Colorado State Selected As Favorite To Win 2016 Mountain West Women's Volleyball Title
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A voting panel comprised of the 11 Mountain West head women’s volleyball coaches chose seven-time defending league champion Colorado State as the favorite to win the 2016 MW regular season title. The No. 25-ranked Rams, 26-4 in 2015, collected six first-place votes and 96 total points. Boise State was just four points behind CSU with 92 and earned four first-place votes. Wyoming picked up the remaining first-place vote and 80 points for the third position in the poll. New Mexico was selected fourth garnering 66 points, followed by San Diego State and UNLV tied for fifth with 64. Nevada placed seventh with 47 points, followed by Fresno State in eighth with 35. Utah State (28), San José State (21) and Air Force (12) round out the poll in ninth, 10th and 11th place, respectively.
Boise State junior Sierra Nobley has been named the 2016 MW Preseason Player of the Year and a member of the seven-person All-MW Preseason Team. Nobley is joined on the preseason team by teammates Maddy O’Donnell and Maddi Osburn and UNLV duo Bree Hammel and Alexis Patterson. Colorado State’s Alexandra Poletto and Wyoming’s Laura Beach round out the list of preseason honorees as selected by the head coaches. Six of the seven members of the preseason team earned 2015 All-MW honors, while Nobley and Hammel were also on the 2015 All-MW Preseason Team.
Nobley, a two-time All-MW selection and 2015 AVCA honorable mention All-American, led the Conference with 4.75 kills and 5.30 points per set. Her kills average ranked sixth in the nation, while her points per set ranked eighth. The junior from Scottsdale, Arizona also contributed 2.46 digs and 0.31 service aces per set, while hitting .266 for the Broncos. O’ Donnell, a senior from Irvine, California, was third in the Conference with a .350 hitting percentage and averaged 2.47 kills and 0.96 blocks per set. Osburn, a junior from Nampa, Idaho, was third in the league with 4.52 digs per set for the Broncos.
Hammel, also a two-time All-Conference honoree, ranked in the top 10 in four statistical categories in the MW last season. The senior from Las Vegas, Nevada finished fourth in points per set (3.80), sixth in hitting percentage (.321), seventh in blocks per set (1.09) and eighth in kills per set (3.08). Patterson, a junior from Phoenix, Arizona, is the top-returning setter in the league with 9.65 assists per set. She also averaged 2.38 digs and 0.58 blocks per set for the Rebels.
Poletto, a junior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the top returning hitter for the defending champion Rams. She finished fourth in the MW with a .345 hitting percentage and was third in blocks per set at 1.33. Beach, a senior from Lakewood, Colorado, hit .337 for the Cowgirls to rank fifth in the Conference. She also averaged 2.35 kills and 1.10 blocks per set.
The 2016 season opens Friday, Aug. 26, with all 11 league teams in action. Conference play begins on Thursday, Sept. 22, with 10 teams slated for play and all five matches streaming live on the Mountain West Network (MWN).
Preseason Player of the Year: Sierra Nobley, OH, Jr., Boise State