DENVER – The Western Athletic Conference volleyball coaches have selected NM State to win the WAC regular-season crown in 2019. The coaches also voted on the preseason award winners and Kansas City senior middle hitter Tyrecia Lukes was the pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
Reigning WAC Tournament champion NM State received four of the first-place votes and 60 total points to earn the top spot in the poll. Utah Valley finished in second place with 55 points and three first-place votes, just ahead of Kansas City in third with 52 points and the other two first-place votes. California Baptist and UT Rio Grande Valley tied for fourth place with 41 points each. CSU Bakersfield was selected in sixth place with 26 points, while Grand Canyon was seventh with 22 points. Seattle U and Chicago State rounded out the poll with 13 points and 10 points, respectively.
Kansas City, NM State and Utah Valley placed the most players on the preseason All-WAC team with three apiece. Joining Lukes on the preseason team are teammates Melanie Brecka and Alicia Harrington, NM State's Savannah
Davison, Megan Hart and Juliana Salanoa, Utah Valley's Kristen Allred, Makaila Jarema and Kazna Tarawhiti, California Baptist's Tesa Oaks and Natalie Zimmerer, Chicago State's Megan Klavitter, Grand Canyon's Teagan DeFalco and UT Rio Grande Valley's Barbara Silva.
The 2019 season begins next Friday, Aug. 30, with all nine teams in tournament action. The WAC Tournament will be held Nov. 21-23, at Utah Valley's Lockhart Arena, and will include the top six eligible teams in the regular-season standings.
2019 Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Rank||Team (first-place votes)||Points|
|1.||NM State (4)||60|
|2.||Utah Valley (3)||55|
|3.||Kansas City (2)||52|
|T-4.||UT Rio Grande Valley||41|
2019 Preseason All-WAC Team
|Kristen Allred||Jr.||OH||Utah Valley|
|Melanie Brecka||So.||RS||Kansas City|
|Savannah Davison||So.||OH||NM State|
|Teagan DeFalco||Jr.||L||Grand Canyon|
|Alicia Harrington||Sr.||OH||Kansas City|
|Megan Hart||Sr.||MB||NM State|
|Makaila Jarema||Sr.||MB||Utah Valley|
|Megan Klavitter||Sr.||L||Chicago State|
|Tyrecia Lukes||Sr.||MH||Kansas City|
|Tesa Oaks||Jr.||OH||California Baptist|
|Julianna Salanoa||Jr.||MB/OH||NM State|
|Barbara Silva||Sr.||RS||UT Rio Grande Valley|
|Kazna Tarawhiti||So.||OH||Utah Valley|
|Natalie Zimmerer||Sr.||S||California Baptist|
Preseason Player of the Year: Tyrecia Lukes, Kansas City