|Taylor Preseason All-WAC|
DENVER - Idaho senior Kelsey Taylor was named to the 2010 Preseason All-WAC team, and the Vandal volleyball team was picked to finish sixth in the Western Athletic Conference by the league's coaches.
The Vandals are coming off a 15-15 season in 2009 which includes an 11-5 mark and a third place finish in WAC play. But Idaho will have to replace five starters in 2010, including three first-team All-WAC players.
"We don't mind being picked sixth," Idaho head coach Debbie Buchanan said. "That's not where we want to finish, but we know we're going to have to work hard every day to prove people wrong. That's a fair pick based on what we lost after last year."
Taylor played in all 117 games for the Vandals last year and tallied 189 kills at the outside hitter position. She will slide back to the middle blocker spot in 2010, where she totaled 108 kills and 110 blocks in a reserve role in 2007 and 08. Taylor is the only Preseason All-WAC selection who was not named to the 2009 All-WAC team.
"Kelsey is definitely better in the middle, it's more of a natural position for her," Buchanan said. "She had a great spring and put in a lot of work. She is our only senior, so she is definitely going to have to step up and be a leader, and it's awesome that she is being looked at that way by other coaches."
Hawai'i was picked to win the league after going 16-0 in WAC play and 32-3 overall last year en route to its 14th consecutive regular season conference championship. The Rainbow Wahine advanced all the way to the NCAA semifinals in 2009.
New Mexico State received one first-place vote in the poll, and was picked to finish second. The Aggies are followed by Fresno State, Utah State and Boise State. Nevada was picked to finish seventh, with Louisiana Tech picked eighth and San Jose State ninth.
Hawai'i junior Kanani Danielson, the reigning WAC Player of the Year, was the unanimous pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year.
The 2010 season begins the weekend of Aug. 27, with all nine WAC teams in action. The Vandals get the season started against Weber State at the Nike Cougar Invitational on Aug. 27 in Pullman. Idaho will also face UC Irvine and Washington State in the tournament on Aug. 28. The 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 22-24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include the top six teams in the regular season standings.
2010 WAC Preseason Coaches' Poll