Colorado State Selected As Favorite To Win 2015 Mountain West Women's Volleyball Title
A voting panel comprised of the 11 Mountain West head women’s volleyball coaches chose six-time defending league champion Colorado State as the favorite to win the 2015 MW regular season title. The No. 12-ranked Rams, 31-3 in 2014, collected seven first-place votes and 97 total points. UNLV and Boise State tied for second place with 83 points each. The Rebels earned two first-place votes and the Broncos earned one. Wyoming picked up the remaining first-place vote and 77 points for fourth place in the poll. New Mexico was selected fifth garnered 67 points, followed by San Diego State in sixth with 58. Two points separate Air Force (41) and Utah State 39) in seventh and eighth place, while Fresno State landed in ninth with 26. Nevada and San José State rounded out the poll in 10th and 11th place with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
Colorado State senior Adrianna Culbert has been named the 2015 MW Preseason Player of the Year and a member of the seven-person All-MW Preseason Team. Culbert is joined on the preseason team by teammate Jaime Colaizzi and New Mexico duo Hannah Johnson and Julia Warren. Boise State’s Sierra Nobley, UNLV’s Bree Hammel and Wyoming’s Bridget Shanahan round out the list of preseason honorees as selected by the head coaches. All seven members of the preseason team earned 2014 All-MW honors.
Culbert is the top returning hitter for the Rams. Culbert averaged 2.45 kills and 3.26 digs per set while hitting .312 percent in 2014. The senior from Delton, Michigan, is a two-time AVCA honorable mention All-American and All-MW honoree. Colaizzi, a senior libero, led the Conference in digs per set with 4.14 last season for CSU. The native of Windsor, Colorado, ranks 24th on the Mountain West career digs list with 1,098. The Rams advanced to the NCAA Regional Semifinals last season.
Johnson and Warren are two-time All-MW honorees for the Lobos. Johnson, a senior from Longview, Washington, is one of the top returning setters in the league after averaging 10.24 assists and 2.54 digs per set in 2014. She ranks 19th on the MW career assists list with 3,023. Albuquerque, New Mexico, native Warren spent the majority of her sophomore season at libero after beginning 2014 at outside hitter. She averaged 3.50 digs and 1.15 kills per set.
Nobley, the 2014 MW Freshman of the Year, led the Conference with 4.08 kills and 4.53 points per set. The sophomore from Scottsdale, Arizona also contributed 1.76 digs per set while hitting .243 for the Broncos during her rookie season. Hammel was the league’s top blocker in 2014 with 1.51 per set for the Rebels and ranked sixth in the final NCAA season rankings. The Las Vegas native averaged 2.59 kills and hit .343 percent during her sophomore year. Shanahan, a senior from Hartland, New York, is one of the top returning hitters in the league after averaging 3.33 kills per set and hitting .251 for the Cowgirls last season.
The 2015 season opens Friday, Aug. 28, with all 11 league teams in action. Conference play begins on Thursday, Sept. 24, with 10 teams slated for play and all five matches available on the Mountain West Network (MWN).
Preseason Player of the Year: Adrianna Culbert, Sr., OPP/OH, Colorado State