches for an average of 2,996 fans per match. Washington has the highest attendance average in the Pacific-10 Conference and ranks fifth in the nation.

TOMASEVIC MAKES HER COMEBACK: Senior All-American Sanja Tomasevic made her first start since breaking her hand on Oct. 14 against USC on Nov. 26. Tomasevic led the Huskies with 20 kills and 30 digs against USC. She followed up with 22 kills and 20 digs against UCLA on Nov. 27. She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for her performances.

LEE SETS CAREER & SEASON DIG RECORDS: Junior libero Candace Lee became the all-time digs leader at Washington against Arizona on Nov. 11, picking up 16 digs to surpass Lisa McCammond's 1,237 digs set from 1986-89. She surpassed her own single-season record on Nov. 27 with her 368th dig vs. USC. Lee now has 571 digs this season and 1,413 in her career, which ranks 10th on the all-time Pac-10 list.

MCLAUGHLIN GETS 300TH CAREER WIN: Head coach Jim McLaughlin tallied his 300th career win as a Division I coach (including stints with both men's and women's teams) with a 3-0 sweep over Arizona State on Nov. 12. His career record as a women's coach is 161-81 (eight seasons) and he is 80-39 at Washington (four seasons).

THREE HUSKIES RECEIVE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS: The Washington volleyball team placed three players on the Academic All-District VIII University Division Volleyball Team. Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic, junior libero Candace Lee and sophomore setter Courtney Thompson were named to the seven-member first team. Tomasevic, who was a second team Academic All-District selection last year, owns a 3.34 cumulative grade point average in Communications. Lee boasts a 3.78 grade point average in English with a minor in Italian, while Thompson has achieved a 3.63 grade point average in Business.

FIVE PLAYERS NAMED TO PAC-10 ALL-ACADEMIC TEAMS: Five Washington players earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors, including first team selection Candace Lee. Courtney Thompson and Sanja Tomasevic were second team picks and Kaitlin Leck and Danka Danicic were named to the honorable mention team.

DEESING HAS CAREER NIGHT OFF THE BENCH: Freshman Alesha Deesing, who had played in just nine games all season, came off the bench Nov. 26 vs. USC to give UW a spark with 15 kills, a .467 hitting percentage and a team-high seven blocks. Heading into the match vs. USC, Deesing had just eight kills and seven blocks on the season.

HAGERTY HITS HER MARK: Junior outside hitter Brie Hagerty has hit .500 or better four times this season and has produced three 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 and Darla Myhre are the only other Huskies to hit above .500 in a match this season (with a minimum 12 kills). Tomasevic hit .562 at Northern Illinois (19-1-32) and Myhre hit .545 at Stanford (12-0-22).

STEPPING UP: When Sanja Tomasevic broke her hand on Oct. 14, the Huskies asked senior Kaitlin Leck and junior Jessica Veris to pick up the scoring slack. During the six weeks Tomasevic missed, Leck increased her offensive output from 2.86 kpg to 3.64 kpg. She has also increased her defensive contributions from 1.00 dpg to 1.79 dpg. Leck had 27 kills and 16 digs vs. Oregon State (Oct. 28) and 12 kills and 10 digs vs. Oregon (Oct. 29) for her first double-doubles of the season. Veris increased her offensive production from 1.39 kpg to 1.81 kpg and is fourth on the team with a .329 hitting percentage. She has notched eight or more kills in eight of the last 13 matches, including 11 vs. Stanford (Oct. 23).

UW SHUTS THEM OUT: Washington has tallied 3-0 victories in 18 of 28 matches this season. Washington holds the 82-19 edge in game victories over its opponents.

3,000 ASSIST CLUB: Sophomore setter Courtney Thompson has tallied 3,060 assists in her career and is just the third Husky to join the 3,000 assists club. She ranks third on the UW all-time career list, while her 1,407 assists this season rank second-best on the Husky single-season list. Thompson already set single-season records for assists (1,590) and assists per game (14.20) last year. She currently leads the Pac-10 with 14.70 apg, which ranks second nationally.

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 fifth on the Husky all-time chart with 1,260 kills.

COACH MCLAUGHLIN: Jim McLaughlin is in his fourth year as head coach of the Washington volleyball team and helped catapult its first No. 1 national ranking earlier this season, which it held for seven weeks. 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 80-38 (.679) at UW and his 14 year coaching career boasts a record of 304-156 (.660) 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- TWICE: Senior outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic was named Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Week for Sept. 20-26 and Nov. 22-28. 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). Two months later, Tomasevic made her comeback from a broken hand with 20 kills and 30 digs against USC (Nov. 26). The next night, she recorded 22 kills, 20 digs, three aces and three blocks in leading the Huskies to a 3-1 victory over UCLA that clinched Washington's first-ever Pac-10 title outright. For the weekend, Tomasevic recorded 42 kills (4.67 kpg) 50 digs (5.56 dpg) and four aces (0.44 apg).

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