Three Rams earn MWC volleyball all-conference honors
Nov. 30, 2010
By Danny Mattie
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – CSU’s Danielle Minch headlines the 2010 Mountain West volleyball all-conference team released Tuesday by the league office. She is joined by teammates Megan Plourde and Evan Sanders on the 15-player list.
All three Rams are repeat honorees, each having earned all-MWC honors in 2009.
Minch, a senior outside hitter, garnered her second consecutive Player of the Year award, becoming the fourth player in conference history, and third from CSU, to repeat as the top player as voted by the league’s nine head coaches. Melissa Courtney (2003 and 2004) and Angela Knopf (2000 and 2001) each took home Player of the Year hardware twice in their CSU careers, while Utah’s Kim Turner did so in 2002 and 2003.
Colorado State players have now captured seven of 12 MWC Player of the Year honors awarded since the formation of the league in 1999. Mekana Barnes was named MWC Player of the Year in 2007.
A native of Sterling, Colo., Minch led the Rams to their eighth Mountain West Conference title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament, the program’s 16th consecutive appearance. She finished the regular season leading the league in points per set (4.58) and was third in the league in kills per set in conference matches (3.73). Minch also ranks fourth in the MWC in kills (3.40) and second in points per set (4.15) in overall matches. Minch has tallied double-digit kills in 21 matches this season, and joined an elite club by eclipsing 1,000 career kills during the 2010 campaign.
Sanders, a junior setter from Lafayette, Colo., led the Mountain West in overall assists this season, averaging 10.65 per set, while her average of 10.91 assists per set in league play was second only to MWC Setter of the Year Jade Michaelsen (New Mexico).
Plourde, a sophomore middle blocker from Somerset, Wis., followed a stellar redshirt sophomore season with her second consecutive all-MWC honor. She led the conference in blocks per set (1.54) and hitting percentage (.364), ranking fourth and 38th in the nation, respectively. In conference play, she ranked fourth in hitting percentage (.350) and first in blocking (1.54 per set), while her blocking average is currently sixth on the Rams’ single-season charts.
Colorado State closed the regular-season 25-4 overall, and is ranked 17th nationally heading into this week’s NCAA first round matchup against No. 25 Cal State Fullerton at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion. That tilt between the Rams and the Titans is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. MT, with the winner advancing to the second round to face either second-ranked Stanford, or Albany. The Cardinal and Great Danes square off Friday at 7 p.m. PT/8 p.m. MT.
For more information on the NCAA volleyball championships, click here.