Dec. 4, 2012
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LEXINGTON, Ky.—Seniors Dana Cranston and Megan Plourde have been named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-West Region team. The AVCA made the announcement on Tuesday.
Of the 112 selections, 50 are seniors, but just four—including Plourde—have earned all-region honors each year of their careers. Plourde is the first player in CSU and Mountain West history to earn the recognition each year of her career. No other CSU player has been represented more than twice.
“The trademark of Meg has been her consistency throughout her career,” Head Coach Tom Hilbert said. “She’s always good; she’s always good in big matches. She’s always been very focused on what she needs to do to be a better player, and when you have that kind of attitude you end up being very impactful to your team, and this is the result of it.”
The senior from Somerset, Wis., averaged 1.53 blocks per set (second in the MW), in addition to recording 2.91 kills and a conference-best .358 hitting. Last week, she became the second player in Mountain West history and fourth CSU player to ever be named to four all-conference teams. In 2011, she was named an AVCA All-American after leading the nation with 1.71 blocks per set.
“I feel super blessed to receive this honor,” Plourde said. “My coaches and teammates have put me in such a good place and have given me so many opportunities throughout my career. My coaches seriously made me believe in myself, and Tom (Hilbert) has always been there for me through my ups and downs. I’m so thankful for everything they’ve given to me and for putting me in this position that I’ve been in.”
Cranston, a native of Fort St. John, B.C., was named the 2012 Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Year after averaging 3.62 kills and 4.28 points per set—both second in the MW. Additionally, her conference hitting percentage of .277 ranked first among outside hitters and her 0.31 aces per set in league play was second. A versatile six-rotation player, Cranston also placed in the top four on her team in digs, blocks and assists.
Added Hilbert: “This was a year where Dana was put in a new position, where she had to play a bigger role on our team. If you would have asked Dana at the beginning of the year if this was a goal of hers she wouldn’t care; she just wanted to do that new role of being the anchor outside hitter well. She did that role really well, and this is showing that people respect that.”
With the pair of selections, CSU has had at least two players recognized each season since 2007.
The West Region encompasses schools from the states of California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming. In all, seven Mountain West student-athletes were selected to all-region teams.
Fourteen players were named to each of the eight All-Region teams. Additionally, six players for each region were named honorable mention selections, including fellow senior Brieon Paige.
Paige hit with high efficiency, averaging 2.57 kills and 0.97 blocks on .357 hitting. During MW play, she ranked first in hitting percentage (.391) and eighth in blocks (1.09 per set).
"Brieon also had an exceptional season," Hilbert said. "She was a key player on our team, and I believe she deserved to be recognized, as well."
The Rams concluded 2012 with a record of 21-8, including winning a fourth consecutive Mountain West title. With the championship, CSU earned a trip to the NCAA tournament for the 18th straight season—the seventh longest streak in the country—before falling to No. 22 Purdue in the first round.
Cranston and Plourde will now await the announcement of the AVCA All-America selections, which is slated for Dec. 12. Ten players have won 12 total All-America awards in CSU history, which ranks 17th nationally.
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