By Scott M. Johnson Herald Writer
Junior | UW | Volleyball
Hometown: Lynnwood (King’s High)
What she did: Was the Huskies’ co-leader in kills, with 11, in a three-set win over WSU on Friday night. Rowland converted on all eight of her attempts over the final two sets.
What’s next: The seventh-ranked Huskies face No. 2 Stanford and No. 6 Cal in pivotal conference matches in the Bay Area tonight and Saturday.
The two-minute drill
You had a team-high 11 kills against WSU on Friday night, including an 8-for-8 performance over the final two sets. Do kills feel better against the Cougs?
Yeah, they do. Being that they’re our rival school, you always want to hold that title.
The word ‘kill’ seems a bit strong, or is that what it feels like when you get one?
Yeah, it’s a good feeling. I love getting high sets. Jenna Hagglund is a good setter, and she does a great job getting the ball to me. Kills are one of my favorite parts of the game, but I also love playing defense — even though I don’t get to play in the back row much. I have to sub out on my service turns.
After the WSU match, you got interviewed by Karch Karaly. What was that like?
That was really cool. Karch was the best player in the world. I was kind of nervous because I’ve never been on TV before. But it was a good learning experience.
Are you even old enough to remember him as a player?
No. (Laughs) But I’ve seen some of his matches on tape.
Your attack percentage — there’s another harsh word — was .456 last season, which was the highest single-season mark in school history and ranks third in Pac-10 history. In a conference that has included Kerri Walsh, Logan Tom, Christal Morrison, Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, that’s pretty impressive, huh?
It’s really cool. It’s cool to be up there with all those players. I never thought about it that way.
And you were named honorable mention All-America last season, which is more than Jake Locker, Todd MacCulloch and Chris Chandler can say. Are we starting to give you a big head?
(Laughs) I don’t think so. I try not to think about it. It’s cool being up there. It’s a goal of mine to be an All-American, not just honorable mention. But, no, I don’t think I’m getting a big head.
OK, time to knock you back down to size. Your high school teammate, Erin Bremond, was our athlete of the week two weeks ago. So how’s it feel to play second fiddle to Erin?
She was? I didn’t even know. That’s so cool. It feels good to know we can both hold down the athlete of the week title. (Laughs)
Speaking of second fiddle, your father, Ronnie Rowland, was a star running back at UW. How did he influence your college choice?
My parents weren’t really on me. I took a visit to Wazzu, and they were OK with that. My mom was a cheerleader at UW, so I’ve always been a Husky.
Was the WSU visit just a formality then?
Actually, I did take it seriously. I really liked the coach and the girls on the team. But in the end, U-Dub was the right place for me.
I heard your first recruiting letter came from UW, but not from volleyball coach Jim McLaughlin. Can you tell us that story?
Oh, yeah. It was for basketball. From June Daugherty, when she was the coach here. It was a generic letter, during my sophomore year or early in my junior year. I thought it was so cool. I thought I was going to come here to play basketball. But things change.
So why’d you pick volleyball?
It just came more natural to me. I love basketball, but I love volleyball. I love the girls and the teams I’ve been on. Besides, I’m not really into contact sports. Something about rubbing up against other people’s sweaty bodies; I don’t like that.
You didn’t choose volleyball just so you’d get to meet Karch Karaly?
No. But that’s a plus.
It says in your UW volleyball bio that you have a celebrity crush on David Beckham. So does that mean you’ll be going out for the soccer team next year?
(Laughs) I don’t know. That was freshman year. I have a new celebrity crush now. It’s John Legend.
So, you’ll be taking up piano then?
Actually, I was just thinking about that earlier this week. I really want to take up piano. That’d be cool.