Oleksak, Hughes, Donahue Garner Mountain West Player of the Year Nods

  0 volleymob | November 26th, 2018 | College - Women's Indoor, Mountain West, News

Courtesy: Mountain West Conference

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced today the 2018 All-Conference Women’s Volleyball awards, as voted on by the league’s 11 head coaches.

Colorado State’s Katie Oleksak has been named MW Player of the Year, while Boise State’s Morgan Hughes and Jessica Donahue have been named MW Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively. Colorado State’s Tom Hilbert earned MW Coach of the Year honors.

Oleksak becomes the fifth player in MW history to earn Player of the Year honors in back-to-back years. Additionally, this marks the 14th time in the Conference’s 20-year history that a Ram has received the award. The junior setter, who ranks 13th nationally in assists per set (11.58) and 17th in total assists (1,239), helped lead the Rams to their 15th MW regular-season title. The Arizona native was a key factor in Colorado State’s league-leading .274 hitting percentage in Conference contests. Playing in all 30 matches this season, Oleksak chipped in with 204 digs, 51 kills and 24 service aces.

Hughes, who is the second Bronco to earn the MW Newcomer of the Year award, after playing in all 18 league games in 2018, competing in a total of 70 sets. In league play, recorded 163 kills on 376 attacks, while hitting at a .277 attack clip and tallying 32 service aces. Hughes’ 86 blocks during MW play was sixth-best in the league and helped lead a strong Broncos defense, who finished 12th nationally in total blocks (306) and 15th in blocks per set (2.73). During MW play, the Saint Mary’s transfer averaged 2.33 kills, 1.23 blocks, 1.81 digs and 3.41 points per set.

Donahue is the second Boise State student-athlete to earn MW Freshman of the Year honors after playing in 13 league matches, leading all underclassmen with 74 blocks. Her 1.40 blocks per set was good for second in the MW and she added 2.06 kills per set. The California native had four double-digit kill performances and nine Conference matches with at least five blocks.

Hughes and Donahue helped lead the Broncos to 18-11 overall record, including 10-8 in MW play.

Hilbert earns the MW Coach of the Year honor for the 11th time, and second in as many years, after leading Colorado State to a 23-7 regular-season record, including 15-3 in MW play, and the programs 24th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. Under Hilbert’s leadership, the Rams won their 15th regular-season title.

Colorado State led all MW institutions with four All-MW honorees (Oleksak, Kirstie Hillyer, Paulina Hougaard-Jensen and Breana Runnels), followed by Boise State (Hughes, Sabryn Roberts and Janell Walley) and Fresno State with three (Madelyn Halteman, Taylor Slover, and Haile Watson). The Bulldogs finished second in the league with a program-best 13 Conference victories.

Spartans senior libero Luiza Andrade earned All-Conference honors after finishing her collegiate career ranked eighth all-time on the MW career digs list (1,653) and finishing in the top-10 in MW career service aces (122). She is joined on the All-MW team by her teammate Latahevai Lousi, who tallied 207 kills in MW play.

Rounding out the All-MW is Air Force’s Elizabeth Pennington, New Mexico’s Lauren Twitty, San Diego State’s Deja Harris, UNLV’s Mariena Hayden and Wyoming’s Reed Copeland and Jackie McBride.

Honorable mention honors went to Air Force’s Abigail Miksch, Fresno State’s Reagan Leonard, Nevada’s Kayla Afoa, San José State’s Thaliana Grajeda, UNLV’s Kate Brennan and Utah State’s Kassidy Johnson.


Player of the Year – Katie Oleksak, Jr., S, Colorado State

Newcomer of the Year – Morgan Hughes, Sr., MB, Boise State

Freshman of the Year – Jessica Donahue, MB, Boise State

Coach of the Year – Tom Hilbert, Colorado State


Elizabeth Pennington, Sr., OH, Air Force

Morgan Hughes, Sr., MB, Boise State

Sabryn Roberts, Sr., OH, Boise State

Janell Walley, Jr., OH, Boise State

Kirstie Hillyer, Jr., MB, Colorado State

Paulina Hougaard-Jensen, Jr., MB, Colorado State

Katie Oleksak, Jr., S, Colorado State

Breana Runnels, So., OH, Colorado State

Madelyn Halteman, Jr., S, Fresno State

Taylor Slover, Sr., OH, Fresno State

Haile Watson, Sr., MB, Fresno State

Lauren Twitty, Jr., OH, New Mexico

Deja Harris, Sr., MB, San Diego State

Luiza Andrade, Sr., L, San José State

Latahevai Lousi, So., OH, San José State

Mariena Hayden, So., OH, UNLV

Reed Copeland, Sr., MB, Wyoming

Jackie McBride, So., MB, Wyoming


Abigail Miksch, Sr., OH, Air Force

Reagan Leonard, So., L/DS, Fresno State

Kayla Afoa, So., OH, Nevada

Thaliana Grajeda, Jr., MB, San José State

Kate Brennan, Fr., MB, UNLV

Kassidy Johnson, Sr., S, Utah State

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