Volleyball Looks To Get In The Win Column Versus Ducks, Beavers

Oct. 10, 2000


Eight Is Enough: Washington heads back to the confines of the Hec Edmundson Pavilion Addition for a pair of Pac-10 matches against Oregon (Friday) and Oregon State (Saturday). The Huskies will be looking to end their eight-match skid by grabbing their first Pac-10 win of the season.

The Record Books: Washington junior quick hitter Lisa Underhill (Vista, Calif.) is climbing up the Husky record books. Within the past two weeks, Underhill has entered the all-time top 10 in block assists (9th, 219) and is seven blocks short of reaching the top 10 in total blocks with 246. Junior setter Britni Churnside (Eugene, Ore.) also is currently seventh in assists with 1,294, while Underhill has the third-best hitting percentage in UW school history (.271). Both players are ranked among the active Pac-10 Conference career leaders in blocks (Underhill - 6th) and assists (Churnside - 7th).

Around the Pac-10: After a month of conference play, two Pac-10 teams, USC and Arizona, still remain unbeaten. The Trojans lost their only game of the season in a 3-1 win over UCLA last week, while Arizona has now won 14 straight matches after dropping its season opener. The two schools will face each other this weekend. Another match of note last week included Oregon State's win over Arizona State, 3-1.

Scouting Oregon: At least one team will leave Friday with its first Pac-10 win as the Huskies face the Oregon Ducks, who are 7-8 overall, 0-7 in conference play in 2000. Oregon started the season with four straight wins, including one over Texas-San Antonio, but is currently on a four-match losing streak, dropping all four in three games to Pac-10 teams UCLA, USC, Arizona and Arizona State. Under first-year head coach Carl Ferreira, the Ducks have been led by Monique Tobbagi's 3.65 kills per game and Halie Mazza's 3.11 kills per game. Setter Sydney Chute averages 0.50 aces per game for a team which leads the Pac-10 in that category (1.86 a/g). Tobbagi also is a valuable threat on defense with her team-high 2.60 digs per game, while Mazza has averaged 0.96 blocks per game. The Huskies hold a huge advantage in the all-time series between the two schools at 37-15, while the UW has been victorious in nine of the last 10 meetings.

Scouting Oregon State: Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Pac-10 so far this season, the Oregon State Beavers are 12-5 overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Beavers have picked up huge victories over California (3-2), UCLA (3-2) and Arizona State (3-1), while pushing Stanford to five games. The victory over the Bruins was the first in 29 tries. The Beavers' keys to success, under head coach Nancy Somera, has been the offensive output of outside hitter Gina Schmidt (4.29 k/g) and Angie Shirley (3.32 k/g), while setter Brandi Bonnarens has averaged 12.83 assists per game. Both Schmidt and freshman K.C. Frederic have averaged over three digs a game, while Michele Solomon and Shirley are leading the team in blocks. Like its Friday opponent, Washington owns a winning all-time record against Oregon State, which currently stands at 32-18. The Huskies have beaten the Beavers in seven of their last 10 meetings.

Connections, Connections: Two Central Catholic High School alums will square off this Saturday when the Huskies face Oregon State. UW senior Emily Seacat (Ridgefield, Wash.) and OSU sophomore Nikki Neuburger both attended the Portland, Ore., school with Seacat graduating in 1996 and Neuburger finishing in 1999.

In The Stats: In the fifth set of Pac-10 Conference statistics released October 9, sophomore Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) is eighth in blocks per game with a 1.12 average, sophomore Gretchen Maurer (San Clemente, Calif.) is ranked ninth in service aces per game with a 0.33 mark and 10th in assists per game (6.12), while junior Lisa Underhill rounds out the group with the 10th-best kills per game average of 3.46.

Promotions, Promotions: The following promotional offerings are on tap for upcoming Washington volleyball matches in October and early November: *Every Friday - Family Friday: For $20 receive five tickets, five hotdogs and five sodas. *Oct. 14 vs. Oregon State - Autograph night and free team posters, Special Olympic Night. *Oct. 29 vs. Idaho State - Free admission *Nov. 2 vs. Stanford - Free Baden mini-volleyballs while supplies last. *Nov. 3 vs. California - Free admission for faculty and staff with a coupon, Jr. Husky Night. 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.

On The Tube: The Huskies road match at Washington State (Oct. 27) will 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.

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: On October 4, 1991, Washington head coach Bill Neville coached his first game as a Husky, a 3-0 win at Oregon. Now, 10 years later, Neville remains as the fifth women's volleyball head coach in school history, compiling a 122-127 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 259-242 includes seven seasons at Montana State.