Courtesy UNM Sports Information
The University of New Mexico volleyball team was picked to finish second in the Mountain West behind the favorite Colorado State.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico volleyball team is picked to finish second in the Mountain West this season, voted by the coaches in the conference which was released Tuesday.
Colorado State was picked to be the favorite this season, receiving seven first place votes. New Mexico was right behind with four first place votes. Utah State, San Diego State and Wyoming round out the top five.
“I think the coaches got this one right,” said head coach Jeff Nelson. “CSU continues to be the favorite and will be until one of us cant step up. Our team is ready to battle and fight for that spot, but we know there are others as well. Utah State will be very good this year with five starters returning and, SDSU had a big turn over, but also a great recruiting class.
Boise State comes in sixth while UNLV, Fresno State, Air Force, San Jose State and Nevada all follow in order.
“I think Wyoming and Boise State are well coached and will always be tough,” Nelson said. “The sleeper this year could be Air Force. Matt McShane (Air Force’s head coach) and his staff have done a great job raising the bar there and I think they are going to surprise some people this season”
Last season, the Lobos finished second in the Mountain West with a 14-6 record, finishing 24-7 overall. This season the Lobos have the experience to be as coach Nelson says, “the best team at New Mexico in 25 years.”
“Our team is excited for what is coming and it is their goal to win the conference,” said Nelson. “I think we are solid and deep in every position which will help through the long season grind. Chantale will lead the way but Cassie House, Julia Warren and Hannah Johnson will provide a big foundation. We have also seen huge improvements in Devanne Sours and will look or her to add along with Else Krieg, Skye Gullatt and newcomers, Victoria Spragg and Simone Henderson, giving us our deepest and strongest middle group we have had.
“The libero position will be filled by either returners Ashley Kelsey or Maddie Mayfield, but they are being pushed hard by newcomers Taylor Cross and Stephanie Chavez.”
The Lobos will kick off their season next Friday, August 29 at the Lobo Classic, playing Seattle U at 1:30 p.m. and preseason No. 2 ranked Texas at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at either www.GoLobos.com or by calling 925-LOBO.
“This will be a very exciting season of MW volleyball, so come out and support our awesome Lobos this year.”
2014 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL COACHES’ POLL
Pl. Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Colorado State (7) 97
2. New Mexico (4) 91
3. Utah State 81
4. San Diego State 73
5. Wyoming 55
6. Boise State 54
7. UNLV 50
8. Fresno State 40
9. Air Force 31
10. San José State 21
11. Nevada 12