DENVER, CO - The Western Athletic Conference announced the preseason all-WAC team on Friday, Aug. 10 and two New Mexico State players earned enough points from the nine coaches in the conference to earn a spot on the team.
Senior Kim Oguh (El Paso, Hanks HS) and junior Amber Simpson (Quincy, Ill.), both who are middle hitters, were named to the 2007 preseason all-WAC team on Friday. Both players were also AVCA all-Americans in 2006, as well as first team all-WAC selections. Head coach Mike Jordan is proud and excited to have these two players back for him in 2007 and will look to them as leaders.
“They’re both proven players and I think they are two of the better middles in the conference,” Jordan said. “They are rightfully so on the all-WAC team and they deserve it.”
Oguh, a two time all-American selection, was a constant threat to opposing teams in 2006 as she ranked second on the team in hitting percentage (.377) and third in kills (374). She was also dominant on defense as she led the team in total blocks (175) and blocks per game (1.39). Oguh ranked third in conference in blocks.
“It’s exciting that they think I’m good enough to be on the all-WAC team,” Oguh said. “I hope this excitement continues throughout the season.”
Simpson, who was named WAC freshman of the year in 2005 and was a first team all-WAC selection in 2006, will be back in the middle for the Aggies in 2007 and should give opponents some trouble. She led the team and the WAC in hitting percentage (.387) last season, while ranking second on the team in kills (397), kills per game (3.15), total blocks (156) and blocks per game (1.24). Simpson was only the fourth player in Aggie volleyball history to be named an all-American.
“Making the team means that teams are definitely respecting me this year,” Simpson said. “I’m sure opponents will be double blocking me a lot this season.”
NMSU opens it season with a tournament in Flagstaff, Ariz. on Aug. 24-25 with the first match against Albany, who made it to the NCAA tournament last season. The team will return home for a match against Texas Southern on Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Pan American Center.
2007 Preseason All-WAC Team
Niki Clement, Jr., San Jose State
Teal Ericson, Sr., Nevada
Kari Gregory, Sr., Hawai‘i
Tara Hittle, Jr., Hawai‘i
Jamie Houston, Jr., Hawai‘i
Haley Larsen, Jr., Idaho
Amanda Nielson, Sr., Utah State
Kim Oguh, Sr., New Mexico State
Shannon Phillips, Sr., Louisiana Tech
Juliana Sanders, Sr., Hawai‘i
Jennifer Senftleben, Sr., San Jose State
Amber Simpson, Jr., New Mexico State
Preseason Player of the Year: Jamie Houston, Hawai‘i