Volleyball Opens Pac-10 Season With Two Top 10 Teams
Sept. 12, 2000
SEATTLE - Pac-10 Opener: The Washington volleyball team will begin Pac-10 Conference play against a pair of top-10 teams in #7 UCLA on Thursday, Sept. 14, and #6 USC on Friday, Sept. 15. Both matches are scheduled to have live audio available via the web at www.uclabruins.com and www.usctrojans.com (check the schedule/results link on each school's volleyball page).
Roping the Longhorns: Washington volleyball snapped a two-match losing streak by upsetting 23rd-ranked Texas, 15-7, 15-2, 5-15, 5-15, 15-12, Saturday in Austin, Texas. The win was the Huskies' first over a ranked opponent since defeating #14 University of the Pacific (3-1) in 1997 at the NCAA tournament. Washington junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) tied a career high with 22 kills on .514 hitting to go along with a team high five blocks. Senior Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) had 17 kills to post her sixth straight match with at least 10 kills. Sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) also tallied 15 kills on .538 hitting, while sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) added a double-double with 10 kills and 11 assists. Washington junior setter Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) posted a career-high 22 digs on defense while tallying 55 assists. Washington had entered the match with an 0-2 all-time record against Texas, falling in 1997 (0-3) and in the two schools' first match-up in 1982 (1-3). The loss was the Longhorns first to an unranked opponent at home since 1996.
Seacat Goes Double: Senior Emily Seacat has reached double-figure kills in all six of the Huskies matches so far this season. Seacat opened with 10 against Portland State, then added 12 versus Drake, 19 against New Mexico, 10 in a loss to Texas-San Antonio, 13 versus Texas A&M and 17 against Texas. The 6-3 opposite also has led the Huskies in kills in three of those matches.
Change of TV plans: The California-Washington volleyball match, originally scheduled to air live on Fox Sports Net on October 6, will no longer be televised because of a facility problem at Cal, the Pac-10 Conference announced Wednesday. The Huskies road match at Washington State (Oct. 27) will still be televised live at 7:30 p.m. (PT). Washington's match with Oregon State on November 10 also may be chosen as the "wildcard" selection as a specific match has yet to be picked. Fox Sports Net will televise seven 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.
Time Change: Because the California-Washington match will not be televised, the two schools have agreed to change the start time of their October 6, match to 7 p.m..
The First Time: Another true freshman saw playing time for the Huskies last weekend. Freshman Egan Metcalf (Kenmore, Wash.) saw her first action of the year against Texas A&M, recording one dig. Metcalf also appeared in a game against Texas, while two of her classmates, Libba Lawrence (West Linn, Ore.) and Kara Bjorklund (Olympia, Wash.), have both already made their Husky debuts.
Around the Pac-10: Parity continued in women's college volleyball with upsets touching even the nation's elite teams. UCLA dropped its third match of the season to Nebraska, while Stanford went 2-2 last week with losses to Utah and BYU. Washington State, meanwhile, continued to be perfect, claiming the Fresno State tournament title to finish 8-0 so far in 2000.
Scouting UCLA: Following a number one ranking in both preseason polls, the #7 UCLA Bruins, 5-3, have fallen three times in their first eight matches, losing to Colorado State, Hawai'i and Nebraska. The Bruins, under head coach Andy Banachowski, are led by junior All-America candidate Kristee Porter, who is averaging a 5.97 kills per game to go along with 3.13 digs per game. Senior Elizabeth Bachman is also a force averaging 3.19 kills/g and 1.09 blocks per game at the net (1.09 blocks/g), while setter Erika Selsor (13.38 assists/g) runs the Bruin offense. UCLA holds a 31-5 all-time record against the Huskies with Washington's last two victories both coming in 1997.
Scouting USC: USC is currently ranked first in Volleyball Magazine's poll, while they received a #6 ranking in this week's USA Today/AVCA poll. Under interim head coach Jerritt Elliott, the Trojans are 5-0 with all five victories coming in three games, including one over former Husky opponents Texas and Texas-San Antonio. Offensively, freshman April Ross has averaged 3.13 kills per game, while Tracy Linquist and Toni Anderson have split the setting duties. The Trojans have claimed the last four meetings between the two schools and own a 22-9 record versus the Huskies.
In The Stats: In the first Pac-10 Conference statistics released September 11, junior Lisa Underhill is third among conference teams in hitting percentage with a .426 mark. Underhill's 3.64 kills per game also is ninth best in the Pac-10. Other UW players to make the top 10 include: - Emily Seacat (8th - kills per game (3.68)) - Paige Benjamin (6th - blocks per game (1.36), 9th- hitting percentage (.374)) - Gretchen Maurer (8th - assists per game (6.86), 7th - service aces (0.45))