Prior to the past several years, when you thought of National Collegiate Association of Athletics (NCAA) women's volleyball powerhouses, you almost never thought of the University of Washington.
This year's winner of the Dick Hannula Female Amateur Athlete of the Year Award has helped change that thinking.
Christal Morrison, a 6-2 sophomore outside hitter out of Puyallup High School, helped the Washington Huskies win the NCAA national championship this past season. Her part in the tournament run was no small thing as she was voted as the NCAA Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player after winning the same award at the regional tourney level. That capped a season in which she received American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) third team All-America recognition and ranked among the conference leaders in several offensive categories.
A first team All-Pacific Region, All-Pac 10 Conference selection and Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention honoree, Christal started all 32 Huskies matches. She finished second in the league in service aces and her 55 for the season rank her second on the all-time UW single-season list. She ranked fifth in the conference with 5.29 points per game and 4.36 kills per game, and she finished sixth with a .337 hitting percentage. Christal had at least 10 kills in 26 matches and four times she had at least 20 kills in a match, including a season-high 26 against Stanford. She also averaged 2.30 digs and 0.77 blocks per match.
As a freshman, Christal earned AVCA second team All-America honors, in addition to receiving All-Pacific Region and All-Pac 10 Conference first team accord. In addition, she was the Pacific Region and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. In 30 matches, including 27 starts, she averaged 4.10 kills, 2.60 digs, 0.72 blocks and 4.67 points per game. She had at least 10 kills in 24 matches and 20 kills in six matches.
Christal earned 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year honors during her senior season at Puyallup High School. She was a three-time first team All-South Puget Sound League honoree and helped Puyallup to a state runner-up and third place finish in back-to-back years. She also played on the U.S. Junior National Team that won a silver medal in the 2002 NORCECA Junior Continental Championships.
Born in Puyallup, Christal is the daughter of Mike and Dianne Morrison. She has two older brothers, Greg and Jerid.