Meredith Hays Named WAC Freshman Of The Year; Five Aggies Earn All-WAC Honors

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS VEGAS, NV - The New Mexico State volleyball team was awarded a handful of awards at the Western Athletic Conference volleyball banquet that was held in The Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., Sunday, Nov. 20.

Freshman Meredith Hays led the Aggies this season and earned first team All-WAC honors and 2011 WAC Freshman of the Year Honors. Senior setter Jennah DeVries and senior opposite hitter Kelsey Brennan joined Hays on the first team, while senior middle hitter Michelle Kuester and senior libero Kelsi Phillips earned second team honors.

"Jennah and Kelsey have been all-conference for a while and have had great careers," Jordan said. "More than anything they want to help to get us back to the NCAA Tournament."

Hays, who also earned WAC freshman team honors, led the league in kills (4.29/set) and points (4.78/set). She did all she could in a loss to Utah State (10/27) as she marked a season and career-high 25 kills in the five set loss. Hays has marked at least 20 kills in six matches this year and tallied double-digit kill figures in 24 matches.

"Meredith is big part of our success and she has worked hard," Jordan said. "I think she is going to be a good player for us in the future and we are excited."

Brennan and DeVries have earned first team All-WAC honors for the third time in their career. Brennan played in 97 sets for NM State this season and moved from the middle hitter position to the opposite player position. She adjusted well as she finished second in the league with a .360 hitting percentage on the year. Brennan marked the highest hitting percentage of any Aggie this season when she tallied a .667 hitting percentage against Northwestern State (9/10). Up to this point, Brennan has acquired 312 total blocks and 777 kills in her career.

DeVries, who was named WAC Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 5-11, has 12 double-doubles on the year and has 1,070 assists and 267 digs on the year. DeVries has posted at least 20 assists in all but one match this year and has posted at least 30 assists in 23 matches. She tallied a season-high 60 assists against Utah State (10/27) and has marked 50-plus assists in three matches.

Phillips played 100 sets for NM State and is third in the league with 4.06 digs per set. She reached 1,000 career-digs, Nov. 10 against San Jose State and also jumped into the top 10 all-time at NM State that day. With 1,022 career-digs heading into the tournament, Phillips needs 27 to tie former Aggie Christine Jinbo (1993-96) for the No. 9 spot and 40 digs to tie Briana Akrie for the No. 8 spot.

"Phillips is one of the best liberos in the league and I am glad that she is getting rewarded for her hard work," Jordan said.

Kuester played 94 sets in her second year with the Aggies. She is fourth in the WAC in blocks per set and leads the Aggies with 110 total blocks. She averages 1.51 kills per set and marked a career-high three times this season with eight kills against Utah State, Colgate and Northwestern State.

"Kuester has really improved in her time here coming off of shoulder surgery," Jordan said. "She is one of the best blockers in the conference, is really competitive and has worked very hard to get to where she is now."

The Aggies play against No. 6 seed San Jose State a 6pm (MT) in the Orleans Areana in Las Vegas, Nev. The match will be aired on the radio in Las Cruces on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski giving the play-by-play action.

2011 WAC Volleyball Postseason Award Winners

First Team
Kelsey Brennan^#
Jennah DeVries^#
Meredith Hays

Second Team
Michelle Kuester
Kelsi Phillips

Meredith Hays

WAC Freshman of the Year: Meredith Hays, New Mexico State

*2008 first team pick
**2008 second team pick
^2009 first team pick
^^2009 second team pick
#2010 first team pick
##2010 second team pick