Cougars (from L-R) Kim Wilson, Lindsey Metcalf, Lindsy Hartsock and Lauren Richards earned All-MWC honors for their performances this season.
FORT COLLINS -- Four Cougars were honored at the Mountain West Conference Championship banquet after helping BYU achieve a third-place regular-season finish with a 9-5 MWC record and a 17-10 overall record. Senior Lindsey Metcalf, juniors Kim Wilson and Lauren Richards and sophomore Lindsy Hartsock all earned All-MWC honors for their contributions this season.
"Since the award is voted on by the coaches, it's really an honor," said BYU head coach Karen Lamb. "These are the girls the other coaches believe are the players to beat. I'm really happy for them and for the team as a whole. Everyone on the team contributes to each others' success so this is really a team award. I'm very proud of them."
For senior Metcalf, the award could not come at a better time, as it is her first such award in her final season. At the beginning of her senior year, Metcalf was moved to the right side from her traditional outside hitting position. As a rightside hitter, she is ranked seventh in the MWC in digs with 2.57 per match and eighth in hitting percentage with a .304 mark. Metcalf posted three double-doubles on the year and one triple-double with 13 kills, 18 digs and 10 blocks against UNLV as well as leading the Cougars in digs eight times.
"I'm very happy", said Metcalf. "I feel like I've earned it but it was definitely a surprise. It's been a goal of mine since I started playing and this was my last chance. Everyone dreams of having their senior year be the best and it looks like it's turning out that way for me, especially if we win the tournament and go on to the NCAA's."
This is the second All-MWC award for Richards, who took home all-conference honors last year as well. Richards has led the MWC in aces the entire season, finishing with 0.50 per game, and is third in assists with 12.33. Richards also recorded an MWC-leading 11 double-doubles on the year and posted one triple-double with 10 kills, 47 assists and 10 blocks against then-No. 6 UCLA. She was named to the Penn State Classic All-Tournament team to start the season.
"It's a fabulous honor," Richards said. "I don't really pay attention to the stats so winning the award caught me off guard. It was really cool."
Kim Wilson began the season on fire, recording double-digit kills in seven out of her first eight matches, including 21 against Rutgers and 20 versus Oklahoma. While shoulder problems limited her performance towards the end of the year, she still posted double-digit digs in the final three matches of the MWC regular-season. Wilson is second on the team in kills per game with 3.16 and aces with 0.30, which also ranks sixth in the league. She was named to both the BYU Mizuno Classic and the Penn State Classic All-Tournament teams.
"I was very surprised when they called my name," Wilson said. "I had no idea I would win. It feels great. I'm excited and motivated and ready to get out there and win more games."
BYU's fourth award winner, sophomore Lindsy Hartsock, is also a second-time award recipient, having received MWC Freshman of the Year honors last season. With 1.83 blocks per game, Hartsock currently leads the conference and is ranked third in the nation in blocks, having been ranked as high as first nationally this year. She also leads the league and is 19th in the country in hitting percentage with a .392 mark. Hartsock has four double-doubles on the year and has led the Cougars in hitting percentage 12 times and blocks 18 times. She was named MWC Player of the Week for the week Oct. 4-11 after posting double-digit kills in all three matches with a .660 hitting mark and putting up 1.80 blocks per game.
"I'm very grateful for this award," Hartsock said. "It's a fulfillment of one of my personal goals and a great reward for a lot of hard work all season long. I'm just excited to keep going and get the job done this weekend."
While the honors highlight many hours of hard work on the part of all four players, all are quick to point out that the awards represent a team effort and that the most important goal is still to come -- winning the conference tournament and getting back to the NCAA Tournament.
"It's an individual goal, but it's because of my team," Metcalf said. "I would gladly give it up to win the conference tournament and go far in the NCAA's. That's still our main goal and focus."