Washington 3, Wisconsin
Washington 3, Wisconsin 0Dec. 10, 2005
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- The No. 3-seed Washington Huskies advanced to the Final Four for the second consecutive season with a 30-28, 30-25, 30-23 victory over No. 11-seed Wisconsin in the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball College Station Regional Final Saturday evening at G. Rollie White Coliseum on the Texas A&M campus.
UW (30-1) advanced to the national semifinal match where the Huskies will meet No. 15-seed Tennessee on Thursday evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Wisconsin (26-7) saw its season come to an end after making a second straight trip to the quarterfinals.
Despite being out-hit in the first game, which featured 14 ties and five lead changes, the Huskies battled back and fought off several late Wisconsin rallies to win, 30-28.
With the game tied at 24, three consecutive kills by Husky outside hitter Christal Morrison gave UW a three-point advantage. Following a timeout, Wisconsin scored three straight to answer and tie the game. The teams sided out once before another Morrison kill gave the Huskies game point. Darla Myhre and Sanja Tomasevic then blocked an attack by the Badgers' Maria Carlini to seal the victory.
The Huskies then pulled away midway through the second game, withstood a late Wisconsin rally and took a 2-0 match lead into the locker room after a 30-25 win.
The Badgers built a quick 8-3 lead in the third game before UW went on a 10-2 run to take a three-point lead and force a Wisconsin timeout. With Washington holding a one-point lead at 17-16, the Huskies scored the next seven points of the match and cruised to a 30-23 victory.
For the match, the Huskies out-hit Wisconsin, .203 to .162 and posted 56 kills to the Badgers' 42. Wisconsin won the blocking battle, however, 13 to 11.5.
Morrison led the way for UW with a match-high 21 kills while posting four blocks and adding nine digs. Sanja Tomasevic posted her ninth double-double of the year with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Three Wisconsin players each posted 10 kills-Aubrey Meierotto, Sheila Shaw and Audra Jeffers. Shaw hit a team-high .350 with four blocks. Taylor Reineke added a match-high nine blocks.
WASHINGTON HEAD COACH JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Opening Statement... It was a hot and cold match. We were a little streaky, but we were hot at real important times and kind of held onto this thing. We were fired up for this, but as I told the team in the locker room, well prepare for this normally this next week and upgrade and focus on the things we need to improve, make some improvement and go play in the Final Four.
On his teams ability to take control late in the game... Weve been pretty good in the later stages of most of the games weve played in. I think we step it up. We turn it on and were very aggressive in tight situations, which is a characteristic of this team. We got some good swings, and we tend to pass well at the end of the games. Courtney (Thompson) had some options.
WASHINGTON SOPHOMORE OH CHRISTAL MORRISON: On coming from behind several times in the match... We always talk about the ebbs and flows of the game and to stay on our task and to stay level. We try not to let those ebbs and flows affect us. We just kept on doing what we wanted to do, and we got back on task and eventually got the momentum.
WASHINGTON JUNIOR S COURTNEY THOMPSON: On the Husky players around her on the court... I sure feel like the luckiest setter in the country having our passers. They passed well all game, and they did it last night. The hitters we have I always have a lot of options. A lot of our hitters were hitting out of rhythm and I was connecting with them, so that was great. But when we started to get it going, there is no panic. We know what we can do, and if its not going our way, we know eventually it will so we just have to stick to it.
On the difference between the trip to the Final Four in 2004 and this year... Its a lot different (this year), and one of the big things is expectations. Last year we talked so much about, Lets get to the Final Four. Lets get one step further, and we reached our big goal. Now we want to take it one step further. We want to win it all. We didnt just want to get there this year.. Were going to have a good semifinal match, but we want to be in the championship.
WISCONSIN HEAD COACH PETE WAITE: Opening Statement... "I'm really proud of the way our team competed tonight. I think we just ran into a very good team. It came down to them serving some great balls that kept us out of our offense a little bit and we weren't able to get our middles going like we would have hoped. It's been a great season for this team. We did some awesome things and beat some great teams. It's always tough to go out, but they played hard.
On The Effect of Losing the First Game... "We had a shot at that first game. We gave them a string of shots at the end that really took the momentum over to the Washington side. It was tough to recover after that. They're a team that's been in this position before and they were hungry for it. If we had gotten that first game it might have been a different story. That's a tough serving team. They bring a lot of variety and hit some tough spots. The ball was moving a lot tonight."
WISCONSIN SOPHOMORE S JACKIE SIMPSON: On how Wisconsin's game plan changed in the match... "We had a game plan to really attack the middles and get our middles up quick. I think that was working really well for us. They had great hitters, so it really pulled us out of our offense we like to run."
WISCONSIN SENIOR OH AUBREY MEIEROTTO: On her memories of her career... "As I told my team in the locker room, this is by far the most fun I've ever had on a team since I've been here, and I've been here for five years. It's just an amazing group of girls. Everybody gets along so well. They mesh well and it was really fun. I'm very proud of what we've done, especially these past two years. I think we did a lot of things that were probably unexpected of us. I'm just proud of my teammates."
Washington now leads the series between the schools, 3-1.
Washington has won 21 consecutive games dating back to Nov. 12, its only match loss of the season (five games at No. 21 UCLA).
Washington improved to 18-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the victory.
Washington advanced to its second consecutive Final Four and second overall. Last season the Huskies fell to eventual national champion Stanford in the semifinals.
Washington's Christal Morrison posted 21 kills, her fourth 20-plus kill performance of the year.
Washington's Sanja Tomasevic notched her ninth double-double of the year with 17 kills and 13 digs.
Wisconsin lost in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. Last season the Badgers lost to eventual national champion Stanford in three games.
Wisconsin fell to 24-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the loss.
With seven block assists on the night, Wisconsin's Taylor Reineke tied the school record for block assists in a season (181), initally set by Heather Dodaro in 1995.
Wisconsin's Jocelyn Wack tallied 22 digs on the night, setting a new NCAA record for consecutive matches with 10+ digs (64). Her streak dates back to Sept. 4, 2004.
-- Courtesy Texas A&M