2007 Pac-10 Volleyball: Washington
Aug. 13, 2007
Washington reached the Final Four for the third consecutive year as the Huskies have posted an 89-9 (.908) record during that span, including an impressive 48-6 (.889) mark in the ultra-competitive Pac-10. Coach Jim McLaughlin certainly has the firepower to make a run at a fourth consecutive Final Four. He'll just need to blend an experienced team around a new setter.
The Huskies expect to thrive on the play of their outsider hitters. Senior Christal Morrison, the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and AVCA All-American, collected 4.56 kills per game, 3.11 digs per game, while adding 0.76 blocks and 0.27 aces per game. Senior Stevie Mussie (432 kills/3.82 kpg) and junior Jill Collymore (161 kills/3.16 kpg) will provide the Huskies with a potent outside attack.
What's better than having one All-American middle blocker on your squad? How about two? The Huskies do in senior Alesha Deesing (296 kills/2.51 kpg, 121 blocks/1.03 bpg) and junior Jessica Swarbrick (315 kills/2.67 kpg, 174 blocks/1.47 bpg) who combined to hit .383 last season and are a big reason why the Huskies hit .281 as a team.
Sophomore libero Tamari Miyashiro earned Pac-10 All-Freshman honors after 657 digs, ranking third in the league with 5.57 digs per game. She stepped in and replaced All-Pac-10 libero Candace Lee, and nearly eclipsed Lee's single-season record of 666 digs set in 2004.
Replacing All-American setter Courtney Thompson. Thompson started all 130 matches and played in all 450 games during her Husky career to amass a Pac-10 record 6,652 assists. Her leadership and Pac-10 best 14.50 assists per game will be sorely missed. With four setters on the roster, including Volleyball Magainze FAB 50 recruit Jenna Hagglund, there appears to be plenty of competition for the starting spot.
Six quality freshmen on the roster will be clamoring for playing time, but it might be hard to come by with nine experienced upperclassmen on the roster (five seniors/four juniors). Seven of those upperclassmen appeared in at least 100 of the teams 118 games played in 2006.