Volleyball Seeks Success In Texas
Sept. 6, 2000
An Almost Perfect Start: The Washington volleyball team kicked off its 2000 campaign with a 3-0 start, sharing the Comcast Lobo Invitational title with Stanford. The Huskies were led by tournament MVP junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.), who hit .457 in the three wins over Portland State, Drake and New Mexico. Portland State's Stacy Ball, Stanford's Sara Sandrik and Ashley Ivy, Drake's Stacie Kocourek and New Mexico's Vanessa Shields and Amy Amundson, joined Underhill on the all-tournament team.
Rumble At The Alamo: After a 3-0 weekend in New Mexico, the Huskies continued onto the state of Texas for their first match of the week against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners. The Huskies outhit (.263 to .241) and outblocked (9-6) the Roadrunners, but were unable to pull out the victory in the two schools' first-ever meeting, losing 13-15, 12-15, 15-6, 8-15. Sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) recorded her first career triple-double with 11 kills (career best), 41 assists (career best) and 12 digs, while senior Lisa Underhill and sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) both added 17 kills.
Seeing Double: Junior swing hitter/quick hitter Allison Richardson (Hemet, Calif.) has shown that she is back to form after breaking her foot last spring. The 6-1 junior has recorded three straight double-doubles heading into this weekend's matches. Richardson had 13 kills and 10 digs versus Drake, 17 kills and 12 digs against New Mexico and posted 11 kills and 13 digs in the loss to Texas-San Antonio.
It's A Bagel Or Maybe A Doughnut: The Huskies opened the season on a high note, defeating Portland State 15-0 in the two schools' first game on September 1. The last time the UW did not allow an opponent to score in a game was September 25, 1998, when Washington beat rival Washington State 15-0 in game four of the Huskies' five-game win in Seattle.
The First Time: Two players saw their first career action in a Husky uniform in the team's last four matches. Freshman defensive specialist Libba Lawrence (West Linn, Ore.) has played in 13 of the team's 14 games and tallied a career-best eight digs in the win over New Mexico. The other freshman to see playing time was Kara Bjorklund (Olympia, Wash.), who played in one game versus Texas-San Antonio.
Washington v. Texas: This weekend's Longhorn Classic in Austin, Texas, will feature two teams from the state of Washington (UW and Eastern Washington) and two from Texas (Texas and Texas A&M). Neither in-state rival, however, will face each other, as each team will play only two matches. All of the Longhorn Classic matches will be Totalcast live on the internet at the Longhorns' official site: www.TexasSports.com.
Scouting Texas A&M: The Huskies will face the 18th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies for the second time and the first time since 1980. Under head coach Laurie Corbelli, a 1984 Olympic silver medalist, the Aggies are 1-2 with a three-game win over Iowa and two four-game losses to national powerhouses Hawai'i and UCLA. The team's 1-2 record does not include their September 6 match with the University of Houston. Texas A&M is led offensively by the junior trio of outside hitters, Erin Gibson (3.82 kills/game), Brandi Mount (3.73 k/g) and Michelle Cole (3.73 k/g). Setter Jenna Mosovic, who has averaged 12.80 assists per game, runs the Aggie offense, while Gibson also has averaged four digs a game on defense. Texas A&M finished their 1999 season by advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight and garnering a final number nine national ranking.
Scouting Texas: Texas is off to an 0-3 start, dropping two 3-0 matches to Penn State and USC and then being upset by Southwest Texas Tuesday in five games. This season's Longhorns, under head coach Jim Moore, are led by first team all-BIG 12 selection outside hitter Kathy Tilson and setter Jill Gremmel. Tilson has averaged 2.36 kills a game, while Gremmel has averaged 7.82 assists per game. Middle blocker Jenny Tanneberger has also provided Texas with some fire power at the net with a team-best 2.64 kills per game, while freshman Lisa Lutkus and junior Gipy Duarte are both averaging over three digs a game on defense. The Huskies will be looking for their first win in three tries over the host Longhorns. The two schools' previous two meetings came in 1997 (a three-game loss) and 1982 (a four-game loss).
Going Home: This weekend's tournament in Austin will be sophomore Janelle Grovey's (Old Ocean, Texas) second and third career appearances in her home state of Texas. Grovey saw her first action of the year Wednesday when the Huskies played Texas-San Antonio.
A Trio Of Birthdays: Next week, three Washington volleyball players will celebrate birthdays including two, sophomores Paige Benjamin and Janelle Grovey, on the same day. Benjamin and Grovey will both celebrate September 11, while freshman Egan Metcalf (Kenmore, Wash.) was born September 12, 1981.
Around the Pac-10: The first two weeks of the 2000 season have been wild ones both in the Pac-10 and around the country. Four Pac-10 teams currently have perfect records, including a pair of 4-0 teams in Oregon and Washington St. Washington State won their own tournament last weekend by upsetting then 17th-ranked Kansas State in five games. Other matches of note included Stanford's five-game loss to unranked Utah Tuesday, Arizona's loss to #14 UC Santa Barbara and UCLA's three-game loss to Hawai'i.
The New Arena: For the second straight season, the Huskies will play their home schedule at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition, while the new 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena is completed. The new arena will not open until November 24, when the women's basketball team plays host to defending national champion Connecticut.
The Best Of The Best: The 2000 Husky schedule once again includes some of the best volleyball teams in the nation. Six of the UW opponents, including number one UCLA, have been ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation according to the preseason USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll released August 14. Besides the Bruins, the Huskies also will face #3 Stanford, #7 USC, #10 Arizona, #18 Texas and #19 Texas A&M this season.
Pac-10 Pick: The Huskies been picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 in the conference's preseason coaches poll released Monday, August 14. UCLA, which returns five of its six starters from last year, received nine of the 10 first-place votes, while Stanford, the NCAA runner-up in 1999, garnered one first-place vote.
See Us On TV: If you're looking to see two Huskies road matches without leaving your home, Fox Sports Net and the Pac-10 has made it all possible. Both the road matches versus California (October 6) and Washington State (Oct. 27) will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (PT). Washington's matches with Oregon State on November 10 and versus UCLA on November 17 also may be chosen as the "wildcard" selections as a specific match has yet to be picked for both of those dates. Fox Sports Net will televise six other Pac-10 women's volleyball matches in 2000, all of which will air Fridays from September 15 through November 17 at 7:30 p.m. PT.
Gillis Named Assistant Coach: Former Gonzaga Prep High School head coach Steve Gillis has been named an assistant volleyball coach at the University of Washington. Gillis replaces Diane Flick, who took over the head coaching position at Western Washington University. Gillis, a native of Spokane, Wash., will be in charge of the team's defensive efforts on the court and will play a major role in the Huskies' recruiting efforts. In addition, he will assist UW head coach Bill Neville in all administrative aspects of the program. A 1985 graduate of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., Gillis most recently taught history and English at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Wash., and coached the girls' volleyball team, beginning in 1995.
Head Coach Bill Neville: UW head coach Bill Neville enters his 10th year with the Huskies, amassing a 121-118 record. Neville has coached two All-Americans in his time at the UW, including Makare Desilets (1997) and Angela Bransom (1996), while leading the team to three NCAA tournament berths and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1997. A world-renowned figure in the national and international coaching circles, Neville was the head coach of the Canadian men's national team at the 1976 Olympics and was an assistant with the U.S. men's program at both the 1968 and 1984 Olympics. Neville's career record of 258-233 includes seven seasons at Montana State.