Wyoming's Rachel Smith Named All-MWC

Nov. 23, 2005

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -

The All-Mountain West Conference Volleyball awards as selected by the league's nine head coaches were announced Wednesday in conjunction with the Mountain West Conference Volleyball Championship in Las Vegas, Nev. The quarterfinal round begins tomorrow (Thursday, November 24) and runs through Saturday, November 26, at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus.

University of Wyoming sophomore Rachel Smith, last season's Co-Freshman of the Year, was the Cowgirls lone representative on the All-MWC team. Smith led UW in kills during the 2005 season.

BYU junior Lindsy Hartsock was named Player of the Year, while Utah's Airial Salvo was voted Freshman of the Year. BYU's Jason Watson collected his first-ever MWC Coach of the Year honor.

Hartsock, a native of Inkom, Idaho, earned her first player of the year honor guiding the Cougars to a 14-2 record in conference play (23-2 overall), and their second regular-season title as members of the MWC. Hartsock finished the regular season leading the MWC in attack percentage (.442) in both overall and conference matches. Her hitting percentage is currently first in the nation. She also averages 2.76 kills and 1.16 blocks per game.

Utah outside hitter Airial Salvo, from Farmington, Utah, earned MWC Freshman of the Year accolades after tallying the conference's highest freshmen ranking in kills per game in overall matches (3.24) and conference matches (3.36), while tallying a hitting percentage of .244 and averaging a team-high 0.27 service aces per game. She also reached double-figure kills in 22 of 27 matches this season, notching 13 double-doubles in the process. Salvo also was voted MWC Player of the Week twice.

BYU head coach Jason Watson was named MWC Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm. He led the Cougars to a 23-2 overall record and 12-2 conference mark, as BYU collected their first MWC regular season crown since 1999. Watson led the Cougars to 20-straight victories to open the 2005 season as BYU finished the regular season with its best record since 1998.

BYU had four student-athletes named to this year's all-conference team, while Colorado State had three student-athletes honored. San Diego State, UNLV and Utah had two student-athletes apiece on the all-conference team and Wyoming had one. Six seniors, five sophomores, two juniors and one freshman made up the 14-member all-conference squad.

BYU's Lindsy Hartsock and Lauren Richards Evans, Colorado State's Dre Downs and Tess Rogers, and Utah's Shelly Sommerfeldt were repeat selections from last year. BYU's Chelsea Goodman and Erica Lott were joined on the squad by Colorado State's Casey Bauer, San Diego State's Aime Cordeiro and Lindsey Noll, UNLV's Maria Aladjova and Lauren Miramontes, Utah's Airial Salvo and Wyoming's Smith as first-time honorees.

2005 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM

(*notes repeat selection)

Name, School, Class, Position, HometownChelsea Goodman, BYU, So., OH, Mesa, Ariz.Lindsy Hartsock*, BYU, Jr., MB, Inkom, IdahoErica Lott, BYU, So., OH, Orem, UtahCasey Bauer, CSU, Sr., OH, Cortez, Colo.Dre Downs*, CSU, Sr., RS/MB, Clinton, UtahTess Rogers*, CSU, Sr., OH, Merino, Colo.Lindsey Noll, SDSU, Sr., MB, St. Louis, Mo.Maria Aladjova, UNLV, So., OH, Sophia, BulgariaLauren Miramontes, UNLV, Jr., MB, Upland, Calif.Airial Salvo, Utah, Fr., OH, Farmington, UtahShelly Sommerfeldt*, Utah, Sr., OH, Orem, UtahRachel Smith, WYO, So., OH, Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Setter - Lauren Richards Evans*, BYU, Sr., Orem, UtahLibero - Aime Cordeiro, SDSU, So., Santee, Calif.

Player of the Year: Lindsy Hartsock, MB, BYU

Freshman of the Year: Airial Salvo, OH, Utah

Coach of the Year: Jason Watson, BYU