Volleyball preseason coaches' poll released

By Doug Fitzgerald published August 13, 2007

Middle blocker Brooke Akers of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was named to the preseason all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team, the conference announced Monday.

Akers led the Mountain Lions with 273 kills and a .242 hitting percentage (minimum 50 kills) in 2006. The 6-foot-2 senior also led the team with 114 blocks (17 solo, 97 assisted).

Akers and her UCCS teammates were chosen to finish in a third-place tie in the RMAC's East Division according to the conference's annual preseason coaches' poll, which was also released Monday. The Mountain Lions return a veteran squad the includes their top three hitters, top five defenders and both setters.

UCCS, which went 11-8 in the RMAC a year ago, tied with Regis for the third-place spot behind first-place Nebraska-Kearney and second-place Metro State.

The Lopers, who are the three-time defending RMAC champions, are led by sophomore outside hitter Erica Burson, the lone UNK player named to the preseason all-conference team.

Mesa State was the pick to win the West Division for the third year in a row. The Mavericks are led by right side hitter Drew Choules, one of only three players picked by every RMAC coach for the preseason all-conference team. Another Maverick, junior defensive specialist Ashley Loftsgard was named the preseason defensive player of the year.

Fort Lewis senior Nicole Schwab was selected as the RMAC preseason player of the year. Schwab was the 2006 RMAC player of the year. The Skyhawks are picked to finish second in the West Division, along with Western New Mexico.

Amy Thompson of Western State is the Preseason setter of the year. TheMountaineers are predicted to finish fourth in the West.

2007 RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll

East Division

# School (1st Pl. Votes) Points

1. Nebraska-Kearney (10) 16

2. Metro State 44

T3. Regis 79

T3. UC-Colorado Springs 79

5. Colorado Mines 112

6. Chadron State 154

7. Colorado Christian 163

West Division

# School (1st Pl. Votes) Points

1. Mesa State (1) 38

T2. Fort Lewis (1) 49

T2. Western New Mexico (2) 49

4. Western State 94

5. Adams State 127

T6. CSU-Pueblo 134

T6. N.M. Highlands 134

Coaches ranked teams 1-13 (can't vote for your own team.

2007 Volleyball Preseason All-RMAC Team

MB Brooke Akers, UCCS (Senior, 6-2)

OH Erica Burson, Nebraska-Kearney (Soph. 5-10)

RS *Drew Choules, Mesa State (Senior, 5-9)

OH Liz Franz, Regis (Senior, 5-10)

OH *Julie Green, Metro State (Senior, 6-0)

S Courtney Heiser, W. New Mexico (Senior, 5-7)

S Stephanie Levi, Metro State (Soph, 5-10)

DS Ashley Loftsgard, Mesa State (Junior, 5-5)

MB *Nicole Schwab, Fort Lewis (Senior, 5-11)

S Amy Thompson, Western State (Junior, 5-11)

Student-athletes are listed in alphabetical order.

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