Four Aggies Named To Preseason All-WAC Team; NM State Picked To Finish Second

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

DENVER, CO - The Western Athletic Conference volleyball coaches have selected New Mexico State to finish second in the preseason poll, while the Aggies placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with four selections, the league office annouced.

The Aggies received 57 points in the poll, while earning one first-place vote, with Hawai'i taking eight first-place votes and earning 64 points. The Rainbow Wahine have been selected to win its 15th-straight WAC regular season title in 2010. Senior outside hitters Kayleigh Giddens and Whitney Woods were Preseason All-WAC selections along with junior setter Jennah DeVries and junior middle hitter Kelsey Brennan. Rainbow Wahine outside hitter Kanani Danielson was selected as the preseason player of the year.

"We have four first team all-conference players back, which is a great start," head coach Mike Jordan said. "There's going to be good competition for a couple of lineup spots on our team and we are deeper than we were last year. I like the look of this team a lot. I think we can be every bit as good as we were in 2008, when we tied Hawai'i for the title and were nationally ranked all year."

All four preseason All-WAC selections were first team all-WAC picks a year ago and hope to accomplish that feat again in 2010. Giddens finished conference play averaging 4.47 kills per set, which was tops in the WAC, and ended the year with 4.00 kills per set overall. Woods and Brennan were in the top-10 in blocks last season, while DeVries was second in the conference in assists.

The Aggies open the 2010 season at the Florida State Tournament in Tallahassee, Fla., August 27, taking on Florida International in the first match of the tournament. The Aggies face nine teams who reached the 2009 NCAA Tournament this season Those teams include Arizona, Florida A&M, Florida International, Florida State, Hawai'i, LSU, New Mexico, Rice and Texas State.

"Our preseason schedule is very tough again but we like it that way," Jordan said. "If we're healthy we'll do well. I think our conference is better top to bottom and there are no easy wins."

NM State opens conference play Sept. 23, in Ruston, La., taking on Louisiana Tech. The 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held, Nov. 22-24, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include the top six teams in the regular season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.