Four Huskies Earn All-America Honors

Dec. 13, 2006

OMAHA, Neb.-- Four University of Washington volleyball players have received All-America honors, it was announced today by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Senior setter Courtney Thompson and junior outside hitter Christal Morrison were first team picks, while junior middle blocker Alesha Deesing was a second team honoree and sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick was a third team selection.Washington and Nebraska were the only teams to have four players earn All-America honors.

The Huskies, who have earned 19 All-America awards, have won 11 in the last three seasons and 13 since head coach Jim McLaughlin took over the program in 2001. Eleven of Washington's honorees have been first team selections.

Thompson picks up first team honors for the third year in a row and is Washington's only three-time first team award winner. She leads the nation with a 14.70 assists per game average and has paced the Huskies to the second-best hitting percentage in the Pac-10 (.287). Thompson is the Pac-10's all-time assists leader and her 6,531 dishes rank third on the NCAA all-time list. She is just the sixth player in program history to tally 1,000 digs and ranks sixth on the UW all-time career list with 1,051 digs. Thompson, who was also named to the Seattle Regional all-tournament team, is also a three-time Academic All-American.

Morrison, the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year, picks up her third All-America award after being a third team selection last season and an honorable mention pick in 2004. Morrison ranks second in the Pac-10 with 4.63 kills per game and 5.35 points per game. She has led or tied for the team lead in kills 17 times, has 29 double-figure kill performances and has17 double-doubles. Morrison has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week three times this season, becoming just the ninth athlete in conference history to win the award three times in one year. She was also selected as the National Player of the Week.

Deesing picks up her first All-America award for her strong play at the net for the Huskies. She ranks second on the team with a .379 hitting percentage, which ranks fourth in the conference, and ranks second with 1.05 blocks per game. Deesing has 16 double-figure kill performances, has hit at a .500 clip or better 12 times and has led the team in blocks 10 times this season.

Swarbrick earns her first All-America nod after a solid sophomore campaign in the Husky middle. She leads the team with a .399 hitting percentage and 1.49 blocks per game, which rank third and sixth in the Pac-10, respectively. Swarbrick, a Seattle Regional all-tournament honoree, has 14 double-figure kill performances and has led the team in blocks 16 times.

The 32 athletes named to the first, second and third teams will be presented with awards Friday at the AVCA All-America/Player of the Year Banquet in Omaha, Neb.

The Huskies, the defending national champions, will play in the national semifinal vs. Stanford Thursday at approximately 6:30 p.m. (PT), at the Omaha Qwest Center. Nebraska and UCLA will square-off in the other semifinal at 4 p.m. (PT), with the winners advancing to the National Championship, Saturday, Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. (PT).

Washington's semifinal match will air live on ESPNU and will air tape-delayed on ESPN2 on Friday at 11 a.m. (PT). The Nebraska/UCLA match will air live on ESPN2. The national final will air live on ESPN2

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