Dec. 7, 2010
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Two-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Danielle Minch and back-to-back all-MWC selection Megan Plourde each added another honor to their career resumes Tuesday when the duo was selected for the second straight season to the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association (AVCA) all-West Region team.
Minch and Plourde each turned in impressive campaigns in 2010, leading the Rams to a 26-5 overall record and the program’s eighth Mountain West Conference regular-season title. The team participated in the NCAA tournament for the 16th consecutive season, and advanced to the second round for the fourth straight year behind impressive postseason performances from both Minch and Plourde.
Minch, a native of Sterling, Colo., became the fourth player in MWC history to earn back-to-back Player of the Year awards. She finished the regular season leading the league in points per set (4.58) and was third in the league in kills per set (3.73) in conference matches. She ranked fifth in the MWC in kills (3.35) and second in points per set (4.07) in overall matches and tallied double-digit kills in 22 matches this season. She also joined and an elite club by eclipsing 1,000 career kills during the 2010 campaign.
“Danielle has been a mainstay for us as an outside hitter for four years,” said Head Coach Tom Hilbert. “This year she was a force every match that opponents had to game plan against and she still led all outside hitters in the conference. Her power as an attacker is unmatched. We will miss her next year”
Indeed, the Rams will miss Minch’s production, but Mountain West Conference coaches will still have to game plan for Plourde, who has become a force in her own right.
Plourde, a middle blocker from Somerset, Wis., followed a stellar redshirt sophomore season with her second consecutive all-MWC nod. She led the conference in blocks per set (1.62) and hitting percentage (.364), ranking second and 38th in the nation, respectively. Plourde punctuated her 2010 campaign with a record-breaking performance in the Rams’ NCAA tourney first-round victory over Cal State Fullerton. She tallied a school-record 19 blocks and recorded a career-high 20 on .529 hitting to lead CSU back from a 2-0 deficit against the Titans.
“Megan has matured into an outstanding middle attacker and one of the nation’s best blockers,” added Hilbert. “Few players have the production she has night after night. We are very pleased with her especially since she is only a sophomore.”
It marks the fourth straight season that two or more CSU players have taken home all-region recognition.
Minch and Plourde will now await the announcement of the AVCA All-America selections, which is slated for Dec. 15.
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