Volleyball Returns Home To Face Arizona State Friday
Sept. 19, 2000
SEATTLE - Pac-10 Opener: Playing its fourth ranked opponent in as many matches, the Washington volleyball team fell to both sixth-ranked USC and seventh-ranked UCLA in three games in the first weekend of Pac-10 Conference play.
The Long Road Home: After playing nearly one third of its 2000 schedule on the road to open the season, the Huskies finally return home to play host to conference foe Arizona State on Friday, Sept. 22. The UW is used to being on the road to start the season during the Bill Neville era, however, playing its first 10 matches away from home in both 1993, 1994 and 1996.
Seasoned In Home Openers: Under head coach Bill Neville, Washington has found success in its home openers, going 6-2 overall. The Huskies had their 6-0 streak from 1992-1997 snapped in 1998 with a four-game loss to visiting Eastern Washington.
History On Huskies' Side: After its 0-2 conference start last weekend, the Huskies have history on their side heading into this weekend's matches versus Pac-10 foes Arizona State and Arizona. In 14 seasons in the Pac-10, Washington has only lost three straight conference matches to open the season twice - in 1991 and 1993. In both of those years, the Huskies rebounded the very next match to stop the streak and pick up a win.
Dawg Bites: UW senior opposite Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) had her streak of consecutive matches in double-figure kills stopped at six when she tallied only five against UCLA ... Seacat, however, got back on track with 12 kills versus USC.
Promotions, Promotions: The following promotional offerings are on tap for upcoming Washington volleyball matches in September and October: *Every Friday - Family Friday: For $20 receive five tickets, five hotdogs and five sodas. *Sept. 29 vs. Washington State - Fans will receive free clappers while supplies last. *Oct. 14 vs. Oregon State - Autograph night and free team posters while supplies last. *Oct. 29 vs. Idaho State - Free admission Group tickets are available for $1 each for groups of 25 or more. For more information call (206) 543-2200 or visit www.gohuskies.com.
Around the Pac-10: For the first time this season, upsets weren't the highlight of the week for Pac-10 teams. In the first week of conference play, USC, UCLA, Arizona and Stanford all went undefeated. The Cardinal, however, survived two scares in five-game wins over both Oregon and Oregon State.
Scouting Arizona State: The Sun Devils, under coach Patti Snyder-Park, will travel to Seattle with an 8-3 overall record, including a loss in their opening Pac-10 match versus in-state rival Arizona in five games. ASU is led by outside hitter Amanda Burbridge, who averages over five kills per game to go along with a team-best 3.80 digs per game. Setter Cheryle Anglin runs the team's offense, while Jami Coughlin and Julia Leddy are also threats on offense. The Huskies hold an 18-14 edge in the two teams' all-time series, with Arizona State sweeping both of last season's meetings.
Scouting Arizona: With a victory at Washington State Friday, the 10th-ranked Wildcats could enter the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition Saturday on a nine-match win streak. Arizona is currently 8-1 overall with the team's lone loss coming against UCSB in its first match of the season. Since then the Wildcats have beaten Santa Clara, Brigham Young and Utah, which are all ranked in the top 25. Under head coach David Rubio, Arizona returned five of its six starters from last season including Marisa Dalee, Lisa Rutledge and Shannon Torregrosa, who all average over three and a half kills a game. Setter Dana Burkholder has led the Wildcats with a 14.27 assists per game average, while helping her team to a phenomenal .360 team hitting percentage, which ranks first among Pac-10 teams. Arizona has won 18 of the two teams' 31 meetings, including five of six in the past three seasons.
In The Stats: In the second set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released September 17, sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) is ranked third in service aces per game with a 0.43 average. Junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) is 10th in hitting percentage (.364), junior Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) is 10th in assists per game (6.00) and sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) is 10th in blocks per game (1.11).
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 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.
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 122-121 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 259-236 includes seven seasons at Montana State.