Aug. 4, 2009
By Katy Johnstone
Athletic Media Relations
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The preseason Mountain West Conference poll was released Tuesday with the Rams selected to finish second, close behind the defending conference champs, the Utah Utes, by a survey of the nine conference head coaches and select media.
The Rams tallied 135 points, just three points short of the Utes, who captured eight first-place votes to CSU’s four. The preseason all-conference team was also released and CSU senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson was named Co-Player of the Year.
Nelson returns after earning all-MWC honors and a conference Player of the Week (Sept. 29) nod as a junior in 2008. She was ranked sixth in the conference for blocks per set (1.16) last season and second on the team, ninth in conference, with a hitting percentage of .312. Nelson is the only all-conference player returning for the Rams this season.
New Mexico’s Jade Michaelson tied Nelson for top preseason honors.
This marks the second consecutive year that a Colorado State player has been named the preseason Player of the Year, after Mekana Barnes was selected in 2008.
The Rams will open the 2009 season hosting the Asics/Coors Classic on Aug. 28 against Pepperdine. Conference play starts Sept. 18 when the Rams travel to UNLV to take on the Rebels.