Volleyball To Make Home Debut- Hosts Husky Classic

Sept. 6, 2006

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THIS WEEK: The No. 3/5 Washington volleyball team (4-1) returns from a two week road trip to play its first match at home since winning the 2005 NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship when it hosts the Husky Classic, Sept. 7-9. Washington will host four teams in the nine-match round-robin tournament, including Gonzaga, North Dakota State, Portland State and UMBC. The Huskies open play Sept. 7 vs. Portland State at 7 p.m. in the only match of the day. The Dawgs then play UMBC and North Dakota State on Sept. 8 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, and close out tournament play vs. Gonzaga on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. Livestats will be available for all nine matches.

HOME OPENERS: Washington is 23-8 all-time in home openers and 4-1 in the Jim McLaughlin era. The Huskies have won the last four home openers, including wins over Gardner-Webb (30-8, 30-11, 30-12- 2005); Oregon (30-19, 30-15, 30-25- 2004); Arizona State (18-30, 30-19, 30-26, 30-19- 2003): and Oregon State (30-21, 30-28, 30-26- 2002).

HOME SWEET HOME: Washington was undefeated at home last season, winning all 11 matches it played in Bank of America Arena. The Huskies have lost just one home match since the 2003 season, a five-game loss to USC on Nov. 26, 2004 (28-30, 24-30, 30-25, 30-22, 15-17).

HUSKIES SWEEP THROUGH MIZUNO WILDCAT CLASSIC: Washington shared the Mizuno Wildcat Classic Tournament title with 15th-ranked Ohio after both teams finished competition with 3-0 records. The Huskies defeated host Davidson, Morehead State and Liberty in straight sets. Christal Morrison (Puyallup, Wash.) was named the tournament MVP after leading the Dawgs with 4.67 kills per game and 2.89 digs per game. he also tallied six service aces and four blocks and boasted a .461 hitting percentage. Tamari Miyashiro (Honolulu, Hawai'i) received the Libero of the Tournament award after tying Morrison for the team lead with 2.89 dpg. Miyashiro also led the team with seven service aces. Courtney Thompson (Kent, Wash.) was also named to the all-tournament team as she paced UW to a .364 hitting percentage, dishing 13.67 assists per game.

SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Gonzaga Bulldogs (2-5) are coming off a 1-2 weekend at their own tournament with a win over Gardner-Webb and loses to Connecticut and Portland State. Becky Jones leads the team with 3.76 kpg and 3.07 dpg, while Briawna Mueller averages 2.90 kpg. Heather Dunn runs the offense with 11.10 apg and the Bulldogs are hitting .182 as a team. Alecia Douglas anchors the defense with 3.55 dpg, while Mueller averages 0.97 blocks per game. Washington leads Gonzaga 9-2 in the all-time series and has won the last four matches.

SCOUTING NORTH DAKOTA STATE: The North Dakota State Bison (2-5) went 1-2 over the weekend at the Bluejay Invitational, defeating Jacksonville State, 3-2, and falling to Iowa, 3-2, and host Creighton, 3-0. Sheila Parrish leads the team with 4.03 kpg and 3.43 dpg, while Lindsay Rogers averages 2.57 kpg. Setter Mattie Johnson has paced NDSU to a .183 hitting percentage with 10.33 apg. Libero Kari Fagan leads the defense with 5.00 dpg, while Rogers averages 1.33 bpg. Washington leads NDSU 1-0 in the all-time series, defeating the Bison 3-0 last season.

SCOUTING PORTLAND STATE: The Portland State Vikings are 3-2 on the season after defeating Gardner-Webb and Gonzaga last week and falling to Connecticut at the Gonzaga Tournament. Jessica Brodie headlines the offense with 6.00 kills per game and 4.75 digs per game, while Jessica Frederick boasts 3.12 kpg and 1.00 block per game. Dominique Fradella has paced the Viking's offense to a .200 hitting percentage and averages 12.50 assists per game. Sarah Sirianni's 4.25 dpg also lead a defense that holds opponents to a .190 hitting percentage. Washington leads Portland State 13-1 in the all-time series and has won the last three matches.

SCOUTING UMBC: The UMBC Retrievers (3-1)are coming off a four-game loss to Townson last week and will host Delaware on Sept. 5. Sara Ball leads the Retrievers with 4.23 kpg and 3.92 kpg. Sarah Fillmore and Angela Anderson have also been offensive weapons for UMBC, averaging 3.33 and 3.08 kpg, respectively. Setter Kira Giles has paced the Retrievers to a .224 hitting percentage with 11.69 apg, while libero Jennifer Wylie chips in 6.77 dpg. Washington leads UMBC 1-0 in the all-time series with a 3-0 win in 2003.

UW RANKED FIFTH/THIRD IN NATIONAL POLLS: The Huskies are ranked No. 5 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Sept. 4), taking a two spot dip after a five game loss to eighth-ranked Texas on Aug. 26. Washington maintained its No. 3 ranking in the Molten/Volleyball Women's College Top 20 Poll (Sept. 4).

THOMPSON JOINS 5,000-ASSIST CLUB: Senior All-American Courtney Thompson picked up her 5,000th career assist vs. Morehead State on Sept. 1 to become the first person in UW history and just the fifth in Pac-10 history to accomplish the feat. Her career total stands at 5,078 assists and counting. Thompson already holds the UW single-season assists record (1,643, 2004). If her career were to end today, Thompson would also hold the Pac-10 record for assists per game average with 14.55 apg. UCLA's Erika Selsor set the current record with 14.00 apg from 1998-2001.

ACE IN THE HOLE: Courtney Thompson has recorded four service aces this season to bring her career total to 91, which moves her into the No. 10 spot on the Washington all-time list. Thompson is four service aces away from tying Melinda Beckenhauer (1987-89) for the No. 9 spot with 95 aces. Christal Morrison is right on Thompson's heels with 81 career aces.

MULTI-TALENTED MORRISON: Junior outside hitter Christal Morrison is coming off her best season yet in a Huskies uniform, earning Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Championship after leading UW to its first national title in 2005. Morrison has led the 2006 squad in kills two times this season and already has two double-doubles. She was the Mizuno Wildcat Classic Most Valuable after leading Washington to a 3-0 record last weekend. With just under two seasons left to play, Morrison has already littered her name throughout the UW career record book, with the third-highest kills per game average (4.23) and eighth-highest hitting percentage (.304) in Husky history.

SPLENDID SANDELL: Senior outside hitter Janine Sandell (London, England) joins the Washington roster after transferring from UC Santa Barbara where she was the 2005 Big West Player of the Year and an All-America honorable mention selection. Sandell averaged 5.26 kpg last season, which led the Big West and ranked eighth nationally. Her 572 kills ranked fourth on the UCSB all-time list. Sandell has made three starts for the Huskies this season and averages 2.00 kpg, 1.33 dpg and 1.00 blocks per game.

MARVELOUS MUSSIE: Junior transfer Stevie Mussie (Puyallup, Wash.) leads the Huskies with 4.47 kpg, while chipping in 1.73 dpg and 0.73 bpg. She has led the team in kills three times this season. Mussie transferred to Washington from the University of Pacific after the 2004 season but redshirted last year after undergoing knee surgery.

DAZZELING DEESING: Junior middle blocker Alesha Deesing (Salem, Ore.). a first team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-Pacific Region selection last season, has started every match for the Dawgs this season, averaging 2.41 kpg, 1.06 bpg and a team-high .486 hitting percentage. She is on pace to set the UW career hitting percentage record with a .406 clip.

TENACIOUS TAMARI: Redshirt freshman Tamari Miyashiro anchors the UW defense with 3.29 dpg and has led the team in digs in three matches this season. Miyashiro was named the Mizuno Wildcat Classic Libero of the Tournament last week after averaging 2.89 dpg. Miyashiro has taken over the starting position at libero after the graduation of two-time All-American Candace Lee who is now a member of the U.S. National Team. Miyashiro has three double-figure dig performances, including 16 digs vs. Texas (Aug. 260, 14 vs. Ohio (Aug. 25) and 10 against Liberty (Sept. 1).

ALL-AMERICAN GIRLS: Three All-Americans grace Washington's roster, accounting for five All-America awards. Courtney Thompson is a two-time first team All-American, while Christal Morrison was a second team selection in 2004 and a third team pick last season. Janine Sandell was an honorable mention All-American for UC Santa Barbara last year.

COACH Jim McLaughlin: Jim McLaughlin begins his sixth year at the helm of the Washington volleyball program after leading the 2005 Huskies to their first-ever NCAA National Championship and repeating as Pacific-10 Conference Champions. The Huskies finished the season with a 32-1 record and cruised through the postseason, winning all six matches by 3-0 scores, an NCAA record, to win the national title. The national championship marked the second for McLaughlin, who led the 1990 USC men to the national title. He is the only coach in NCAA history to win titles with both men and women. McLaughlin joined the Washington program in 2001 and inherited a team that finished last in the Pac-10 standings in 2000. In five seasons, he has led the Huskies to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including the 2004 national semifinal and 2005 championship, and has built Washington into one of the nation's premier volleyball programs. He has won three Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards (2005, 2004, 2002) and was the 2004 National Coach of the Year. At Washington, McLaughlin has rebuilt the program from the ground up to become just the third UW program to win an NCAA national championship, joining women's crew and football. Over five seasons, McLaughlin has developed 13 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans and 19 All-Conference players. He has also led the Huskies to the No. 1 national ranking both in 2004 and 2005. McLaughlin has a 118-41 record at UW.

HUSKIES FALL TO TEXAS IN AVCA COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL SHOWCASE CHAMPIONSHIP: Washington defeated No. 15 Ohio, 3-0, in the semifinal of the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase to advance to the championship match vs. No. 8 Texas. With the teams tied at two games apiece, Washington edged out to the 13-11 lead before Texas' Destinee Hooker reeled off four consecutive kills to lift the Longhorns to the 15-13 win and upset over Washington. The loss marked the first for the Huskies since they fell to UCLA on Nov. 12, 2005 and just their second loss since the 2004 season. Junior Stevie Mussie led the Huskies with 3.86 kills per game, while junior Christal Morrison added 3.75 kpg, and sophomore Jill Collymore (Bellevue, Wash.) added 3.14 kpg. Senior Courtney Thompson paced the UW offense with 14.12 assists per game, while leading the defense with 3.88 digs per game. Sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick (El Dorado, Calif.) led UW, which averaged 3.00 blocks per game, with 1.38 bpg.

HUSKIES TO HOST NCAA REGIONAL: Washington, home of the 2005 Women's Volleyball National Champions, has been selected as one of four sites to host a 2006 regional tournament. The 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena will serve as the venue site for three matches, Dec. 8-9, from which the winner will advance to the Women's Volleyball Championship in Omaha, Neb. The other three sites chosen to host a regional include Gainesville, Fla. (Stephen C. O'Connell Center), Honolulu, Hawai'i (Stan Sheriff Center) and Austin, Texas (Gregory Gym). The 2006 selection marks Washington's second time hosting since the NCAA moved to predetermined regional sites in 2003. The Huskies last hosted a regional in 2004, the season Washington advanced to its first-ever Women's Volleyball Championship. Tickets will be on sale at the first home match on Sept. 7 vs. Portland State.

HUSKIES PICKED TO FINISH THIRD IN PAC-10: The Washington volleyball team, the 2005 NCAA Champion and two-time defending Pacific-10 Conference champion, is predicted to finish third by the league's coaches in the 2006 conference race behind Stanford and UCLA. Stanford, the 2005 Pac-10 runner-up, is predicted to win the championship, receiving 89 points, including eight first place votes. The Cardinal finished one match behind Washington last season with a 16-2 Pac-10 record. UCLA, the only team to defeated Washington in 2005, is picked to finish second after receiving 79 points, including the two remaining first place votes. Washington was right on the Bruins' heels with 76 points, followed by California in fourth with 64 points and USC in fifth with 62 points. Arizona (48), Oregon State (41), Oregon (32), Arizona State (30) and Washington State (19) round out the poll. The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 10 of the previous 17 polls.

UW ON THE TUBE: The Pacific-10 Conference and FSN have selected two University of Washington volleyball matches to be televised as part of its 10-match line-up. Washington's match against Stanford on Sept. 22 will kick-off the Pac-10/FSN television package, while its match vs. UCLA on Oct. 27 has also been selected for broadcast. Both games will take place in Seattle at 7 p.m. Ten Pac-10 matches will be shown on FSN throughout the season beginning Sept. 22 and running through Nov. 24. All matches will be televised on a delayed basis. The Nov. 24 game will be a wildcard match with the featured match-up announced on Nov. 13. Washington's road match vs. Stanford is up for the wildcard spot.

ROSTER BREAKDOWN: The 13-player Washington roster includes six returning letterwinners and three returning starters. The 2006 team includes two seniors, five juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. The team represents six states and two countries, including Washington (5), Hawaii (2), Oregon (2), California (1), Texas (1), Utah (1) and London (1).

2005 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS: Washington won its first NCAA national title last season behind a record-setting postseason run as the Huskies became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to win all six of its matches in three games. UW finished the season with a 32-1 record and won its second straight Pac-10 title with a 17-1 league mark. Four Huskies earned All-America honors, including first team outside hitter Sanja Tomasevic, first team setter Courtney Thompson, second team libero Candace Lee and third team outside hitter Christal Morrison. Jim McLaughlin was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and Tomasevic was selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

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