Volleyball Advances To Seattle Regional With Win Over Colorado

Dec. 1, 2006

BOULDER, Colo.-- The sixth-seeded Washington volleyball team (27-4) defeated Colorado (17-12) 3-0, Friday evening at the Coors Events Conference Center in the second round of the NCAA Division I Championship. Game scores were 30-15, 22-30, 30-26, 30-24. With the win, Washington advances to its fourth consecutive round of 16 and will face the winner of the Louisville sub-regional next Friday, Dec. 8 in Seattle in the regional semifinal.

Tickets for the Seattle regional are currently on sale. Reserved All-Session passes are sold out but general admission tickets are still available ($12/adult; $10/student/senior/child). Single-Session tickets ($7/adult; $5/child) and group tickets are also on sale ($4/each for groups of 20 or more).

'Colorado is a dangerous team and they can get hot on a number of areas,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'I was most concern after game two because we had made a series of unforced errors. We were obviously out of our rhythm but Jill (Collymore) came in and we found our rhythm. We started passing better, we served tough, and we seemed to gain a bit of momentum. And then Christal Morrison stabilized and we were normal again.'

Washington held statistical advantages in hitting percentage (.246-.130), kills (64-52) and blocks (16.5), while Colorado held advantages in digs (73-60).

'It was definitely a tough match, and on their home court' said senior All-American Courtney Thompson. 'They are a great team. In the tournament we have always said anything can happen. They're all tough and hopefully we keep improving. We just stayed on it. We know what to do, we've done it before. It jut comes down to execution. You make your errors but if you're good, over time you're going to stabilize.'

Thompson ran a balanced attack with six Huskies posting eight or more kills. Pac-10 Player of the Year Christal Morrison led the way with 13 kills and 13 digs, despite battling the flu.

Sophomore All-Pac-10 middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick collected 13 kills and was deadly on defense with a career-best 13 blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Jill Collymore came off the bench to tally double-figure kills with 11 put aways on 21 swings for a team-high .478 hitting percentage.

Senior Janine Sandell had nine kills for the Huskies, while junior Stevie Mussie and junior All-Pac-10 middle blocker Alesha Deesing chipped in eight kills apiece.

Thompson paced the Huskies to a .246 hitting percentage with 57 assists to move into sixth on the NCAA all-time list with 6,432 assists. She is 15 dishes away from the No. 5 spot.

Freshman All-Pac-10 honorable mention libero Tamari Miyashiro led Washington's defense with 19 digs, while Morrison added 13 and Thompson had 11.

The Huskies jumped out to the 9-4 lead in game one with kills by Thompson and Morrison and three Buff errors. Washington used an 8-1 run to go up 22-11 after kills by four different Huskies and Mussie's third ace of the set to trigger a CU timeout. UW continued to pull away, building a 27-14 lead after three kills and a block by Swarbrick, resulting in another Colorado timeout but Washington scored three of the next four points, including a Mussie kill and two blocks by Swarbrick and Sandell, to take game one, 30-15.

The Huskies out-hit the Buffaloes .382- -.048, committing just one error on 34 swings. CU had 10 kills but 12 errors in the game. Washington was led by Swarbrick with five kills and three blocks.

Colorado took the early 9-6 lead in game two after three consecutive points by Mallori Gibson and four UW errors to trigger a Husky timeout. The Buffs scored four of the next five points, including a pair of kills by Amber Sutherland and two Husky errors to push its lead to 13-8 and another 4-0 Buff run made it 19-11 to results in another Washington timeout. CU took its largest lead at 27-18 and a Buff block and UW service error gave Colorado game-point at 29-19. The Huskies battled, using a pair of kills and a block by Sandell to pull within seven at 29-22 and cue a CU timeout but Alex Buth came out of the break to record her third kill of the set to give the Buffaloes game two 30-22.

Colorado out-hit Washington .344-.184 in game two and made just four errors compared the UW's nine. The Buffaloes also picked up their blocking game, recording six stuffs in the set, including four by Austin Zimmerman. Sandell led the Huskies with five kills and a block.

Game three opened tight with five ties before Washington reeled off five unanswered points, including three blocks, to take the 14-10 lead and result in a CU timeout. The Buffaloes came out of the break to record the next three points to prompt a Washington timeout. The Huskies put together a 4-1 run, including three Collymore kills to take the 20-16 lead. The Buffaloes pressed on, however, cutting Washington's lead to one at 21-20 but a CU error and ace by Miyashiro forced CU to call its final timeout of the set with UW on top, 23-20. A kill and ace by Morison, and kill by Sandell, gave UW the 26-22 advantage and three kills by Collymore closed out game three, 30-26.

Washington out-hit Colorado .239-.122 in game three and was led by Collymore who came off the bench to record six kills, while Miyashiro had 10 digs.

Game four opened evenly until Washington scored six consecutive points, including four straight blocks, to take 15-11 lead and trigger a CU timeout. The Buffaloes came out of the break to score the next three points with kills by Zimmerman and Buth and a UW error to prompt a Husky timeout. Washington scored four unanswered points to push its lead to five at 24-19, a run punctuated by the team's seventh block of the game. Kills by Morrison and Swarbrick gave UW the 28-22 lead and the Huskies closed out the set with a Collymore kill to win 30-24.

Washington has reached the NCAA Regional seven times and the regional final in 2005, 2004, 2003 and 1988. Last season, the Huskies swept all six of its postseason opponents on the road to win the program's first-ever NCAA title. Tonight's victory improves Washington's all-time NCAA Tournament record to 22-9.

Washington's next opponent will come out of the Louisville sub-regional, being played in Louisville, Ky, today and tomorrow. Middle Tennessee State and 11th -seed Ohio won their first round matches this evening and will battle it out Saturday to punch a ticket to the Seattle Regional.

Washington has won 29 consecutive home matches in Bank of America Arena, dating back to the 2004 season. That season, Washington hosted the first and second rounds and the regional to advance to the program's first-ever NCAA Championship where they fell to Stanford in the national semifinal.

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