Nevada Picked Second In WAC Softball Preseason Poll
RENO, Nev. – Coming off back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Championships, the Nevada softball team was picked to finish second in this year’s WAC race in the preseason poll announced by the league Thursday.
Three Wolf Pack standouts – senior pitcher Katie Holverson, senior third baseman Sam Bias and junior catcher Noelle Micka – were named to the Preseason All-WAC Team.
Nevada received one first-place vote and finished with 41 points in the balloting for the preseason poll. Fresno State, which shared the title last year with Nevada, received six first-place votes and 48 points. Hawaii was third and New Mexico State, which also received a first-place vote, was fourth. Louisiana Tech was tabbed for fifth, following by San Jose State, Boise State and Utah State.
The Preseason All-WAC Team and the poll were voted on by the league’s coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team or players.
“With three different teams getting first-place votes and poll being close throughout, I believe that shows what a quality softball conference the WAC is. There are a lot of great players returning around the league and the conference race is going to be a battle from beginning to end,” second-year Nevada coach Matt Meuchel said.
Holverson went 28-11 in 2009 and won the WAC Pitcher of the Year honors en route to earning All-Region accolades as well.
Bias, also a first-team selection in 2009, batted .309 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.
Micka is a two-time first-team All-WAC selection who earned All-Region and second-team All-America honors in 2008.
“All three of these players are well deserving of this honor,” Meuchel said. “Sam has been a clutch player for us during her entire career and everyone is excited to see what is in store for her senior season. Katie has worked extremely hard during her entire career and is looking forward to a wonderful senior season. Noelle is such a gifted softball player that presents a lot of ways to produce offensively; she is very motivated to improve on her sophomore season.”
Nevada tied with New Mexico State by landing three players on the preseason All-WAC team. Louisiana Tech, Hawaii and Fresno State each had two players on the team while Boise State had one. The preseason and postseason All-WAC teams have a different format starting with this season as the coaches elected to put the top 13 vote-getters, regardless of position, on the All-WAC team.
Louisiana Tech senior shortstop Amberly Waits was named the preseason player of the year after earning the same honors following last season. Fresno State junior pitcher Morgan Melloh was named the preseason pitcher of the year.
Below is the 2010 Preseason All-WAC Team and preseason poll.
2010 Preseason All-WAC Team
Player, School, Pos., Yr.
Kylie Bassett, Louisiana Tech, 1B, Sr.
Sam Bias, Nevada, 3B, Sr.
Haley Gilleland, Fresno State, SS, Jr.
Katie Holverson, Nevada, P, Sr.
Tiare Jennings, New Mexico State, OF, So.
Morgan Melloh, Fresno State, P, Jr.
Noelle Micka, Nevada, C, Jr.
Hoku Nohara, New Mexico State, 1B, Jr.
Angie Ortega, New Mexico State, OF, Sr.
Stephanie Ricketts, Hawai’i, P, So.
Amanda Tauali’i, Hawai’i, 1B, Sr.
Amberly Waits, Louisiana Tech, SS, Sr.
Player of the Year: Amberly Waits, Sr., Louisiana Tech
Pitcher of the Year: Morgan Melloh, Jr., Fresno State
2010 WAC Preseason Poll
Rank, Team (1st-Place Votes), Points
1. Fresno State (5), 48
2. Nevada (1), 41
3. Hawai‘i, 34
4. New Mexico State (1), 29
5. Louisiana Tech, 28
6. San Jose State, 19
7. Boise State, 18
8. Utah State, 7