FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State volleyball team was selected to finish in fourth place in its first season in the Mountain West Conference by the league's coaches. The voting panel consisted of all nine MW head volleyball coaches.
Colorado State was favored to win the conference crown with eight of nine first place votes and a total of 80 points. The Rams also are ranked in the AVCA top 25 at the No. 25 spot. San Diego State came in second place with 69 points and Wyoming in third with 66 points.
Fourth through seventh place were separated by nine points with the Bulldogs leading the way with 45 points. UNLV was picked to finish fifth, New Mexico in sixth, Boise State in seventh, Nevada in eighth and Air Force in ninth.
The Mountain West coaches also voted on preseason all-conference selections. Colorado State's Dana Cranston and Wyoming's Jodi Purdy were picked as the 2012 Preseason Players of the Year. Cranston is one of four Rams on the seven-member 2012 All-MW Preseason Team.
Fresno State returns 12 student-athletes from last year's squad, including all-conference selections Korrin Wild, Marissa Brand and Maci Murdock. Seniors Cecilia Agraz and Barbara Alcantara lead the Bulldogs into the Mountain West for their first season with the new conference. Also returning are Megan Callahan, Lauren Albertson, Christina Lee, Kristen Sciacca, Katie and Molly Pearson and Jaimee-Lee Morrow.
The Bulldogs open the 2012 season on Aug. 24 on the road at the El Paso Sport Commission Invite featuring Fresno State, host UTEP, Arizona State and Idaho State.
2012 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL COACHES' POLL
1. Colorado State
2. San Diego State
4. Fresno State
6. New Mexico
7. Boise State
9. Air Force
2012 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Dana Cranston, Sr., OH, Colorado State
Brieon Paige, Sr., MB, Colorado State
Megan Plourde, Sr., MB, Colorado State
Andrea Hannasch, Sr., MB, San Diego State
Jodi Purdy, Sr., OH, Wyoming
Setter: Johnna Fouch, Jr., S, San Diego State
Libero: Izzy Gaulia, Sr., L, Colorado State
Co-Preseason Players of the Year: Dana Cranston, Colorado State; Jodi Purdy, Wyoming