Christal Morrison Named Pac-10 Player of the Year

Nov. 27, 2006

SEATTLE-- University of Washington outside hitter Christal Morrison picked up the Pacific-10 Conference's top honor Monday as she was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Three other Huskies were selected to the All-Pac-10 first team, while two earned honorable mention honors and one was named to the All-Freshman team.

Joining Morrison on the All-Pac-10 first team were senior setter Courtney Thompson, junior middle blocker Alesha Deesing, and sophomore middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick. Freshman libero Tamari Miyashiro was an honorable mention pick and was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team, while senior outside hitter Janine Sandell was also named to the honorable mention team.

Morrison, a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, becomes the second Washington player to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year after Sanja Tomasevic picked up the award last season. Morrison was among the league statistical leaders in points (5.51 ppg/2nd), kills per game (4.80 kpg/2nd) and service aces (0.28 sapg/9th). She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors three times during the season, becoming just the ninth player in Pac-10 history to pick up the award three times in the same season. She led the Huskies to a 25-4 overall record and a 15-3 mark in the conference, which tied for second place. Morrison currently ranks fourth on the school's career kills list with 1,363 kills.

Thompson, a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree, leads the nation with 14.92 assists per game and has led Washington to the second-best hitting percentage in the country (.292). She set the Pac-10 all-time career assists record earlier this month and her 6,333 career assists rank ninth on the NCAA all-time chart. Thompson also became just the sixth person in school history to amass 1,000 career digs. She is a two-time first team All-American and three-time Academic All-American. Thompson was selected last season as the Honda Award winner, highlighting the top female volleyball player in the country. She was also a nominee for an ESPY award for Top Female College Athlete.

Deesing, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, ranks second on the team with a .380 hitting percentage, which ranked fourth in the conference. She also ranks second on the team with 1.09 blocks per game. Deesing has had 15 double-digit kill performances, including 18 kills vs. UCLA. She has hit at a .500 clip or better 10 times, including a .778 (14-0-18) performance vs. Stanford. Deesing has led the team or tied for the team lead in blocks 10 times this season. She ranks second on the UW all-time career list with a .387 hitting percentage and ranks fifth on the all-time list with 1.16 bpg.

Swarbrick, a first-time All-Pac-10 pick, leads the team with a .406 hitting percentage to rank third in the conference. She also leads the team with 1.35 bpg, which ranks sixth in the Pac-10. Swarbrick has started all 29 matches for the Huskies this season and has 11 double-figure kill performances, including a career-best 17 kills vs. Oregon. She has also collected eight or more blocks five times this season. Swarbrick is on pace to set the UW career record in hitting percentage (.394) and ranks fourth on the all-time career list with 1.24 bpg. She also ranks seventh on the UW career points list (425) and is eighth in points per game (3.15).

Miyashiro led Washington and ranks third in the conference with 5.50 digs per game. Miyashiro stepped up her play during the Pac-10 season, ranking second in the league with 6.32 dpg. She had 27 double-figure dig performances, including 30 or more digs four times. Miyashiro is also just the second person in school history to collect 500 digs in a single season, ranking second on the UW all-time list with 550 digs.

Sandell is a first-time All-Pac-10 selection after transferring from UC Santa Barbara after last season. She has made 15 starts and averages 2.15 kpg, 0.72 dpg and 0.97 bpg with a .245 hitting percentage. Sandell has seven double-figure kill performances, including 13 kills vs. Arizona.

The Pac-10 also honored Oregon coach Jim Moore as Pac-10 Coach of the Year and USC setter Taylor Carico as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

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