Aug. 4, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- University of New Mexico setter Jade Michaelsen has been named the 2009 Mountain West Conference Preseason Co-Volleyball Player of the Year, along with Colorado State's Tessa Nelson. The Lobos were picked third in the MWC Preseason Poll with 112 points and three first-place votes, the highest MWC preseason ranking ever for New Mexico.
"This is the highest we have been picked and it continues to reflect the direction our program is going," said Lobo head coach Jeff Nelson. "The poll reflects, somewhat, how teams in the league finished last season with the exception of BYU moving up. I am very excited about the upcoming season and hope we can improve on our preseason selection."
Michaelsen is the lone Lobo on the preseason team and one of seven All-Mountain West Conference returnees in the league. The junior from Tucson, Ariz., is the only setter on the preseason team and shares the Player of the Year honors with Nelson, a senior middle blocker. Michaelsen finished the 2008 season ranked second in the MWC and 28th in the nation in assists per set (10.92). She finished the season with 1,928 career assists and is on pace to crack the UNM top five in career assists in 2009.
"I am honored, that is pretty high up there to receive an honor like this so early in the season," said Michaelsen. "I'm excited for our team. The only reason I am being honored is because my team put me in a position to be successful.
"I'm excited for the season to start and see what we are able to do. Being ranked third gives us room to grow."
The Lobos begin 2009 training camp on Monday, Aug. 10. UNM begins the regular season hosting the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic, Aug. 28-29, at Johnson Center.
2009 PRESEASON ALL-MWC TEAM
Player, Class, Pos., Team
Kayla Walker, Sr., RS, BYU
Tessa Nelson, R-Sr., MB, Colorado State
Lauren Salisbury, Jr., MB, San Diego State
Christy Hudson, Jr., RS, TCU
Karolina Bartkowiak, Jr., OPP, Utah
Setter: Jade Michaelsen, Jr., New Mexico
Libero: Katelyn Blackwood, Sr., TCU
Preseason Co-Players of the Year:
Jade Michaelsen, New Mexico
Tessa Nelson, Colorado State
2009 PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL COACHES' POLL
Pl., Team (1st place votes), Points
1. Utah (8), 138
2. Colorado State (4), 135
3. New Mexico (3), 112
4. BYU (2), 96
5. TCU, 89
6. UNLV, 87
7. San Diego State, 53
8. Wyoming, 38
9. Air Force, 17