Cougars Tabbed Preseason MWC Favorite

Chelsea Goodman highlighted the preseason All-MWC team as she was tabbed the preseason MWC Player of the Year. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Senior Chelsea Goodman Named Preseason Player of the Year

COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU has been selected as the favorite to win the 2007 Mountain West Conference regular-season title by a voting panel including the nine MWC head coaches and selected media. The Cougars collected eight first-place votes and 119 total points.

"We're very excited about the upcoming season," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "This poll only serves to heighten our anticipation for what should be a fun and successful year."

Colorado State tallied five first-place votes and 113 points to claim second place in the poll, while Utah topped UNLV for third place totaling 108 points. The Rebels collected one first-place vote on the way to 88 points and fourth place in the poll. New Mexico (54 points) and San Diego State (51 points) claimed fifth and sixth place, respectively, followed by Wyoming (seventh, 50 points), TCU (eighth, 43 points) and Air Force (ninth, 14 points).

BYU senior outside hitter Chelsea Goodman highlighted the preseason All-MWC team as she was tabbed the preseason MWC Player of the Year. Cougar rightside hitter Erica Lott was also named to the team. Five MWC squads were represented on the preseason All-MWC team, which also was chosen by the coaches and selected media.

"I think this is exciting for our team," said Goodman. "Winning the conference is definitely an expectation we have for ourselves. Being the preseason Player of the Year is an exciting accomplishment, but there's still a long season to play. We're all just excited for the season to begin."

The 2007 season will see 10 All-MWC players return. All-conference performers Whitney Webb (Sr., OH/MB) and Lori Baird (Jr., MB) return for regular-season champion Utah. Webb was named Third-Team AVCA All-America in 2006, while Baird finished in the top-five in the MWC in hitting percentage and blocks (.333% and 1.34 bpg, respectively). Chelsea Goodman (Sr., OH), Rachel Dyer (Jr., MB) and Erica Lott (Sr., OH) are back for BYU. Goodman led the MWC in kills per game (4.49 kpg) and points per game (5.17 ppg) in 2006, while Dyer was third in hitting percentage (.350%) and fifth in blocks per game (1.29 bpg). Lott was third in the conference rankings in points per game (4.54 ppg), fifth in kills per game (3.77 kpg) and 10th in blocks per game (1.07 bpg). Mekana Barnes (Jr., MB) and Tonya Mokelki (Sr., RS) are back to lead 2006 MWC Tournament champion Colorado State. In the conference rankings, Barnes finished in the top-10 in hitting efficiency (eighth, .286%), service aces (ninth, 0.32 sapg) and points per game (eighth, 4.05 ppg). Maria Aladjova (Sr., OH), Lauren Miramontes (Sr., MB) and Jada Walker (Sr., L) will lead the Rebels this season. Aladjova ranked third in kills for overall matches (3.83 kpg) in 2006, while Miramontes ranked seventh in blocks (1.20 bpg) and Walker was second in digs per game (5.12).

The 2007 season is set to start on Friday, Aug. 24, with all nine conference teams in action. Conference play begins on Tuesday, Sept. 11, with Air Force hosting Wyoming. The 2007 MWC Volleyball Championship takes place Nov. 21-24 at UNLV.

2007 PRESEASON ALL-MWC TEAM

Player Cl. Pos. Team

Chelsea Goodman Sr. OH BYU

Erica Lott Sr. OH BYU

Mekana Barnes Jr. MB CSU

Maria Aladjova Sr. OH UNLV

Whitney Webb Sr. OH/MB Utah

Setter: Ashley Fornstrom Jr. S CSU

Libero: Aime Cordeiro Jr. LIB SDSU

Preseason Player of the Year: Chelsea Goodman, BYU

2007 PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL COACHES' POLL

Pl. Team (1st place votes) Points

1. BYU (8) 119

2. Colorado State (5) 113

3. Utah 108

4. UNLV (1) 88

5. New Mexico 54

6. San Diego State 51

7. Wyoming 50

8. TCU 43

9. Air Force 14