Two MWC Teams At NCAA Volleyball; Two Named CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America
Nov. 30, 2010
This Week in MWC Volleyball
DECEMBER 3 (FRIDAY)
DECEMBER 4 (SATURDAY)
Colorado State and New Mexico Headed To NCAA Tournament ... CLICK HERE for full release.
MWC Announces All-Conference Team; Minch Named Player of the Year ... CLICK HERE for full release.
Colorado State Wins Eighth MWC Title ... The Colorado State Rams earned their eighth Mountain West Conference volleyball title on Saturday, Nov. 20 with two matches to go in the season and a 13-1 conference record. Head coach Tom Hilbert has led the Rams to outright titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2010, and a co-championship in 2004. CSU leads the MWC with eight regular season titles in volleyball. BYU (1999 and 2005) and Utah (co-2004, 2006 and 2008) hold the other four (and a half) regular season titles. The Rams earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the regular season championship.
Jester and Williamson named Academic All-American ... JennaRae Jester, a middle blocker from Wyoming, was named Second Team CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America. She is a three-time MWC Scholar-Athlete and twice selected Academic All-Mountain West Conference during her career. A three-time team captain for the Cowgirls, she is among the top blockers in the nation. She currently carries a 3.971 gpa in business administration with minors in finance and Spanish. She was one of thirty NCAA® women's volleyball student-athletes, who excel both on and off the court, that were selected for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Jester is the second Cowgirl named to the Academic All-America Second Team ... New Mexico junior Kelly Williamson was named Third Team CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America, becoming only the second Lobo volleyball player in school history to make that squad. Owner of a 3.99 grade point average in conservation biology, the junior is a two-time MWC All-Academic, and she will earn a third when the 2010 team is announced in the Spring semester. She is also a two-time Mountain West Scholar-Athlete, and she is a finalist for the University of New Mexico President's Award for her work in reducing team's carbon footprint. She is a senator in the UNM student government and member of the UNM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Over the summer she traveled to Nepal to build rain water systems for local schools ... Jester and Williamson is just the seventh and eighth Mountain West Conference volleyball players named to the CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America Teams and the first since 2006.
MWC Top 40 Block Party ... The Mountain West Conference is tied with the Big Ten Conference for the most individuals ranked in the Top 40 in blocks per set this season at five. Colorado State's Megan Plourde leads the way with a No. 4 ranking, followed by Wyoming's JennaRae Jester at No. 18. Nicole Warner of BYU is currently No. 20 with Utah's Danielle Killpack ranked No. 31. Andrea Hannasch of San Diego State is sitting at No. 40. The Big Ten student-athletes rank No. 9, 11, 21, 30 and 38 ... The MWC also has three teams in the Top 50 in blocks per set. Colorado State is second in the nation in the category (3.04). Wyoming ranks 27th and BYU ranks 44th, while New Mexico just outside the group at 53rd.
A New Attendance Record!! ... The Mountain West Conference established a new overall league attendance mark on Thursday, Nov. 11 when the 114,358th fan came through the door at one of four sites hosting that night. With the regular season concluded, the final total for 2010 stands at 137,052. MWC volleyball fans came through the turnstiles at an record average of 1,008 per home match, an average of 55 fans per match better than the 2009 record of 953. 2010 is the second year in a row that the league has recorded an attendance over 100,000. The first season over 100,000 fans watched MWC volleyball was in 2009 (114,357) with a final average of 953. The last time the league had averaged over 900 fans per match previous to the 2009 season was in the 2001 season (925).
1,000-Kill Club ... Seven Mountain West Conference players joined the 1,000-Kill Club over the course of the 2010 season. San Diego State senior Lauren Salisbury was the latest to join on her sixth kill of the Aztecs match against New Mexico on Nov. 26. She finishes her career with 1,004 career kills ... All it took was one match on Nov. 11 for three MWC volleyball players to reach the 1,000-kill club. TCU seniors Christy Hudson and Irene Hester and Wyoming senior Lauren Whitney each got what they needed in the match against each other to become the 36th, 37th, and 38th players in league history to record 1,000 career kills. Hudson had 10, Whitney had 11 and Hester had 16 in the 3-1 Wyoming win. Hester finishes her career with 1,078, followed by Hudson with 1,041 and Whitney with 1,036 ... Earlier in the season, Utah senior Karolina Bartkowiak became the 35th Mountain West volleyball player to join the 1,000-kill club, at the time the third this season along with Colorado State senior Danielle Minch (Oct. 14) and New Mexico senior Lisa Meeter (Oct. 14). Bartkowiak recorded 19 kills in a 3-2 win over BYU on Oct. 29 to join the elite group. Bartkowiak finishes her career with 1,115 kills. Minch (1,130) and Meeter (1,152) will try to add to their totals this week in the NCAA Tournament.