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This Week in WAC Volleyball - Dec. 3

This Week in WAC Volleyball - Dec. 3

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NM STATE TO FACE NO. 14 SEED BYU IN NCAA TOURNAMENT
NM State will travel to Provo, Utah, to face No. 14 seed Brigham Young in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m. (MT) this Friday, Dec. 6. The Aggies (27-3), winners of 19 straight matches, earned the WAC's automatic bid by winning the WAC Tournament with sweeps of fifth-seeded Utah Valley and No. 2 seed Grand Canyon.

NM State is led by WAC Player of the Year and WAC All-Tournament Team MVP Megan Hart, who averages 2.86 kills on .387 hitting and 1.03 blocks per set, and All-WAC and WAC All-Tournament Team honoree Savannah Davison, who averages 3.54 kills and 2.55 digs per set. All-WAC first team honoree Julianna Salanoa adds 1.90 kills on .360 hitting and 1.41 blocks per set.

BYU (25-4) earned an at-large bid out of the West Coast Conference and is the No. 14 overall seed. The Cougars are led by McKenna Miller, who averages 3.59 kills and 0.38 service aces per set. Heather Gneiting adds 2.07 kills on .308 hitting and 1.28 blocks per set.

In the other match, Utah (22-9) faces Illinois (16-13) at 4 p.m. (MT) Friday. The Utes earned an at-large bid out of the Pac-12 Conference, while the Illini earned an at-large bid out of the Big Ten Conference. The winners of the two matches will play at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

KANSAS CITY TO FACE UNLV IN FIRST ROUND OF NIVC
Kansas City (17-11) will face UNLV (19-10) in the first round of the 32-team National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) at 4:30 p.m. CT this Thursday, Dec. 5. The Roos will travel to Vermillion, S.D. for the match. In the other match, South Dakota (27-2) hosts Central Michigan (21-8). The winners of the two matches will play at 2 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 6.

Kansas City finished third in the WAC and fell in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament to second-seeded Grand Canyon. The Roos are led by first team All-WAC and All-WAC Tournament Team honoree Alicia Harrington, who averages 3.81 kills and 2.58 digs per set. Second team All-WAC honorees Melanie Brecka and Ty Lukes add 3.22 and 2.36 kills per set, respectively, while WAC Setter of the Year Alli Schomers averages 10.39 assists per set.

UNLV, which finished in third place in the Mountain West, is led by All-MWC honorees Mariena Hayden and Kate Brennan. Hayden averaged 4.49 kills and 5.53 points per set, while Brennan averages 1.50 kills on .325 hitting and 0.85 blocks per set.

ALL-WAC TEAMS ANNOUNCED
NM State senior middle blocker Megan Hart was named WAC Player of the Year, while Kansas City's Alli Schomers earned Setter of the Year honors. Meanwhile, Chicago State's Megan Klavitter repeated as Libero of the Year, Grand Canyon's Klaire Mitchell was named WAC Freshman of the Year and NM State's Mike Jordan was named WAC Coach of the Year.

Hart earned WAC Player of the Year honors after averaging 3.03 kills on .370 hitting with 1.05 blocks and 3.64 points per set in WAC play. She was WAC Offensive Player of the Week once this season.

Schomers was named WAC Setter of the Year after leading the league with 10.98 assists per set in conference play. She posted seven double-doubles in WAC matches.

Klavitter repeated as WAC Libero of the Year after leading the WAC in digs (334) and digs per set (5.66) in WAC play. She was twice named WAC Defensive Player of the Week this season.

Mitchell earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors after ranking second in the WAC in assists (9.90) and 10th in digs (3.02) in conference play. She had nine double-doubles in WAC matches and was named WAC Defensive Player of the Week once.

Jordan led his team to the first undefeated season in WAC play since 2015 and the first 16-0 mark since 2010. The Aggies led the WAC in five of seven statistical categories in conference play en route to their sixth WAC regular-season title. He earned the award for the seventh time.

NM STATE WINS WAC TOURNAMENT TITLE
Top-seeded NM State swept past No. 5-seed Utah Valley (25-12, 26-24, 25-21) in the semifinals and second-seeded Grand Canyon (25-17, 25-23, 26-24) in the championship match to earn its fifth WAC Tournament title. Aggie middle blocker Megan Hart was named tournament MVP after averaging 4.00 kills on .311 hitting to go along with 1.00 blocks per set.

All-Tournament Team
Savannah Davison, NM State
Teagan DeFalco, Grand Canyon
Alicia Harrington, Kansas City
Megan Hart, NM State (MVP)
Klaire Mitchell, Grand Canyon
Kazna Tarawhiti, Utah Valley

WAC STAT LEADERS
NM State leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.263), opponent hitting percentage (.116), kills (13.70) and blocks (2.93) and is tied with Kansas City for the lead in assists (12.60), while California Baptist and UT Rio Grande Valley lead the league in service aces (1.53) and Grand Canyon is tops in digs (15.55).

Individually, Grand Canyon's Annabelle Kubinski is tops in hitting percentage (.394), while Kansas City's Alicia Harrington is tops in kills (3.81) and points (4.37) and teammate Alli Schomers leads the WAC in assists (10.39). California Baptist's Elizabeth Gilley is tops in service aces (0.40), Utah Valley's Makaila Jarema leads the WAC in blocks (1.64) and Chicago State's Megan Klavitter is tops in digs (5.29).

In WAC matches only, NM State led the league in hitting percentage (.264, opponent hitting percentage (.128), assists (12.86), kills (14.05) and blocks (2.92), while UTRGV was tops in service aces (1.58) and Grand Canyon led the league in digs (15.13).

Individually in WAC matches, Kubinski led the league in hitting percentage (.436), while Kansas City's Alicia Harrington was tops in kills (4.07) and points (4.61), Schomers led the WAC in assists (10.98) and teammate Alex Ratzlaff was tops in service aces (0.43). Jarema led the league in blocks (1.54) and Klavitter was tops in digs (5.66).

NM STATE GOES UNDEFEATED IN WAC PLAY
NM State finished the WAC schedule with a perfect 16-0 record. The Aggies are the first undefeated team in WAC play since 2015 and the first 16-0 mark since 2010. NM State also won its sixth WAC regular-season title since joining the league in 2005 and fourth in the last five years.

GCU HITS SEVERAL MILESTONES
Grand Canyon posted several milestones this season, including qualifying for the WAC Tournament for the first time. GCU hit the 20-win mark on Nov. 2 when it defeated Utah Valley for the first time in program history. With 24 wins, the Lopes posted the GCU Division I record for victories in a season. With a 9-1 record on the road, the Lopes blew away the Division I mark for most wins on the road, as the previous mark was three in both 2013 and 2014.

CSU'S KLAVITTER FINISHES CAREER SECOND IN WAC IN CAREER DIGS
Chicago State senior libero Megan Klavitter closed out her career with 2,145 digs, good for second place in the all-time WAC career record books, while her career average of 4.70 digs per set ranks seventh. In addition, her 629 digs and her 5.29 digs per set this season ranks tied for seventh in WAC history.