Dec. 3, 2013
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Colorado State senior Samantha Peters has been named the 2013 Mountain West Women's Volleyball Player of the Year. It marks the fifth consecutive season that a CSU player has earned the league's top honor, and the 10th time in the Mountain West's 15-year history. The conference made the announcement Tuesday after a vote from the league's 11 head coaches.
In addition to Peters, junior Deedra Foss was named the Mountain West Setter of the Year, and Head Coach Tom Hilbert picked up his ninth Mountain West Coach of the Year honor. Sophomore Adrianna Culbert and junior Kelsey Snider join Foss and Peters on the 16-member All-Mountain West team.
Peters led the Mountain West with a .404 conference hitting percentage, and ranked second, with 1.59 blocks per set. The middle blocker from Englewood, Colo., also added 2.64 kills and 3.51 points per set during conference play.
Overall, Peters is one of two players in the NCAA to average at least 1.43 blocks per set and hit above .400. Her hitting percentage is on pace to rank fifth in CSU single-season history, while her blocking average is just outside the top 10. She has led the Rams in blocking 20 times this season, including a career-high 12 in a come-from-behind win at Utah State on Nov. 2.
Peters has started 27 matches for the Rams in 2013, leading CSU to a 28-1 record entering this week's NCAA tournament match vs. Cal State Northridge. She has been part of four conference championships during her career - redshirting in 2010 after spending her freshman season at Santa Clara, and playing for the Rams since 2011.
However, this season was her first to make major contributions on the court.
Peters joins a strong list of former Rams to be named the Mountain West Women's Volleyball Player of the Year: Angela Knopf (2000, 2001), Melissa Courtney (2003, 2004), Mekana Barnes (2007), Danielle Minch (2009, 2010), Katelyn Steffan (2011) and Dana Cranston (2012).
Foss was honored by the league for the third straight year, earning 2011 MW Newcomer of the Year honors and being selected to the 2012 All-Mountain West team. She becomes CSU's first Setter of the Year since Ashley Fornstrom was honored in 2008.
A native of McKenna, Wash., Foss leads the MW in assists, with 11.71 per set - more than a half assist above second place. In addition to her ability to set up the offense, Foss is one of the most versatile setters in the country, ranking first among MW setters in blocks (0.85) and hitting percentage (.425), and second in service aces (0.26) and kills (0.79).
Nationally, she ranks eighth for assists per set, and CSU's offense is sixth in hitting percentage - thanks in large part due to Foss' ability to run the offense.
Hilbert led the Rams to a fifth consecutive Mountain West title in 2013, and the program's 11th in 15 years with the conference. This season, however, was one of the more special ones, as the Rams weren't picked to win the league in the annual preseason poll. CSU graduated four of its 2012 starters, which accounted for 68 percent of its offense, 61 percent of its blocking, 48 percent of its service aces and 48 percent of its digs.
Despite being seen as a rebuilding year, the Rams - ranked No. 12 in this week's AVCA top-25 poll - rewrote the record books by winning their first 27 matches and setting a program record for winning percentage.
Culbert and Snider were each named to the All-Mountain West team for the first time.
Culbert, a native of Delton, Mich., is averaging 2.25 kills and 2.70 digs per set, and ranks in the top 20 in the MW for both hitting percentage (.277) and digs. She has recorded 10 or more kills 15 this season and has reached double figures in digs on 15 occasions, including eight double-doubles.
Snider switched from an outside hitter to middle blocker during the offseason. The move paid off, as she averaged 2.65 kills on .353 hitting during conference play, in addition to 0.99 blocks per set. Snider's hitting percentage ranks sixth in the MW, while her blocks-per-set average is just outside the top 10.
The 2013 season marks the fourth straight year that four players have been recognized during the Mountain West postseason awards. Making it more impressive, Foss was the only player named to the Preseason All-MW Team.
CSU is preparing for its 19th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The Rams will travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to face Cal State Northridge Thursday in the opening round.
2013 All-Mountain West Women's Volleyball Team
|Adrianna Culbert||Colorado State||SO||OPP|
|Samantha Peters||Colorado State||SR||MB|
|Kelsey Snider||Colorado State||JR||MB|
|Marissa Brand||Fresno State||SR||OH|
|Korrin Wild||Fresno State||SR||OH|
|Hannah Johnson||New Mexico||SO||S|
|Miquella Lovato||New Mexico||SR||L|
|Chantale Riddle||New Mexico||JR||OPP|
|Julia Warren||New Mexico||FR||OH|
|Raegan Shelton||San Diego State||SR||OH|
|Hanah Blume||San José State||SR||OH|
|Elle Brainard||Utah State||SO||OPP|
|Setter: Deedra Foss||Colorado State||JR||S|
|Libero: Becky Stewart||Wyoming||SR||L|
|Player: Samantha Peters||Colorado State||SR||MB|
|Freshman: Julia Warren||New Mexico||FR||OH|
|Newcomer: Holly Franks||Fresno State||SR||OPP|
|Coach: Tom Hilbert||Colorado State|
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