LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s women’s volleyball team has been picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference’s preseason poll, according to the league’s eight coaches, as the Aggies received 34 votes. Hawai’i was picked to win its 16th WAC regular-season title.This is the second time in three seasons that USU has been picked third in the preseason poll. The Aggies have been picked in the top four three-straight seasons. Last season, Utah State was picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll and ended the 2010 season winning if first WAC Tournament title.The Rainbow Wahine received seven of the eight first-place votes with Utah State earning the other first-place vote. In its last season in the WAC, Hawai‘i garnered 49 total points followed by New Mexico State with 41. The Aggies were picked to finish third with 34 points, followed closely by Idaho in fourth with 33 points. Fresno State was picked fifth with 25 points, while Nevada was selected sixth with 20 points. San Jose State and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 14 and eight points, respectively.”I imagine that WAC play, as usual, is going to be a dogfight. Our goals are always the same, ‘to get a little bit better in practice each day.’ This poll does not change that overriding goal,” sixth-year head coach Grayson DuBose said. The coaches also voted on the preseason award winners and Hawai‘i senior Kanani Danielson was the unanimous pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year for the third-straight season. The Aggies placed three players on the preseason team in senior outside hitter Liz McArthur, junior opposite hitter Shay Sorensen and junior outside hitter Joselyn White. McArthur was named to the all-WAC first team last season.”I am happy for our student-athletes that were recognized by the WAC coaches. It is a tribute to the hard work of them and their teammates. We are expecting big things from those three, and they have paid a price to be great, as has the rest of the team,” DuBose said.DuBose welcomes back three starters and six letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 24-9 on the season and in third-place in the WAC regular season with a 9-7 mark. After winning the WAC Tournament, the Aggies advanced to their fourth-ever NCAA Tournament.Highlighting Utah State’s group of returners is Liz McArthur (St. George, Utah) who earned honorable mention All-American honors as a junior after being named first-team all-WAC and the Most Valuable Player of the WAC Tournament. McArthur ended the season ranking 32nd in the nation in points (4.59) and 34th in kills (4.00) per set.The Aggies open the 2011 season on Friday, Aug. 26 at the Crystal Inn Thunderbird Invitational in Cedar City, Utah against Pacific at 4:30 p.m. USU will also play a pair of matches on Saturday, Aug. 27 against Drake and host Southern Utah at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively. Fans can follow USU volleyball at http://twitter.com/USUVolleyball and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.2011 WAC Preseason Coaches’ PollRank Team Points1. Hawai‘i (7) 492. New Mexico State 413. Utah State (1) 344. Idaho 335. Fresno State 256. Nevada 207. San Jose State 148. Louisiana Tech 82011 Preseason All-WAC TeamPlayer Yr. Pos. SchoolKelsey Brennan Sr. MH New Mexico StateBrianna Clarke Sr. MB Fresno StateKanani Danielson Sr. OH Hawai‘iJennah DeVries Sr. S New Mexico StateEmily Hartong So. MB Hawai‘iBrittany Hewitt Jr. M Hawai‘iLiz McArthur Sr. OH Utah StateChanteal Satele Sr. OH Hawai‘iDesiree Scott So. MH New Mexico StateShay Sorensen Jr. OPP Utah StateAllison Walker So. OH IdahoJoselyn White Jr. OH Utah StatePreseason Player of the YearKanani Danielson, Sr., Hawai‘i
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