Sophomore setter and 2012 Pac-12 All-Freshman team member Allison Palmer is transferring out of the ASU volleyball program.
In the preseason, Palmer lost the starting setter job to fellow sophomore Bianca Arellano, a first year Sun Devil who transferred from Tennessee.
She did not travel with the team to Spokane, Wash., for the Gonzaga Invitational and did not play a point in the first six games of the season.
Palmer will leave ASU after the fall semester, but her departure from the team is effective immediately.
Head coach Jason Watson confirmed the news Tuesday after practice.
“Allison let us know that she felt that she would meet her athletic and academic goals somewhere else,” Watson said. “We’re not going to do anything to hold up the process for her.”
Watson will rely entirely on Arellano in the one-setter system, with junior Shannan McCready as the backup.
Nevertheless, the ASU volleyball team was sad to see Palmer leave.
“(We) felt like she was doing an outstanding job, and we’re sorry to see her go,” Watson said. “We have an enormous amount of respect for Allison, and we wish her all the best.”
Palmer, a Laguna, Calif., native, set the ASU single-season assist record as a freshman in 2012 and played with the USA Junior National Team in the Czech Republic this summer.
Watson said Palmer didn’t give any indication about where she will transfer.
Arellano transferred to ASU after her freshman year at Tennessee, where she was second on her squad in assists.
Sophomore outside hitter Macey Gardner, sophomore middle blocker Andi Lowrance and Arellano all played on the same club team in high school, with Watson as their coach.
Watson said the appeal of coming back to their respective hometowns was more attractive to the trio than the possibility of playing together as Sun Devils.
Nevertheless, playing together as a group has certainly eased Arellano’s transition into the starting setter position.
“Communication wise, it doesn’t take as much time to get used to her, because I’ve had her in the past.” Gardner said. “We’ve been separated for a little bit, but we’re back here in the gym.”
Because they have played together in the past, it was much easier to learn Gardner’s hitting tendencies, Arellano said.
”It’s been really helpful in the transition coming to the team,” Arellano said. “I can just throw up a ball and she’ll put it away.”
The Sun Devils travel to Champaign, Ill. this weekend for the Illini Invitational against Youngstown State, No. 14 Illinois and No. 2 Texas.
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