Washington State Cougars 2003 Volleyball Outlook

Aug. 18, 2003

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS

TEAM PREVIEW
Coach Cindy Fredrick enters her 15th season with the Cougars in what could be one of her most challenging seasons. Washington State returns just one starter from a year ago in sophomore setter Brenn Larson. A returning sophomore starter may seem young, but with 12 freshmen (nine true freshmen) on the Cougar roster, that's an experienced veteran.

STRENGTHS

  • Larson earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors as she posted 12.35 assists per game. After being the new kid on the court last season, she'll take on leadership responsibilities.
  • Outside hitter Zanda Bautre is the lone senior on the WSU roster. She looks to have recovered from a knee injury that cut short her junior season and will be called upon to post similar numbers from her sophomore season when she recorded 187 kills/2.43 kpg and 210 digs/2.73 dpg.
  • A tall group of freshmen middles with loads of talent. Redshirt freshman Jen Barcus, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Washington, could be the best pure blocker of the group. Add a pair of 6-3 freshmen middles in Jennifer Todd, the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year, and Liz Spear of the Canadian Junior National Team, and the Cougars' play at the net should be solid.
  • Homecourt advantage. Bohler gym is one of the most fan-friendly and energetic facilities in the Pac-10. The Cougars produced an 11-1 record before an average crowd of 1,357 fans in Bohler last season.

    CONCERNS

  • Replacing five graduated seniors that led WSU to a 24-8 campaign and the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Those five accounted for 1,353 kills and 1,448 digs - those figures represented over 75 percent of the team's totals in the respective categories.
  • Replacing libero Kortney Jamtaas. She ranked second in the Pac-10 with 469 digs (4.38 dpg). However, the Cougars are deep in the back row with junior Alison Billingsley looking to get first crack at that spot in lineup.

    ACCORDING TO COACH FREDRICK
    'Whenever you graduate five seniors you have some concerns about the next season. The up side of that situation is that we have a very talented group of young people joining the program. While we'll be missing the experience of those seniors, sometimes being young means you don't let the facts get in the way of your imagination and your dreams. We have a lot of quality players and quality people.'

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