Morrison Sets Career Kills Record as UW Sweeps OSU
Nov. 21, 2007
SEATTLE - In one of her final appearances at Bank of America Arena, senior All-American Christal Morrison set a new Washington career record for kills with 13 on the night as the sixth-ranked Huskies swept by visiting Oregon State on Wednesday in Pac-10 volleyball action.
Morrison entered the match needing 12 kills to pass former teammate Sonja Tomasevic, who had 1,795 kills from 2002-05. Even though there was no official announcement when she set the record in the third game, the majority of the Husky fans in attendance knew when she got the record and gave up her a standing ovation.
'It's an honor to pass a player like Sonja,' said Morrison, who humbly tried to shy away from the topic. 'She's one of the best volleyball players in Washington history. But with the type of players that we are bringing in here now, it's only a matter of time before someone breaks my record.'
The Huskies finished with their best hitting percentage, .313 (55-13-134), since hitting .375 in a sweep of Arizona State on November 2. Five Husky players finished with at least seven kills, lead by Stevie Mussie's 14. Both Morrison and UW head coach Jim McLaughlin credited freshman setter Jenna Hagglund with creating opportunities for the Huskies hitters.
Hagglund tallied 45 assists on the night as Alesha Deesing and Jessica Swarbrick both had nine kills and Becky Perry added seven more. Deesing led all players with a .692 hitting percentage (9-0-13), a season-high for Washington, with Swarbrick hitting .533 and Perry hitting .312.
The two teams went back and forth during game one, which featured 10 tie scores and five lead changes. Just as Washington appeared to be pulling away late, using a three point run for a 24-20 lead, the Beavers came back to tie it at 25-25. The Huskies scored five of the final six points, though, to claim the 30-26 win.
The Huskies used three separate 3-0 runs in the second game and won easily after OSU took its only lead of the game on a kill by Jill Sawatzky for the first point. Hagglund served back-to-back aces for the final two points of the game.
Washington had its best hitting percentage in game two, hitting .500 (18-2-32) behind six kills from Morrison and five more from Mussie.
Much like game one, the Huskies looked to be pulling away from OSU, after the Beavers led early by as many as three points at 8-5. Using a 6-1 run to break a 9-9 tie, the Huskies took back the lead at 15-10. Oregon State chipped away at the lead, though, eventually tying the game at 22-22 on a kill by Sawatzky. With the score tied at 26-26, Washington got a kill by Mussie, followed by two straight attack errors by the Beavers to get to game point. Hagglund finished things off with a kill from the middle.
Morrison tied Tomasevic in the third game to bring Washington to within two at 6-4, and got the record three points later to pull the Huskies within one at 7-6.
McLaughlin praised Morrison for her record and said the team will definitely rely on her come playoff time.
'It comes with the territory,' said McLaughlin, referring to Morrison's record. 'She's a tremendous player and she's still getting better. I knew it would happen at some point and she has plenty of more kills in her. She's going to have to be good for us in the playoffs.'
Oregon State, which hit .214 (45-17-131), was led by Sawatzky, who had 15 kills and 12 digs. Rachel Rourke and Kristin Murray added 11 and 10 kills apiece. Ashley Evans paced OSU with 20 digs, and Camilla Ah-Hoy had 34 assists and 12 digs.
The Huskies close out the regular season on Friday against No. 13 Oregon at 7 p.m. at home. The match will mark the final home game for five Husky seniors, including Deesing, Morrison and Mussie. Those three, along with Ashley Aratani and Alison Simmons, will be honored prior to the match.
On Sunday, Washington will learn its fate for the 2007 NCAA Championships. The selection show will be aired live on ESPNU at 5 p.m. The Huskies have put in a bid to host the first and second rounds, which will start either Thursday, Nov. 29, or Friday, Nov. 30.
NOTES: Washington has won 14 in a row over OSU, making McLaughlin a perfect 14-0 against the Beavers ... the Huskies lead the all-time series 45-21 ... Washington has clinched at least a share of second place in the Pac-10. The Huskies could end up co-champions with Stanford if California can knock off the Cardinal on Friday night ... Morrison can also become the Huskies career leader in points this season. Tomasevic had 2159.5 career points and Morrison sits right behind her at 2109.5 ... Deesing moved up to No. 5 all-time at the UW in block assists with 331 for her career ... Swarbrick moved into a tie for No. 7 all-time in total blocks (341) ... the Huskies have now swept 21 of their 28 matches this year.