The Memphis volleyball team wrapped up a successful 2014 campaign that saw the team finish with the most wins in the program since the 2007 season and most conference wins in school history
The most decorated volleyball player in Memphis history, Heather Watts came to the Tigers in the fall of 2001 and became a starter during her first collegiate season.
Watts appeared in all 116 games as a freshman and was credited with 224 digs while playing primarily as a defensive specialist.
As a sophomore, she took over as the team's starting setter position and was credited with 1,575 assists, the second-best single season total in school history. Watts received Verizon Academic All-District honors following the 2002 season and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.
Appearing in all 136 games as a junior, Watts received All-Conference USA honors, as well as being named to the AVCA All-Midwest Regional Team. A Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Medalist, Watts set a school record with 1,792 assists and led the team in service aces with 63.
The Sandy, Utah, native became the most decorated player in school as a senior. She was named the C-USA Volleyball Scholar Athlete of the Year, the C-USA Setter of the Year, a first team All-Conference selection and for the third consecutive year, a member of the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.
Following graduation, Watts received the NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship and continued her academic career at the University of Utah in physical therapy.
Started and played in every game and match for Memphis for the third straight year...Was named Third Team All-Conference USA and Academic All-America Second Team...Was also an honorable mention honoree for the AVCA All-Midwest Region Team and a Co-SIDA Academic All-District First Team honoree, her second straight first team honor...Set a school record with 1,792 assists as a junior, moving her to second in school history with 3,376...Is also in the career top 10 in service aces (148) after leading Memphis with 63 aces in 2003 (the 10th-best single season total)...Passed the 1,000 career dig mark and is 11th in school history with 1,025 digs, just 116 digs shy of former teammate Ginger Garrett...She is also just three service aces shy of tying Garrett for 6th all-time in that category...Her team-leading 403 digs in 2003 ties for the fourth-best single season mark in Tiger history...Also serves on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee...Watts and Gilkey were the first Tigers to ever earn a Conference USA All-Tournament Honor in Memphis' first-ever appearance in the championship finals on TV...Watts ranked 17th in the nation in assists per game in 2003 (13.27/game), while Memphis was 26th in team kills and 24th in service aces...Her 1,792 assists was also the highest-ever number of assists for a junior in Conference USA...Watts was also named the Conference USA Player of the Week Sept. 15th....Named a Commissioner's Academic Medalist and to the C-USA Honor Roll...Graduated with her first bachelor's degree in August, will be completing a second bachelor's during the fall.
Assumed all the setting duties for the Tigers in 2002 as she was the only setter on the roster...Voted to the Verizon Academic All-District IV team by Co-SIDA, becoming the first Tiger Volleyball player to earn All-Academic honors from Co-SIDA since April Harriman became the school's third-ever Academic All-America honoree in 2000...Her 1575 assists in 2002 was the second-best single season mark in school history and Watts' already ranks sixth in school career history with 1,584 assists....Named to four all-tournament teams in 2002, including tournament MVP honors at Boston College...Tallied her first-ever double-digit kill outing with 10 kills at UAB (10/19/02) on a career-high 18 attacks...Served up five aces in a match two times (vs. CBU and at Yale)...Recorded 18 double-digit dig outings, including three matches with 19 or more digs in the last five matches of the year...Posted a career-best 22 digs at Tulane and had 19 against Charlotte in a 3-2 first round loss at the C-USA Tournament.
Played in all 116 games as a freshman, filling a defensive specialist role...Tallied 244 digs for the season (2.10/game) and was fourth on the team with 36 service aces...Had the most service aces of all defensive specialists in the league with 36...Served up five service aces against South Alabama...Also recorded four service aces versus Robert Morris (9/7/01) ... Had 27 assists versus Jackson State (10/23/01) and 14 digs at Saint Louis (9/28/01)...Tallied double-digit digs eight times.
At Skyline High School
Watts had a stellar prep career at Skyline High School in Sandy, Utah...Played for coach Joan Burdett as a setter, leading SHS to a state championship and an undefeated record in 2000...Received several honors on the court, including all-state (1998, 1999), all-region (1998, 1999) and Most Valuable Player (2000)...Is only the second setter in the state of Utah to boast over 1,000 assists in a season...Was one of two setters selected to the all-tournament team of the National Junior Championship...Also helped her squad to a state championship in 1998...Also played basketball, softball and racquetball at SHS...Member of the National Honor Society.
Full name is Heather Audrey Watts...Daughter of Kurt and Sue Watts...Born April 22, 1983, in Murray, Utah...Enjoys skiing, fishing, hiking and scuba diving...Plans on attending physical therapy school after college...Sister, Hilary plays volleyball at Central Arkansas.
Coach Yerty's Comments
Heather is such a mature leader in every aspect -- academically, athletically, team-training, that I really expect her to be on autopilot this year. She knows the game, she understands the team, she understands how I want the team and the offense to be and what she needs to do on the court to lead our team. I expect her to have a great senior season and to put up numbers that will put her in the national rankings again. I honestly believe Heather is one of the best setters in America and look forward to this season.
Career Highs Kills: 11 vs. Tulane (11/22/03) Attempts: 18 at UAB (10/19/02)
18 vs. Holy Cross (9/13/03) Digs: 24 vs. Cincinnati (11/1/03) Block Assists: 5 (three times) Block Solos: 2 vs. Gardner-Webb (9/21/02) Service Aces: 6 vs. N.C. State (9/19/03) Assists: 70 vs UT Martin (8/30/03)