Volleyball Looks To Rebound Against Washington State
Sept. 27, 2000
SEATTLE - Getting Back On Track: The Huskies will look to get back in the win column this Friday versus in-state rival Washington State. After opening the season with a 3-1 record, the Huskies have played five teams ranked in the top 25 over their last seven matches.
Idaho: The host Idaho Vandals used 20 kills from Regan Butler to hand the Washington volleyball team its fifth straight setback, 15-7, 10-15, 15-9, 15-11, Tuesday at Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho. The Huskies dropped to 4-7 overall, while the Vandals improved to 9-2 overall following the non-conference match. The UW got career best efforts defensively from both junior Malena Thompson (Santa Fe, N.M.) and sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.). Thompson recorded 17 digs, while Benjamin had a career best 10 blocks to go along with a team match-high 16 kills on .433 hitting. Despite Benjamin's hitting performance, the Huskies hit just .172 as a team, while middle blocker Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) tallied seven kills on 23 attempts in her first match since September 15. The Vandals got double-doubles from three players including Butler, who added 10 digs to her 20-kill total, outside hitter Heather Kniss (12 kills, 13 digs) and setter Jenny Neville (61 assists and 16 digs). Washington outblocked the Vandals 16-9, but was unable to end the losing streak.
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: After the second week of conference play, three teams remain unbeaten, led by USC and UCLA, which are both 4-0, while Arizona is 3-0. Stanford, for the first time since 1993, dropped back-to-back Pac-10 matches to both USC and UCLA. In the national collegiate volleyball arena, Penn State dropped two matches to Wisconsin and Northwestern to fall from third to 11th in the AVCA pool, while Long Beach State suffered losses to both UC Santa Barbara and to Cal Poly to drop from sixth to 13th in the poll.
Scouting Washington State: Washington State kicked off its 2000 campaign with a perfect 9-0 record, including an upset over Kansas State. Since then, however, the Cougars have lost four of their last five matches and are currently tied with the Huskies with an 0-4 record in the Pac-10. Under head coach Cindy Fredrick, Washington State has gotten a well-rounded effort from her team. Offensively, sophomore LaToya Harris is tops on the team in kills per game (3.42), while setter Kali Surplus runs the offense, averaging 11.29 assists per game. Defensively, Chelsie Schafer will bring a 2.97 digs per game average, while Holly Harris and Trina Kightlinger have both averaged over a block a game. The Huskies hold a 42-16 advantage in the all-time series between the two schools and will try to avenge the two losses to the Cougars last season.
Apple Cup Tidbits: The UW has been almost perfect at home against Washington State, grabbing 16 victories in the last 18 meetings in Seattle ... Friday's match marks the first meeting between two former high school teammates, UW freshman Libba Lawrence and Washington State junior Kerry Lewis. Lawrence and Lewis led West Linn High School (Ore.) to a runner-up finish at the state tournament in 1997 ... both the Huskies and the Cougars will be without one of their assistant coaches on Friday ... UW assistant Steve Gillis is currently in Sydney, Australia, taking in some of the 2000 Olympic Games, while Washington State assistant Jennifer Stinson is getting married, September 30.
In The Stats: In the third set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released September 25, sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) is ranked seventh in service aces per game with a 0.35 average, while junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill is also seventh in hitting percentage (.364). Senior Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) rounds out the group with the ninth-best kills per game average of 3.42.
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 122-124 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 259-239 includes seven seasons at Montana State.