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At The Net With Jill Collymore
Release: 08/25/2006
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Aug. 25, 2006

Washington opens the 2006 season vs. Ohio when it competes at the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase, Aug.25-26. GoHuskies.com caught up with sophomore outside hitter Jill Collymore before the team left for Madison, Wis., to get the inside scoop on her goals for the season, team chemistry and what the Huskies learned during their trip to China in June.

GoHuskies: How do you see your role expanding with the departure of Brie Hagerty and Sanja Tomasevic?
Jill Collymore: "I just want to fill the role that Jim envisions for me. I want to work the hardest to be the best I can be. Wherever that fits in, that's where I want to be."

GH: What have you been working on in the off-season?
JC: "I've been working on every facet of my game. I've been working on hitting, no wrist away, and hitting high. I've really been trying to solidify and improve that technique. I've also been working on blocking, serving, and passing. I think everything can be improved upon, so that's what I've been doing during the off-season."

GH: What personal goals do you have for this season?
JC: "It's really to just be the best I can be and to really develop that unshakeable mindset. That's my biggest goal because I think that if I can develop those things as a tandem, that will take me where I need to go."

GH: What opponents are you looking forward to facing this season?
JC: "Nobody in particular because we always try to keep it about us on our side of the court. I really only try to worry about UW and then whoever we're playing. Basically, we just have to focus on ourselves and to a lesser degree, our opponent that particular day."

GH: You guys are currently third in the AVCA poll. How important is it to get to that #1 spot during the season?
JC: "I don't know because they vote however they vote. We just do what we do and wins will take care of any rankings."

GH: What newcomers, both freshmen and transfers, have stood out so far?
JC: "I really, really enjoy all of the new people that have come on. Janine (Sandell) came this spring and then the freshmen and Ali (Simmons) this fall. I really enjoy having them all on my team. I see all of their potential. It's really fun to have the new additions because I think that they will take the team farther as they develop."

GH: How is the team chemistry?
JC: "I think the team chemistry is really good. Everybody gets along. It's very competitive on the court, but then it's completely fine off the court. I think that there's a maturity there and that's really good."

GH: How did the trip to China help prepare the team for this season?
JC: "I think it was a good opportunity to begin playing as a team against someone who's not ourselves. It was a great international experience, so you can see different systems. You can test your abilities against that. It was good way to prepare for what's coming up."

GH: How is volleyball played differently in China compared to the U.S.?
JC: "What I noticed is that we tend to run a faster system than most, but China's system was even faster. I remember that I was trying to block slides and I couldn't believe how fast they were. There are differences between international play and any program, and coaches in their various ways. The biggest thing that stood out was definitely their speed."

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