|Kylin Munoz will play the 2013 season for Washington|
-Volleyblog Seattle photo by Leslie Hamann
The All-Conference (Honorable Mention) right side hitter was granted a release by BYU, the school she had originally committed to in 2008, during her senior year at Monroe High School.
“BYU sent the paperwork. The NCAA confirmed it. She’s back,” says Washington coach Jim McLaughlin.
Not long after signing her National Letter Intent, Muñoz had a change of heart. The hometown Huskies had been recruiting her, and her mother, April, played volleyball for Washington during the 1989-90 seasons. When BYU refused to release her from her initial commitment, she chose to enroll at Washington and sit out her freshman year, per NCAA rules.
During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Muñoz was an outside (left side) hitter, and enjoyed modest success. In 2012, McLaughlin moved her to the right side, where she became a force, hitting for her highest average (.263) and emerging into what one coach called the best-blocking hitter in the Pac-12. Muñoz ended the season with 143 block assists, the only non-middle among the Pac-12’s top ten blockers. She also became one of the deadliest—if sometimes unpredictable—servers in the conference (.32 aces/set).
In 2011, Shawn Olmstead replaced Shay Goulding as BYU’s head coach. Last month, Muñoz wrote a letter to Olmstead and to BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe, asking them to reconsider the 2009 decision to hold her to her letter of intent. Holmoe agreed to meet Muñoz in person.
“Tom Holmoe is a good man,” says McLaughlin. “And Kylin is a really good kid.”
Although the NCAA had to approve the release, McLaughlin says it was Muñoz and Holmoe who made it happen.
“It would have been very easy for BYU to dismiss Ky’s request,” says McLaughlin, “but they really took the time to look at all the facts in making the decision to grant her a belated release.”
Today’s news means Washington will return all but one starter from a team that finished 25-7 and reached the Sweet 16. Senior Amanda Gil–the nation’s leading blocker in 2012—has separately petitioned the NCAA for an additional year, arguing that her transfer from UCLA was made exclusively for academic and not athletic reasons. Gil—who has since been honored for her academic achievements—lost one year after transferring, and a second year due to injury. She has completed her undergraduate degree at Washington and moved back home to California.
- In Jim McLaughlin’s 12 seasons at Washington, his team has lost 84 times (27 of those losses came in his first two years.) Those 84 losses came at the hands of just 15 different teams. The Huskies have also beaten 14 of those 15 teams, leaving just one team that McLaughlin has never defeated while at UW. That team? BYU. In fact, McLaughlin’s first-ever match as Washington’s head coach was a loss to the Cougars.