Nov. 24, 2009
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By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Mountain West all-conference volleyball awards as selected by the league's nine head coaches were announced Tuesday by the conference office. Colorado State junior outside hitter Danielle Minch was named Player of the Year, and Head Coach Tom Hilbert was selected as the league’s Coach of the Year.
Minch, a native of Sterling, Colo., earned her first player of the year honor after leading Colorado State to its seventh regular-season Mountain West Conference championship. Minch finished the regular season leading the league in kills per set in conference matches (3.80). She also ranked second in the MWC in kills (3.77) and points per set (4.16) in overall matches, and finished conference play ranking third in points per set (4.16). Minch has tallied double-digit kills in 19 matches this season and was honored as the MWC Player of the Week on Nov. 16.
Hilbert was named MWC Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his career. He led the 23rd-ranked Rams to their 11th overall Mountain West Conference title (seven regular-season, four tournament) with a 15-1 conference record. Hilbert also guided Colorado State to its 11th 20-win season as a member of the MWC. This season, Hilbert also reached a significant coaching milestone, eclipsing 500 career victories in the Rams’ Nov. 6 victory over Air Force, becoming one of only 29 active head coaches to reach that mark.
Senior middle blocker Tessa Nelson, who was selected as the preseason Co-Player of the Year, highlights the rest of the Rams’ all-conference selections, which include first-time nods from redshirt freshman Megan Plourde and sophomore setter Evan Sanders. Nelson is one of five repeat honorees on the team.
Senior libero Katelin Batten
, the MWC active leader in career digs, earned her first nod as the conference’s Libero of the Year.
Colorado State brings its regular-season schedule to a close Saturday, hosting non-conference foe New Mexico State at Moby Arena. The match, which will also feature Senior Day festivities, is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. MT.
The Rams will then learn their fate for the 2009 NCAA tournament on Sunday when the bracket is announced live on ESPN News at 1 p.m. MT. The team will host a watch party, beginning at 12:30 p.m. MT at C.B. & Potts Restaurant, 1415 W. Elizabeth St., in Fort Collins.