Volleyball Begins Spring Training

April 6, 2005

SEATTLE-- Coming off a record setting year, including its first ever appearance in the NCAA Final Four, the Washington women's volleyball team began preparations for the 2005 season on Monday, April 4. The team will train each weekday through May culminating in an intrasquad match on Saturday April 14 at 10:00 a.m.

Despite the loss of several key performers from last year's squad, a strong nucleus of players, including first team All-American setter Courtney Thompson, second team All-American and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Christal Morrison, honorable mention All-American libero Candace Lee and honorable mention All-Pacific Region and first team All-Pac-10 outside hitter Brie Hagerty, will be returning next year to lead to Huskies. Washington will also wait for a ruling from the NCAA concerning the eligibility of second team All-American Sanja Tomasevic.

According to head coach Jim McLaughlin, this is the time to work on areas of the game that have been identified and also focus on overall improvement.

'After the season was over, we went back and reviewed the teams performance standards as well as the individual performance of each of our returning players and saw where improvement would be necessary in order for the team to continue to make progress,' said McLaughlin. 'During the spring, we can focus on these deficiencies, provide a lot of individualized coaching and help the players upgrade these areas. We also want to see each player make overall improvement in every facet of the game.'

The Huskies expect to be very competitive again next season with the return of a significant portion of last year's team and arrival of two highly regarded recruits, Jill Collymore and Jessica Swarbrick. While Coach McLaughlin refuses to make any predictions for next season, he does have high expectations for the coming year.

'When I came to Washington four years ago, my goal was to build a program that would challenge for conference and national honors annually,' said McLaughlin. 'Having won a Pac-10 Championship and reached the Final Four, we have taken a step in the right direction and there is significant meaning in the accomplishments as well. However, the primary focus for our program, from day one, was the improvement issue and our improvement day to day will always be the focus individually and collectively as a team. In my opinion, the Pacific 10 Conference is the strongest volleyball conference in the country and you must be prepared every night to compete and repeating as conference champions will be a significant task. Every opportunity to train and improve will be critical and we have stressed the importance of making good progress during the spring segment of our schedule.'

You can get your first glimpse of next year's team when the team participates in its annual Purple and Gold intrasquad match on April 14th, at 10:00 a.m. The match will take place in Hec-Ed Pavilion and will precede the Washington football team's annual spring game.

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