Dec. 7, 2010
One of the benefits of three straight winning seasons and back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances is honors. Today, the Lobos picked up three pretty big honors as Lisa Meeter and Jade Michaelsen were named to the 14-person All-West Region team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, and Taylor Hadfield earned honorable mention honors. Only nationally ranked Hawai'i, which also had three players on the squad, equaled New Mexico's three honorees on the All-West team.
For Meeter, the honor is one in a host she has received this season. Meeter was a three-time Mountain West Conference Player of the Week, and she also was named to the All-MWC team. Meeter during the season became the third Lobo, and the third player in Mountain West history to record 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs, and 100 career aces. Meeter also earned Collegiate Volleyball Update's National Player of the Week after her performance in UNM's sweep of #13 Colorado State in November.
"I fell very honored to be named on this team," said Meeter. "I can't thank enough the coaching staff and team for believing in me and being there 100% of the time. Without them awards like this aren't possible."
Meeter added, "I just want to give them credit for all the amazing things that happened this year."
Some of those amazing things including a Mountain West era record 12-conference wins and a second place finish, a third straight 20-win season, and of course a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Most of Meeter's 1,161 career kills came from her four-year teammate Michaelsen, who became the first Lobo to break the 4,000-career assist mark with 4,174. Michaelsen was the conference's Setter of the Year and an All-MWC selection, as well as a semifinalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award. In true setter fashion, Michaelsen gave a big assist to her coaches and teammates.
"It's an honor to be placed with such elite players but mainly I attribute that to all my teammates," she said. "I can't set well enough unless I received great passes and I can't get assist unless ball is put down, so this is a tribute to teammates and coaches who helped make me what I am. I'm also extremely proud of Lisa and Taylor for their honors as well."
Hadfield, who was a repeat All-MWC selection this year, was one of five players to be named Honorable Mention. On a team full of big hitters, it was Hadfield who consistently ranked among the conference's elite in kills and attack percentage, and she led the club with a .279 hitting mark.
Said Hadfield, "I'm super excited about (the honor) but I really have team to think for it. They, and our coaches, have helped me improve game so much over the last four years." Hadfield added, "I'm really proud of Jade and Lisa as well, they deserve the recognition. It really is a team effort, because without our success it would be hard to get these awards."
The triumvirate was three of six Mountain West Conference student-athletes on the All-West team. Colorado State's Megan Plourde and Danielle Minch were also All-West, and Utah's Karolina Bartkowiak was honorable mention. All three Lobos will now have a chance to advance to the national ballot for AVCA All-America honors.