Rams’ Volleyball dominates preseason award picks

Mack Beaulieu

For the fifth-consecutive season, the Colorado State Rams were picked to win the Mountain West among a slew of recognition from the conference’s coaches today, which included a pick of Katie Oleksak for Conference Player of the Year.

Along with Oleksak, three other Rams were recognized by the coaches as the Rams are predicted to take four of the seven All-Conference selections this year. The predictions did not really go out on a limb, with the same four players in Oleksak, Breana Runnels, Paulina Hougaard-Jensen and Kirstie Hillyer having all earned selections last year.

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Oleksak led the team in sets last year and ranked eighth in the nation in assists. Runnels led the team in kills as a freshman, Hougaard-Jensen was second in the nation in hitting percentage and Hillyer averaged almost three kills per set with 10 double-digit kill matches.

No other team had more than one player selected for the preseason team.

Expectations are high for the Rams, who have taken 14 of the 19 Mountain West Volleyball titles. The team received 100 points in total and 10 of 11 first place votes from the league’s head coaches. Wyoming came up second in the coach’s poll with 91 points and earned the only other first place vote.

Mack Beaulieu is a reporter and columnist for the Collegian and can be reached online at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @Macknz_James