NM State picked to win WAC

Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER, CO – The Western Athletic Conference volleyball coaches have selected New Mexico State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2014. The coaches also voted on the preseason award winners and Utah Valley junior middle blocker Lauren Bakker was the pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year.

New Mexico State received six of the first-place votes with Seattle U earning the other two. The Aggies earned 48 total points, followed by Seattle U with 43. Utah Valley was picked to finish third with 35 points, followed by Missouri-Kansas City in fourth with 27 points, just ahead of Bakersfield in fifth with 26 and Grand Canyon in sixth with 22 points. Texas-Pan American and Chicago State rounded out the poll with 16 and seven points, respectively.

New Mexico State and Utah Valley placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with three apiece, while Seattle U, UMKC and Grand Canyon had two each. Joining Bakker on the preseason team are teammates Kalani Norris and McKenna Tait, New Mexico State’s Taylor Livoti, Gwen Murphy and Bradley Nash, Seattle U’s Iris Ivanis and Martina Samadan, UMKC’s Sydney Crimmins and Emma Hagedorn, Grand Canyon’s Shannon Dugan and Mackenzie Phelps, Bakersfield’s Molly O’Hagan, and Haley Durham of UTPA.

The 2014 season begins Friday, Aug. 29 with all eight teams in tournament action. The 2014 WAC Tournament, hosted by Bakersfield, will be held Nov. 20-22, at the Icardo Center, and will include the top six eligible teams in the regular-season standings.

Rank Team (first-place votes) Points
1 New Mexico State (6) 48
2 Seattle U (2) 43
3 Utah Valley 35
4 Missouri-Kansas City 27
5 Bakersfield 26
6 Grand Canyon 22
7 Texas-Pan American 16
8 Chicago State 7

2014 Preseason All-WAC Team

Player Yr. Pos. School
Lauren Bakker Jr. MB Utah Valley
Sydney Crimmins Jr. OH UMKC
Shannon Dugan Sr. OH Grand Canyon
Haley Durham Jr. MB UTPA
Emma Hagedorn Jr. MB UMKC
Iris Ivanis So. OH Seattle U
Taylor Livoti Jr. S New Mexico State
Gwen Murphy Jr. MH New Mexico State
Bradley Nash Jr. OH New Mexico State
Kalani Norris Sr. OH Utah Valley
Molly O’Hagan Sr. MB Bakersfield
Mackenzie Phelps Sr. L Grand Canyon
Martina Samadan Jr. M Seattle U
McKenna Tait Sr. L Utah Valley