|Volleyball lands three on first team|
LAS VEGAS - Sarah Conwell, Anna McKinney and Debbie Pederson earned first team all-Western Athletic Conference as the 2009 WAC postseason honors were announced today as selected by the league's coaches.
It is the first time the University of Idaho has had three first team all-conference selections since 1995 as a member of the Big Sky Conference. The Vandals have now had a first teamer in each of the past four seasons.
Conwell, a senior outside hitter from Kent, Wash., earned her first all-conference honor after ranking in the top 10 in four statistical categories. Her 5.07 points per set led the conference while she ranked second for kills at 4.33 kills per set. On the defensive side of the ball she ranked ninth with a 3.20 digs per set average and her 1.05 blocks per set ranked tenth. Conwell took home three WAC Player of the Week honors during the season, which are the most for an Idaho player in a single-season and tie for the most in a Vandal career. She currently leads the conference with 15 double-doubles on the season and notched double-digit kills in 13 of 16 WAC matches.
McKinney, a senior middle blocker from Federal Way, Wash., earned her second-consecutive all-conference honor after taking home second team honors last season. She ended the conference season ranked second at 1.63 blocks per game and her average currently ranked tenth in the NCAA. She also hit .300 in conference matches to rank eighth in the WAC. McKinney currently holds the Idaho school record for single-season blocks assists at 159 and her 92 blocks in conference play rank sixth all-time in the WAC. Her 11 blocks at Utah State rank fourth all-time at Idaho. She also was a 2009 preseason all-WAC honoree.
Pederson, a senior middle blocker from Grangeville, Idaho, earned her first all-conference honor but not her first WAC award as she was honored on the all-WAC Freshmen Team in 2006. She ended the conference season as the WAC leader with a 1.63 blocks per set average and her 98 blocks in conference play rank second all-time in the WAC. She entered the week ranked ninth in the NCAA for blocks and tallied double-digit blocks five times during the season and three times in conference play. Her 11 blocks at Boise State rank fourth all-time at Idaho and she currently ranks third on Idaho's single-season block assists records list at 152.
Four schools were represented on the first team. Hawai'i's Kanani Danielson won her first Player of the Year honor, Hawai'i's Dave Shoji was selected Coach of the Year for the seventh time, and Hawai'i's Brittany Hewitt was honored as the Freshman of the Year.
Idaho finished third in the WAC during the 2009 season and will open the WAC Tournament vs. sixth-seeded Boise State Monday (Nov. 23) at 5 p.m.