Morgan Hughes, a Willows native, is a senior at Boise State University and is an integral part of their volleyball team.
Hughes graduated from Willows High School and then went to Feather River College to play volleyball at the junior college level.
She then transferred to Saint Mary’s College in the Bay Area, but she didn’t like the area. So, she transferred to Boise State this year.
Hughes said her junior college coach from Feather River helped her with the recruiting process and Boise was one of the schools that was interested.
“I did a visit and I really liked it,” she said.
Hughes has been playing volleyball since second or third grade, she said. But that’s not the only sport she has played.
Softball and basketball are other sports she has experience in. She said basketball and volleyball are tied for her favorite, but she had more opportunities with volleyball.
“I feel like I haven’t had too many accomplishments,” Hughes said. “Playing is accomplishment enough and getting scholarships … Getting out of college with no loans or debt is an accomplishment.”
She said she owes a lot to her coaches from college and high school for making it as far as she has.
Shawn Garus, head coach at Boise State, said he has been coaching her since she arrived in Boise during the summer.
“I’m just really impressed with who she is as a person,” Garus said.
He said she has a sense of urgency on the court.
Hughes is undersized for her position as a middle blocker, Garus said. She is about 5’10” and most middle blockers are in the 6’2” range.
There are challenges, he said. But they work with her to find ways around it. For example, they can make up for that with speed.
They recently traveled from Boise to Fresno and San Diego for matches. Garus said they won both and she led the team in digs and blocks.
“We’re a really young team with seven freshman and two seniors,” Garus said. “And she sets a great example … She’s just a really good person on and off the court.”
He said she is a very reliable player.
“She has just gotten to this level with hard work and determination,” Garus said.
During this season at Boise state, Hughes recorded a season-high of 14 kills against New Mexico, 20 points and 16 digs against Fresno State, 10 blocks, six aces and three assists against San Diego State.
Boise State closes the regular season on Thursday when they travel to Air Force at USAFA, Colo.