The Western Athletic Conference volleyball coaches have selected New Mexico State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2012. The coaches also voted on the preseason award winners, and Aggie sophomore outside hitter Meredith Hays was the pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
NM State received eight of the 10 first-place votes with Idaho earning the other two. The Aggies earned 79 total points, followed by Idaho with 67. UTSA was picked to finish third with 58 points, followed closely by Utah State in fourth with 57 points and Texas State in fifth with 52. Denver was picked sixth with 43 points, while San Jose State was selected seventh with 34 points. UT Arlington, Seattle U and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 27, 18 and 15 points, respectively.
"Preseason polls don't mean much," head coach Mike Jordan said. "No one is going to give us points and wins, we've got to go out and earn them."
NM State placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with three, while Idaho, UTSA and Utah State had two apiece. Joining Hays on the preseason team are teammates Lauren Loerch and Desiree Scott, Idaho's Alex Sele and Allison Walker, UTSA's McKenzie Adams and Whitney Walls, Utah State's Shay Sorensen and Joselyn White, Denver's Faimie Kingsley, San Jose State's Alex Akana and Texas State's Amari Deardorff.
Hays, was a 2011 first team All-WAC member as a freshman and was also the 2011 Freshman of the Year. She was only the second Aggie ever to earn that honor. She led the WAC and ranked 18th in the nation in both kills per set (4.42) and points per set (4.94). Hays also led the WAC with 500 kills on the season.
Scott played in 98 sets as a sophomore last season, ranking second on the team in blocks per set (0.78) and third in total blocks (76). She was a perfect six kills on six attempts during a sweep of Utah State on Oct. 1, 2011.
Loerch, a cousin of former Aggie great Stevi (Adams) Maytubby, comes to NM State as a transfer from California. She was a part of the 2010 Bear team that reached the NCAA National Championship match against Penn State.
The 2012 season begins the weekend of Aug. 24 with all 10 teams in action. The 2012 WAC Volleyball Tournament, hosted by UTSA, will be held Nov. 19-21, at the Convocation Center in San Antonio, Texas, and will include the top eight teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.
The NM State volleyball team hosts its Annual Alumni Match, Saturday, Aug. 18 at 4:00 p.m. (MT) in the Pan American Center. The event is free to all in attendance.
2012 WAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Team Points
1 New Mexico State (8) 79
2 Idaho (2) 67
3 UTSA 58
4 Utah State 57
5 Texas State 52
6 Denver 43
7 San Jose State 34
8 UT Arlington 27
9 Seattle U 18
10 Louisiana Tech 15
2012 Preseason All-WAC Team
Player Yr. Pos. School
McKenzie Adams Jr. OH/MB UTSA
Alex Akana Sr. MB San Jose State
Amari Deardorff Jr. RS Texas State
Meredith Hays So. OH NM State
Faimie Kingsley Sr. MB Denver
Lauren Loerch Jr. OH NM State
Desiree Scott Jr. MH NM State
Alex Sele Sr. MB Idaho
Shay Sorensen Sr. OPP Utah State
Allison Walker Jr. OH Idaho
Whitney Walls Sr. RS UTSA
Joselyn White Sr. OH Utah State
Preseason Player of the Year
Meredith Hays, So., New Mexico State