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Johnson aims to bring ASU to new heights


July 26, 2010

Senior Sarah Johnson isn’t just the libero on Arizona State University’s women’s volleyball team, she is also a vital part of the team’s campaign for an NCAA championship this year, bringing valuable leadership and experience to the young squad. 

“I think few people see, and even less understand, the role SJ plays on our team, said Head Coach Jason Watson. “ While she's easily identified as our libero, her leadership role is less visible.  The direction she provides, the competitive intensity she brings everyday and the drive to perfect her position - those are the qualities I associate with her.”

This year, Johnson is looking forward to a long run in the NCAA tournament, thanks to the help of some talented recruits. “Last year we struggled, and that definitely made me stronger as a player, playing through the tough times and battling over and over each game. Now that I’m a senior I have to step up and help the underclassmen realize it will take a lot of work to get where we want to be,” said Johnson.

Coach Watson is proud of Johnson’s continued improvement on the court. “She has embraced the competitive nature of our gym and the Pac-10.  I believe we'll see the best from her this coming season.  I know that she wants to ensure she leaves our program better than when she entered.”

Originally for Phoenix, Johnson began playing club volleyball at age 12 before going on to play for Sunnyslope High School where she was a state champion and named 2nd Team All-Region her senior year. She says she chose ASU because it gave her the opportunity to play in one of the biggest conferences in the nation while staying close to home.

The Exercise and Wellness major has lofty goals for herself once her playing days are over.  “I want to go to grad school and start my own business as a personal trainer for pregnant women. I know a lot of women who have struggled with weight issues after they had kids, and I want to help them reach their goals.”

As to what advice she would give to young girls who want to play volleyball at the collegiate level, Johnson says, “nobody can tear you down except yourself.”

When not competing for ASU, Johnson enjoys playing sand volleyball and working out.