Volleyball Brings Home Five MW Postseason Honors
Dec. 1, 2014
BOISE, Idaho - The Mountain West Conference released its postseason volleyball honors Monday morning which had Boise State garnering five accolades. Sarah Baugh, Maddy O'Donnell, Kaitlyn Oliver and Sierra Nobley were all honored by the leagues coaches for their outstanding performances during the year that led the Broncs to an 18-12 overall mark and 11-7 record in conference to finished tied for fourth.
Among those honored for Boise State were Baugh, O'Donnell and Nobley who made the All-Mountain West Team. In addition, Nobley was named the MW Freshman of the Year, while redshirt-freshman Kaitlyn Oliver received MW Newcomer of the Year recognition. The five honors are the most received by a Boise State team since 1981 when the Broncos garnered six.
"I am really proud about the accomplishments of our volleyball team, we had a great season and our best since joining the Mountain West," said coach Shawn Garus. "Individual awards are really special, for Sarah Baugh, Maddy O'Donnell and Sierra Nobley to be recognized as all-conference players in the Mountain West is fantastic. They each had great seasons and were key contributors to our success, as was Kaitlyn Oliver the top newcomer."
Nobley earned two honors from the MW coaches receiving both the freshman of the year and all-conference recognition. Her freshman of the year honor is the first received by a Bronco in any league since Cyndi Neece was named Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year in 1993.
"For Sierra (Nobley) to be recognized as the freshman of the year in our conference is huge for her and our program," commented Garus. "To have a player recognized for that award shows the strides we are making in our recruiting. I am so proud of her coming in here and making an immediate difference in the program, leading the team and conference in kills per set."
In Nobley's first season wearing the blue and orange, the Scottsdale, Ariz., native finished ranked 48th nationally and led both the MW and Boise State in kills per set at 4.08. She also led both in kills per set during league contests at 4.33. Nobley's kills total of 432 set a new Bronco and MW record for kills by a freshman and ranked third overall in program history, six shy of tying the record regardless of class. In addition, Nobley set three other MW freshman records including kills in a league season with 277, as well as kills in a regular match and kills in a conference match with 31 against Utah State in the season finale on Nov. 25. The freshman was 50th nationally, second in the MW and first on team in points per set at 4.53.
Kaitlyn Oliver earned Boise State's first newcomer of the year honor since 1995 when Robin Phipps garnered the Big Sky's award for top newcomer. The redshirt-freshman from Helena, Mont., came on strong this season finishing with the third most kills on the team with 230 and second most in blocks with 80. Oliver finished ranked 60th nationally, fifth in the MW and second on the team for hitting percentage at .358, which ties for fourth-best percentage in a season in Bronco history.
"To have two players earn individual honors for freshman and newcomer of the year in the Mountain West is fantastic for both players and Boise State volleyball," said Garus. "Kaitlyn (Oliver) has come so far this year, she was definitely a big part of our success this season. For Kaitlyn to earn this award validates her redshirting last year as she took time to learn the pace of the game and bridge the gap from playing high school volleyball in Montana to being ready to step in and play division one college ball. For both Kaitlyn and Sierra to earn these awards speaks highly of our progress and makes the future look bright for Boise State volleyball."
Boise State junior setter Sarah Baugh was named to the All-MW team, her first such honor. Baugh finished the year ranked 18th nationally and second in the MW for assists per set at 11.3. She was also ranked 46th nationally and second in the MW for total assists with 1,209. Her assists total ranked sixth all-time in program history and second during the rally scoring era (since 2001).
"Sarah (Baugh) has been a leader all year for our team. I have seen her grow so much from being a part-time setter in a 6-2 offense to the full-time setter and running the show this year," commented Garus on Baugh. "She finished second in the conference for assists behind the player of the year. Sarah had our team nationally ranked in the top 25 most of the year in hitting percentage and helped us set a new school record. Her play on the court was huge for our success this year."
Sophomore Maddy O'Donnell also garnered her first-ever postseason honor being named to the All-MW team. The native of Irvine, Calif., finished the year ranked 42nd nationally, fourth in the MW and first on team in hitting percentage at .372 on the season. Her hitting percentage ranks third all-time in Boise State history. She ranked 137th nationally, 11th in MW and first on team in blocks per set at 1.08. O'Donnell's block total of 105 tied for sixth at Boise State during the rally scoring era.
"Maddy O'Donnell had a fantastic preseason for us this year and carried that over into conference play," said Garus. "She even played a little outside hitter for us when we had some injury issues late in the season, she just did whatever we needed to succeed. She was fantastic offensively all year, start to finish and was a major challenge for our opponents. Her blocking improved so much this season as has her overall game. I am really looking forward to next year with this core group returning."
2014 MOUNTAIN WEST ALL-CONFERENCE WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Player of the Year: Deedra Foss, Sr., S, Colorado State
Freshman of the Year: Sierra Nobley, Fr., OH, Boise State
Newcomer of the Year: Kaitlyn Oliver, R-Fr., MB, Boise State
Coach of the Year: Cindy Fredrick, UNLV
# = 2011 honoree
^ = 2012 honoree
% = 2013 honoree
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