LoboTV
Utah favored in Mountain West Conference preseason volleyball coaches poll
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/08/2003

Aug. 8, 2003

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - In a vote of the eight head coaches in the Mountain West Conference, Utah is the favorite to win the 2003 MWC title for the second straight year after earning five of the eight first-place votes and 47 points. Defending regular season champion Colorado State was second with 41 points and two first-place votes, while BYU was third with 36 points. San Diego State, which picked up a first-place vote, was fourth, followed by UNLV, Wyoming, New Mexico and Air Force.

Five teams were represented on the 2003 preseason All-MWC team, which is also selected by the league's head coaches. Utah senior Kim Turner highlighted the squad as the preseason Player of the Year. San Diego State senior Aspen McPartland, who shared MWC Co-Player of the Year honors last year with Turner, was also selected to the preseason All-MWC squad.

Nine All-Mountain West Conference players return for the 2003 season, including Turner and McPartland. The only two-time MWC tournament MVP in league history, Turner led the Utes to back-to-back conference tournament titles. McPartland led the Aztecs to their best finish since joining the MWC at 11-3 (second place). SDSU also returns Zlatina Anguelova (Sr., OH), who finished in the MWC top 10 for kills and digs last season.

Defending regular season champion Colorado State returns three all-conference players in Katie Jo Shirley (Jr., OH), and preseason All-MWC selections Melissa Courtney (Jr., S) and Lindsey Kerr (Jr., L). Courtney led the league in assists per game, while Shirley led the MWC in hitting percentage and Kerr set a conference record with 433 digs. AVCA West Region- and MWC Freshman of the Year Tess Rogers (So., OH) also returns for the Rams after setting the conference freshman record for kills with 419.

BYU and Wyoming each return one senior from last year's all-conference squad, both of which were named to this year's preseason All-MWC team. Laura Nielsen (Sr., MB), an MWC top 10 performer in hitting percentage and blocks, will lead the Cougars, while 2003 MWC kill leader and league record holder Michele Rauter (Sr., OH) will pace the Wyoming front line. Anna Reines (Sr., OH) returns for the Lobos after ranking third in the MWC in kills per game.

2003 MWC Preseason Coaches Poll
Rank Team (1st votes) Pts. 2002 Finish
1. Utah (5)* 47 3rd
2. Colorado State (2) 41 1st
3. BYU 36 4th
4. San Diego State (1) 35 2nd
5. UNLV 23 5th
6. Wyoming 22 6th
7. New Mexico 13 7th
8. Air Force 7 8th
Saturday, August 23
7:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Lobo Alumnae (Exhibition)
Friday, August 29
10:30 AM - 
Volleyball
at Texas vs. UTEP
1:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Seattle U
5:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at UTEP vs. Seattle U
7:30 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Texas
Saturday, August 30
1:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. UTEP
3:30 PM - 
Volleyball
at Texas vs. Seattle U
Thursday, September 04
11:30 PM - 
Volleyball
at Hawai'i
Friday, September 05
9:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at St. John's
Saturday, September 06
6:30 PM - 
Volleyball
at Oregon
Friday, September 12
5:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at Bethune Cookman vs. UC Irvine
7:30 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Montana State
Saturday, September 13
10:30 AM - 
Volleyball
at UC Irvine vs. Montana State
1:00 PM - 
Volleyball
vs. Bethune Cookman
5:00 PM - 
Volleyball
at Montana State vs. Bethune Cookman
E-News
2003 Preseason All-MWC Team
Player Class Pos. Team
Kim Turner Sr. MB Utah
Aspen McPartland Sr. MB SDSU
Michele Rauter Sr. OH Wyoming
Kelsie Kartchner Jr. S Utah
Laura Nielsen Sr. MB BYU
Melissa Courtney Jr. Setter Colorado State
Lindsey Kerr Jr. Libero Colorado State