CSU’s Katie Oleksak Tabbed Mountain West Player Of The Year

  0 volleymob | November 28th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Mountain West, News

Press Release courtesy of the Mountain West Conference

The Mountain West All-Conference Women’s Volleyball awards, as selected by the league’s 11 head coaches, were announced today. Colorado State sophomore Katie Oleksak was named MW Player of the Year, while teammate Breana Runnels was tabbed the Conference’s Newcomer of the Year and head coach Tom Hilbert earned coach of the year honors. Wyoming’s Marissa Harmon garnered MW Freshman of the Year accolades.

Oleksak, who was the 2016 MW Freshman of the Year, becomes the eighth Ram in the last nine seasons to earn the league’s top individual honor. The Phoenix, Arizona, native led CSU to its 14th Mountain West tile in program history this season. The setter topped the league with 12.16 assists per set. Oleksak was a key component to Colorado State leading the Conference in hitting percentage (.319), assists per set (13.44) and kills per set (14.36). The sophomore added 35 kills, 125 digs, 54 blocks, 13 service aces and three double-doubles during league action.

Runnels is the second Ram in as many seasons to be named MW Newcomer of the Year, and the fourth overall in program history. The outside hitter paced the Rams, while ranking eighth in the Conference in kills per set at 3.32. The redshirt freshman hit .277 during league play, while also contributing 36 digs and 29 blocks. The native of Bakersfield, California, recorded double-digit kills in 10 of 18 MW contests, including a season-best 20 versus New Mexico on Oct. 21.

Hilbert earns his 10th career MW Coach of the Year nod, and first since 2013. Hilbert led Colorado State to a 17-1 league record and a 27-3 mark overall in 2017. This marks the ninth season Hilbert’s Rams have finished MW play with one or fewer losses. Under Hilbert’s direction, CSU captured its 14th Mountain West crown and will make its 23rd-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Harmon is the fourth student-athlete in Wyoming history to be tabbed MW Freshman of the Year. The setter ranked third in the Conference in assists per set at 10.60. Harmon helped the Cowgirls finish second in the league in hitting percentage (.249) and fourth in kills per set (13.54) during league play. The native of Frisco, Texas, posted seven double-doubles over 18 MW contests, which were the third-most in the Conference.

Boise State’s Sierra Nobley was tabbed to the MW All-Conference team for the fourth-consecutive season, becoming just the fourth student-athlete in league history to accomplish that feat. The Broncos’ Maddi Osburn and San Diego State’s Deja Harris both garnered all-league honors for the third year in a row. Four players made a second appearance on the 18-member postseason team – Colorado State’s Jasmine HannaKirstie Hillyer and Oleksak, and Lauren Anderson of Utah State.

Runnels was one of 11 student-athletes to appear on the all-MW squad for the first time, joining Air Force’s Piper HeineckSabryn Roberts and Janell Walley of Boise State, Colorado State’s Paulina Hougaard-JensenLauren Twitty of New Mexico, San Diego State’s Devyn PritchardNandyala Gama and Breann Robinson of San José State, and Wyoming’s Jackie McBride and Tara Traphagen.

Honorable mention honors this season went to Colorado State’s Sanja CizmicShayla Hoeft of Nevada, New Mexico’s Ashley Kelsey, San Diego State’s Alexis Cage and Baylee Little, and Harmon of Wyoming.


Piper Heineck Sr. MB Air Force
Sierra Nobley*** Sr. OH Boise State
Maddi Osburn** Sr. L Boise State
Sabryn Roberts Jr. OH Boise State
Janell Walley So. OH Boise State
Jasmine Hanna* Sr. OH Colorado State
Kirstie Hillyer* So. MB Colorado State
Paulina Hougaard-Jensen So. MB Colorado State
Katie Oleksak* So. S Colorado State
Breana Runnels RS-Fr. OH Colorado State
Lauren Twitty So. OH New Mexico
Deja Harris** Jr. MB San Diego State
Devyn Pritchard Sr. L San Diego State
Nandyala Gama Sr. MB San José State
Breann Robinson Sr. S San José State
Lauren Anderson Sr. OH Utah State
Jackie McBride Fr. MB Wyoming
Tara Traphagan So. OH Wyoming
Honorable Mention
Sanja Cizmic Sr. OH Colorado State
Shayla Hoeft So. MB Nevada
Ashley Kelsey Sr. L New Mexico
Alexis Cage Sr. OH San Diego State
Baylee Little Sr. OPP San Diego State
Marissa Harmon Fr. S Wyoming
Player of the Year
Katie Oleksak So. S Colorado State
Freshman of the Year
Marissa Harmon Fr. S Wyoming
Newcomer of the Year
Breana Runnels RS-Fr. OH Colorado State
Coach of the Year
Tom Hilbert Colorado State

*** = Four-time MW All-Conference honoree
** = Three-time MW All-Conference honoree
* = Two-time MW All-Conference honoree

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