Colorado Springs, Colo. The Colorado State volleyball team was once again tabbed the conference favorite heading into the 2019 season by the league’s coaches, the Mountain West announced Wednesday. The Rams also filled the preseason team with four of the seven positions, including Katie Oleksak being named the Preseason Player of the Year.
Paulina Hougaard-Jensen and Breana Runnels were named to the preseason team for the second time, while Katie Oleksak and Kirstie Hillyer were both named to their third preseason team. All four Rams earned Mountain West All-Conference honors a season ago, including Oleksak who was the Player of the Year for the second time.
Mariena Hayden (UNLV), Lauren Twitty (New Mexico) and Regan Leonard (Fresno State) finished the preseason team.
Colorado State received 100 votes, including 10 first-place votes out of 11, to be picked for the sixth consecutive season to win the Mountain West championship. Wyoming was picked second with 79 votes, UNLV with 78, while Boise State gathered 73 votes and the final first-place vote and San Jose State capped the top-five.
The Rams have won 15 of the 20 regular-season Mountain West titles and holds a 280-40 (.875) league record during that span. CSU has been slotted first in the Mountain West preseason poll 12 times and have received at least one first-place vote every season. Of the previous 11 times the Rams were chosen first, they went on to win the league nine times.
1. Colorado State (10) 100
2. Wyoming 79
3. UNLV 78
4. Boise State (1) 73
5. San José State 66
6. Fresno State 56
7. New Mexico 50
8. San Diego State 41
9. Air Force 28
10. Utah State 19
11. Nevada 15
Mariena Hayden (UNLV)
Breana Runnels (Colorado State)
Kirstie Hillyer (Colorado State)
Paulina Hougaard-Jensen (Colorado State) (Preseason Player of the Year)
Lauren Twitty (New Mexico)
SETTER: Katie Oleksak (Colorado State)
LIBERO: Regan Leonard (Fresno State)
Colorado State opens its regular season at home playing three matches. The Rams begin the season playing Chicago State on August 30, before facing Oklahoma and Cal on August 31. Single-match tickets, as well as mini-plans and season tickets are available.