NMSU Volleyball Picked To Win WAC In Preseason Coaches Poll

Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER, CO - The Western Athletic Conference volleyball coaches have selected NM State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2016. The coaches also voted on the preseason award winners and Aggie junior middle hitter Sasha-Lee Thomas was the pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year.

NM State received six of the first-place votes and 48 total points to earn the top spot in the poll. CSU Bakersfield earned one first-place vote and 38 total points, followed by Seattle U with one first-place vote and 34 points in third place. UMKC was picked to finish fourth with 31 points, followed by Utah Valley in fifth with 27 points. UT Rio Grande Valley was picked sixth with 24 points, while Grand Canyon and Chicago State round out the poll with 15 and seven points, respectively.

NM State placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with four, while UMKC had three, and CSU Bakersfield and UT Rio Grande Valley had two apiece. Joining Thomas on the preseason team are teammates Jordan Abalos, Brianna Ainsworth and Tatyana Battle, UMKC’s Kaylyn Brandt, Emma Hagedorn and Madison Mosier, CSU Bakersfield’s Carol Grasso and Sydney Haynes, UT Rio Grande Valley’s Bojana Mitrovic and Alisha Watson, Grand Canyon’s Natalie Tardy, Seattle U’s Matea Mamic and Utah Valley’s Madison Dennison.

The 2016 season begins next Friday, Aug. 26, with all eight teams in tournament action. The 2016 WAC Tournament, hosted by NM State, will be held Nov. 17-19, at the Pan American Center, and will include the top six eligible teams in the regular-season standings.

2016 Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rank Team (first-place votes) Points

1. NM State (6) 48
2. CSU Bakersfield (1) 38
3. Seattle U (1) 34
4. UMKC 31
5. Utah Valley 27
6. UT Rio Grande Valley 24
7. Grand Canyon 15
8. Chicago State 7

2016 Preseason All-WAC Team

Player Yr. Pos. School
Jordan Abalos Jr. OH NM State
Brianna Ainsworth So. S NM State
Tatyana Battle So. OH NM State
Kaylyn Brandt Sr. S UMKC
Madison Dennison Jr. MB Utah Valley
Carol Grasso Sr. OH CSU Bakersfield
Emma Hagedorn R-Sr. MH UMKC
Sydney Haynes R-Jr. MB CSU Bakersfield
Matea Mamic Sr. OH Seattle U
Bojana Mitrovic Jr. RS UT Rio Grande Valley
Madison Mosier Sr. OH/RS UMKC
Natalie Tardy Jr. OH Grand Canyon
Sasha-Lee Thomas Jr. MH NM State
Alisha Watson Sr. RS UT Rio Grande Valley

Preseason Player of the Year: Sasha-Lee Thomas, NM State