COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl volleyball team was picked to finish fourth in the Mountain West Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league announced Thursday.
The Cowgirls, who finished in third place a year ago, garnered 77 total points with one first-place vote in the poll. Colorado State (seven first-place votes) was selected to win the conference title with 97 points while UNLV and Boise State tied for second place with 83 points. The Rebels collected two first-place votes as Boise State received the final first-place vote.
Additionally on Thursday, senior outside hitter Bridget Shanahan was named to the All-MW Preseason Team. Shanahan earned All-MW for the first time a year ago and is one of the top returning hitters in the league after she finished third in the MW in kills averaging 3.33 kills per set.
UW returns nine letterwinners including six starters from last year's team that finished 23-8 overall and 12-6 in the MW. Also back are three redshirts along with four incoming freshmen. In MW matches last season, junior middle blocker Laura Beach finished third in hitting percentage to earn All-MW honors, while junior setter Courtney Chacon finished seventh in assists and senior Allison Waldvogel was second in digs per set with 4.18 during MW play.
Wyoming gets its 2015 season underway next week when it hosts The Rumble in the Rockies. The Cowgirls open the campaign against No. 14 Ohio State on Friday, Aug. 28, at 6:30 p.m. (MT) in the Arena-Auditorium. They will then take on South Dakota and Butler the following day at 11:30 a.m., and 7 p.m., respectively.
The Cowgirls will host Pistol Pete's Showdown: Presented by UniWyo Federal Credit Union, Sept. 11-12, where UW will welcome three teams that made last year's NCAA tournament in Marquette, Kansas and Northern Colorado. The final tune-up before MW play is the Wyoming Invite, Sept. 17-18, as Idaho State, McNeese State and Pepperdine come to Laramie.
The first weekend of MW matches will be at home on Thursday, Sept. 24 against Boise State and against Utah State on Saturday, Sept. 26. The final regular season matchup at home for the Cowgirls will be against Border War rival Colorado State on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
2015 Mountain West Preseason Women's Volleyball Coaches' Poll
Place -- Team (First-place votes) -- Points
1. Colorado State (7) 97
2. UNLV (2) 83
Boise State (1) 83
4. Wyoming (1) 77
5. New Mexico 67
6. San Diego State 58
7. Air Force 41
8. Utah State 39
9. Fresno State 26
10. Nevada 20
11. San Jose State 14
2015 All-Mountain West Preseason Women's Volleyball Team
Player Cl. Pos. Team
Bridget Shanahan Sr. OH/MB Wyoming
Sierra Nobley So. OH Boise State
Jaime Colaizzi Sr. L Colorado State
Adrianna Culbert Sr. OPP/OH Colorado State
Hannah Johnson Sr. S New Mexico
Julia Warren Jr. OH/L New Mexico
Bree Hammel Jr. MB UNLV