Q & A With Husky Volleyball Seniors

Aug. 23, 2007

Five Washington Husky seniors are set to embark on their final season in the Purple and Gold this Friday when the team hosts San Francisco at 7 p.m. in the Husky Classic at Bank of America Arena. Seniors Ashley Aratani, Alesha Deesing, Christal Morrison, Stevie Mussie and Alison Simmons have contributed to some of the greatest moments in Husky Volleyball history, including winning the 2005 NCAA National Championship. GoHuskies.com caught up with the five seniors this week.

GoHuskies.com: What are your thoughts upon entering your last year as a Husky?

Ashley Aratani: 'My first three years as a Husky went by really fast. I'm excited to play with a new team of girls.'

Alesha Deesing: 'I can't believe I am a senior already! These past three years have gone by so fast and I am really excited to make this last one the best one yet.'

Christal Morrison: 'It's crazy how fast four years goes by and going into this season I have more of an appreciation for what I have here at Washington and what I want to accomplish in this last year.'

Stevie Mussie: 'Wow, it's over already! I just hope I enjoy everyday to the fullest because it's going to go by so fast.'

Alison Simmons: 'I really cannot believe that I am finally a senior. This was only my second year as a Husky but I have learned more here in the past two years that you can imagine. My only true thoughts are that now is the time to shine as a team and how great it would be to end on winning a national championship...that would be an amazing finish!'

GH: What has been your most memorable moment in a Husky uniform?

Mussie: Overall, it would definitely be the 2005 National Championship, but as far as to when I was in a Husky uniform, I would have to say the regional championship match against (2006 NCAA Seattle Regional) Penn State.' Note: Mussie sat out the 2005 season after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Simmons: My most memorable moment in a Husky uniform has to be the Penn State game. The crowd was amazing that night. I got chills at the end of that match and couldn't believe that I was blessed to be on this team and that moment. I think that the Husky volleyball fans are the best in the PAC 10 and it is amazing to have the privilege to play in front of our home crowds.

*The remaining three seniors all agreed that winning the 2005 NCAA National Championship was their most memorable moment.

GH: Does the fact that the Pac-10 coaches picked you to finish fourth in the conference give the team extra motivation?

Aratani: 'We try not to pay to much attention to the rankings. We just want to concentrate on ourselves, and not compare ourselves to other teams.'

Morrison: 'We should be motivated by ourselves and what we want to accomplish. If we were focused on things that we can't control we're not focused on the right things.'

GH: What do you expect to see this weekend for the three teams in the Husky Classic?

Deesing: 'I expect them to have their best games against us. I wouldn't want it any other way.'

Mussie: 'I expect them all to be competitive. Overall, I'm just excited to see someone else on the other side of the net.'

GH: How have practices been going so far? How do you see the team coming together?

Morrison: 'We've been getting better, but we are not great yet. We have unbelievable talent on this team and everyday people are fighting to improve. It's awesome that we have that intensity this early in the season.'

Simmons: 'Practices this season have been going great. It is great to come into the gym each day and know that each of your teammates is working hard on their own abilities so that they may contribute to the team in what we will become. They have been intense and we have had some really great competition between our players.

Aratani: 'Practices are intense - a lot of yelling and overall good competition. We can't wait for the season to start.'

Deesing: 'We are improving and the team is coming together very nicely. We are a good team, but not a great team yet. We have much to improve on.'

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