BYU Women's volleyball had to do without star player Jennifer Hamson last year, finishing the season 24-7 and just a few spots out of the national rankings. Still, they made it three games into the NCAA Championships, partly due to the blocking skills of freshman middle blocker Whitney Young.
This season could tell a different story, with Whitney Young and Jennifer Hamson both on the front line. It's what BYUTv True Blue host Dave McCann refers to as a " national championship type group", and the Cougars are hoping he is right.
Young, who was not heavily recruited out of high school, credits her success to hard work and a competitive spirit, both of which she learned while growing up with three brothers on her family farm in Roberts, Idaho. When she wasn't playing volleyball, or working on the farm, Young could be found on the track-where she was the district champ in both the 4x200m relay and pole vault, and second in the long jump and medley relay.
Bringing that speed and jumping ability, Young started 23 games in her freshman season at BYU where she became known for her mad blocking skills. She ended up not only leading the Cougars and the West Coast Conference in blocks, but also ended the season ranked No. 9 in the nation in blocks per set with a 1.53 average.
"I love getting blocks," she said during an interview with BYUTv. "It's what fires me up, like getting a block is so much better than getting a kill."
With 12 blocks so far in the first three games this season Young looks to be headed in the right direction, as do the Cougars as a whole, having won 9 straight sets to begin the season, and all of them on the road. The Cougars hope to continue that streak as they play their next three matches at home as part of the BYU Invitational. Matches begin at 4:00 pm on Friday, with the Cougars taking the court at 7:00 pm against Washington. You can watch the game live on BYUtv, or in person at the Smith Fieldhouse.