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This Week in WAC Volleyball
Courtesy: Hawai‘i




Idaho senior outside hitter Haley Larsen has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 25-31. This is the first WAC Player of the Week of the season and the third career honor for Larsen.


The Santa Clarita, Calif., (Canyon HS) native, tallied 48 kills and 40 digs over three matches last week at the Middle Tennessee Invitational in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Larsen averaged a league-best 4.36 kills per set as she led Idaho to a 2-1 record at the tournament. She fronted the WAC last week with 10 service aces, including a career high five in a win over South Dakota State. Larsen totaled 21 kills and 20 digs in a 3-1 victory over Southeast Missouri State. She also registered a double-double against No. 15 Middle Tennessee State with 14 kills and 12 digs. Larsen was named to the Middle Tennessee All-Tournament team for her efforts.


Other nominees included: Alisha King of Boise State tallied 29 kills and 28 digs in three matches ... Brianna Clarke of Fresno State tallied 39 kills and 19 digs in her first three collegiate matches ... Hawai‘i’s Anelbi Cubi-Otineru averaged 3.00 kills per set with a .373 hitting percentage over three matches ... Kylie Harrington of Nevada was named to the Shamrock Invitational All-Tournament team after averaging 2.90 kills, 2.80 digs and 3.25 points as the Pack went 1-2 ... New Mexico State’s Lindsey Yon was named to the all-tournament team at the State Farm Illini Classic after recording 43 kills and 32 digs in three matches ... Niki Clement became the 11th San Jose State player in school history to record 1,000 or more career kills after she tallied 39 in three matches.



The WAC had 10 of its players named to all-tournament teams last week. Boise State’s Jeanette Jenkins was named to the BSU Invitational all-tournament team. Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke received all-tournament honors at the Fresno State Invitational. Hawai‘i’s Aneli Cubi-Otineru was named to the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic all-tournament team. Nevada’s Kylie Harrington received Shamrock Invitational honors, while New Mexico State’s Lindsey Yon was named to the all-tournament team at the State Farm Illini Classic. San Jose State’s Niki Clement and Kelly Crow were each named to the all-tournament team at the Sheraton Four Points Wildcat Classic, and Utah State’s Melissa Osterloh received all-tournament honors at the BYU Molten Classic.



Niki Clement became the 11th Spartan in San Jose State team history to record 1,000 or more career kills. Clement reached the milestone against Arizona on Aug. 29. She now has with 1,038 career kills and is just four away from tying for 10th place on the all-time SJSU list at 1,046 kills.



Defending Western Athletic Conference volleyball champion Hawai‘i has been selected in a poll by the league’s coaches to defend its crown in 2008 and take home its 13th-straight regular-season title.


The Rainbow Wahine received eight of the nine first-place votes with New Mexico State earning the other first-place vote. Hawai‘i earned 64 total points followed by New Mexico State with 57. For the second-straight season San Jose State and Idaho finished tied for third with 42 points. Utah State was picked fifth with 40, while Nevada was picked sixth with 34. Boise State finished in seventh place with 20 points, and Fresno State earned 16 points, good for eighth. Louisiana Tech was picked ninth with nine points. Both the Bulldogs and the Lady Techsters have new coaches this season. Lauren Netherby-Sewell takes the reigns at Fresno State, while Matt Sonnichsen becomes head coach at Louisiana Tech.


Hawai‘i is coming off a 27-6 season in 2007 that saw the Rainbow Wahine earn their 12th-consecutive WAC regular-season title with a 15-1 record. Hawai‘i also captured its eighth WAC Tournament title. Both Hawai‘i and New Mexico State advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.


The 2008 WAC season begins August 29 with all nine teams in action. For the first time ever, the WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held in Honolulu on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i. The nine-team tournament will be held November 20-23.



The WAC Preseason all-WAC volleyball team was announced on Aug. 8 as voted on by the nine coaches. Hawai‘i All-American Jamie Houston was named WAC Preseason Player of the Year. This is the fourth-straight season that a Rainbow Wahine player earned the preseason honor with former Hawai‘i All-American Kanoe Kamana`o earning the honor in 2005 and 2006. This is Houston’s second-straight honor. She is also the reigning WAC Player of the Year.


New Mexico State placed the most on the 12-player team with four. Along with seniors Krystal Torres and Amber Simpson, juniors Krista Altermatt and Lindsey Yon earned preseason honors. Simpson, Yon and Torres were all first-team all-WAC selections in 2007.


Two Hawai‘i players joined Houston on the preseason team, juniors Aneli Cubi-Otineru and Amber Kaufman. Both Houston and Cubi-Otineru were first team all-WAC selections last season. San Jose State also had two players make the team with seniors Niki Clement and Colleen Burke earning nods.


Chelsea Fowles of Utah State, the 2007 WAC Freshman of the Year, and Idaho’s Haley Larsen both were named to the team. Nevada sophomore Lindsay Baldwin rounded out the preseason squad. Six teams placed at least one player on the preseason all-WAC. Eight players are returning first-team all-WAC honorees.



For the fourth-straight year the WAC will not compete in divisions. This season’s format will be a double-round robin. Each team will face the other eight at home and on the road. All nine teams will compete in the WAC Volleyball Tournament. This is the first time that the WAC Tournament will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii.




November 20 (Quarterfinals) 

Match 1 - No. 8 vs. No. 9, 9:30 a.m.                    

Match 2 - No. 4 vs. No. 5, 12:00 p.m.

Match 3 - No. 3 vs. No. 6, 2:30 p.m.

Match 4 - No. 2 vs. No. 7, 5:00 p.m.

Match 5 - Winner Match 1 vs. No. 1, 7:30 p.m.


November 21 (Semifinals)

Match 6 - Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 5:00 p.m.

Match 7 - Winner Match 2 vs. Winner Match 5, 7:30 p.m.


November 23 (Championship)

Match 8 - Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7, 3:00 p.m.



The Western Athletic Conference announced, that pending board approval, New Mexico State University will host the 2007 WAC Volleyball Tournament, Nov. 15-17 at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces.


The 2007 Volleyball Tournament marks the third time New Mexico State has hosted a WAC Championship in the past nine months.  In March, the Aggies hosted the 2007 WAC Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships and this April, the University Golf Course hosted the 2007 WAC Women’s Golf Championships. 


Throughout the week, WAC teams and fans were treated to a variety of cultural events that showcased what the state of New Mexico and the city of Las Cruces are all about, including Native American and Hispanic Culture Days.  Fans also had the chance to experience the newly-renovated Pan American Center first hand, including new concourses, concession stands, restrooms and a brand new center-hung scoreboard, which hangs above Lou Henson Court.



Of the 12 first-team all-WAC players in 2007, six should return for the 2008 season, including two from Hawai‘i, Jamie Houston and Aneli Cubi-Otineru. There are three returning from New Mexico State, Amber Simpson, Krystal Torres and Lindsey Yon. Idaho’s Haley Larsen and San Jose State’s Colleen Burke also return from the first team. Six of the second-team all-WAC performers will also return this season, including San Jose State’s Niki Clement. Idaho’s Haley Larsen and Utah State’s Danielle Taylor and Melissa Osterloh also return from the second team. The other remaining second-team honorees from last season are Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Brandt and Tara Hittle.



The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee has announced the following sites for regional competition of the 2008 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.


Regionals (4) December 12-13, 2008

Host: Colorado State University

Moby Arena

Fort Collins, Colorado


Host: Pennsylvania State University

Rec Hall

University Park, Pennsylvania


Host: University of Texas

Gregory Gymnasium

Austin, Texas


Host: University of Washington

Bank of America Arena





Boise State Broncos (0-3, 0-0 WAC)

Boise State dropped three matches at home last week to open the season ... The Broncos fell to Seattle (0-3), Cal State Northridge (1-3), and Washington State (1-3) ... Alisha King led the team with 29 kills (2.64 ps) over the three matches ... Sadie Maughan added 28 kills, two solo blocks and 10 assisted blocks last week ... Jeanette Jenkins was named to the Bronco Invitational All-Tournament team after recording 26 kills (2.36 ps), nine blocks, and nine digs ... Mandy Klein led the team with 98 assists (8.91 ps) last week.


Fresno State Bulldogs (1-2, 0-0 WAC)

Fresno State went 1-2 in its opening weekend at home ... the Bulldogs defeated Cal State Bakersfield (3-2) in its opening match ... the team also dropped matches against UC Davis and Saint Mary’s ... in her first collegiate match, Brianna Clarke led the Bulldogs with 19 kills and had her first collegiate double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs vs. UC Davis ... she was named to the Fresno State Invitational All-Tournament team after registering 39 total kills (3.55 ps)  and 19 digs (1.30 ps) over the three matches ... Tairyn Rasmussen was also impressive, collecting 34 kills (3.40 ps) and 13 digs (1.30 ps).


Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (1-2, 0-0 WAC)

UH went 1-2 last week at home as the team hosted the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic ... The Rainbow Wahine defeated Ohio 3-0 and dropped matches against No. 1 Penn State (0-3) and No. 6 UCLA (1-3) ... Aneli Cubi-Otineru played well in the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic, averaging 3.00 kills per set with a .373 hitting percentage ... she posted nine kills and a .350 hitting percentage in the season-opener vs. No. 1 Penn State (8/29) ... she then had nine kills while hitting .571 vs. Ohio (8/30), and hit .280 with 12 kills vs. No. 6 UCLA (8/31) ... Jamie Houston led the team with 31 kills (3.44 ps) last week ... Tara Hittle led the team with 36 digs over the three matches.


Idaho Vandals  (2-1, 0-0 WAC)

Idaho earns the top spot in the early WAC standings after going 2-1 last week at the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Bash Invitational last week ... The team dropped a close 1-3 decision to No. 14 Middle Tennessee before picking up wins over South Dakota State (3-0) and Southeast Missouri (3-1) ... Haley Larsen was named to the Blue Raider Bash All-Tournament team after she led the team with 48 kills (4.36 ps) ... Larsen was also named the WAC’s Player of the Week ... she also led the team with 30 digs and had a career-high five service aces against South Dakota State ... Sarah Conwell helped with 27 kills (2.45 ps).


Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (0-3, 0-0 WAC)

Tech went 0-3 at the TCU Tournament last week, dropping matches to TCU (0-3), Belmont (1-3) and UMKC (0-3) ... Samantha Crowder led the team with 19 kills (1.90 ps) over the three matches ... Debora Bolonhini fronted the team with 32 digs last week, while Bianca Bin led the team with 66 assists (6.60 ps) ... as a team, Louisiana Tech averaged 8.8 kills per set and registered a .121 attach percentage.


Nevada Wolf Pack (1-2, 0-0 WAC)

The Pack went 1-2 last week at the Shamrock Invitational ... Nevada dropped matches against Valparaiso (0-3) and Notre Dame (1-3) before picking up a victory over IPFW (3-0) ... Kylie Harrington was named to the Shamrock Invitational All-Tournament team after averaging 2.90 kills, 2.80 digs and 3.25 points ... she posted back-to-back double-doubles in the final two matches with 14 kills and 10 digs vs. Notre Dame then followed that with 10 kills and 14 digs vs. IPFW ... the 14 digs vs. IPFW established a new career high while the 14 kills in the Notre Dame match tied her career high ... Defensively, Nicole Link led the team with 41 digs last week.


New Mexico State Aggies (1-2, 0-0 WAC)

The Aggies opened the season with a 1-2 mark at the Illinois Tournament last week ... it marks the first time since 2002 NMSU has started the season 1-2 ... that year the Aggies fell to North Carolina and Wisconsin before beating St. John’s ... this season, NMSU dropped its first match to No. 11 Oregon then fell to Illinois, who hosted the State Farm Illini Classic ... after the first week of play, the Aggies rank No. 2 in the conference in service aces per set, while Lindsey Yon comes in at No. 3 in the WAC in kills per set (3.58) and Krystal Torres tops the list in digs per set (4.42).


San Jose State Spartans (1-3, 0-0 WAC)

San Jose State went 1-2 last week with a win over Gardner Webb (3-0) and losses to Arizona (0-3), Weber State (2-3) ... Niki Clement led the Spartans in hitting over the weekend with 39 kills, 3.55 per set ... Clement recorded her first double-double of the season with a season-high 22 kills and 10 digs against Weber State ... against Arizona Friday night, Clement became the 11th Spartan in school history to record 1,000 or more career kills ... she ended the week with 1,027 career kills and is just 19 kills away from tying for 10th place on the all-time list at 1,046 kills ... SJSU also played St. Johns on Monday, dropping the match in four sets.


Utah State Aggies (0-3, 0-0 WAC)

Utah State went 0-3 last week at the BYU Molten Classic in Provo, Utah ... the team dropped matches against No. 20 BYU (0-3), Missouri (1-3) and Tulane (0-3) ... Melissa Osterloh was named to the All-Tournament team after leading the Aggies with 36 kills (3.60 ps) ... Chelsea Fowles fronted the team with 91 assists, while Christine Morrill led the team with 31 digs ... as a team, Utah State registered a .111 hitting mark with 105 kills (10.50 per set) ... Rebecca Anderson led the Aggies with nine blocks.


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