Batista, Santiago And Lea'ea Earn WAC Volleyball Honors

Three Nevada volleyball players earned WAC postseason honors.

Nov. 20, 2011

LAS VEGAS - The WAC 2011 volleyball award winners, as selected by the league's head coaches, were announced tonight at the WAC Tournament banquet. For the 16th-straight year, Hawai'i boasts the WAC Player of the Year, as senior outside hitter Kanani Danielson earned the honor for the third consecutive year. New Mexico State's Meredith Hays captured Freshman of the Year honors, while Idaho head coach Debbie Buchanan was named WAC Coach of the Year.

Five different schools were represented on the first team, led by top-seeded Hawai'i with five players on the first team and one on the second team. No. 2 seed Idaho had two players on the first team and three on the second team, while New Mexico State had three first-team selections and two second-team picks. Meanwhile, Fresno State and Utah State had one player each on the first team.

Danielson becomes just the third player in WAC history to earn WAC Player of the Year honors three times, joining Hawai'i players Kim Willoughby and Kanoe Kamana'o. She has posted a WAC-best 15 double-doubles on the season, was twice named WAC Player of the Week and ranks 40th nationally in points per set and 50th in kills per set. She is also just the fourth four-time first-team all-WAC honoree, joining Hawai'i's Kamana'o and Lily Kahumoku, and Rice's Rebeca Pazo.

Hays earned Freshman of the Year honors, becoming just the second New Mexico State player to do so (Amber Simpson, 2005). She currently leads the WAC and ranks 22nd nationally in kills (4.29) and leads the WAC and ranks 26th in the nation in points (4.79) per set. Hays was also honored as an All-Freshman Team selection and a first team all-WAC pick.

Buchanan led her team to its highest-ever finish in the WAC and the No. 2 seed in the WAC Tournament, its highest ever. Earlier this year, she became the all-time wins leader at Idaho. Her team is 10-2 since Oct. 1 and is currently on a five-match winning streak. This is her first WAC Coach of the Year honor.

2011 WAC Volleyball Award Winners

First Team   
Pos.. Yr.
Kelsey Brennan^# New Mexico State OPP Sr.
Brianna Clarke^^## Fresno State MB  Sr.
Kanani Danielson*^# hawai'i  OH Sr.
Jennah DeVries^# New Mexico State S Sr.
Emily Hartong## Hawai'i MH So.
Meredith Hays New Mexico State OH Fr.
Brittany Hewitt^^# Hawai'i MH Jr.
Liz McArthur^^# Utah State OH Sr.
Alicia Milo Idaho   OH Sr.
Chanteal Satele# Hawai'i   OH Sr.
Mita Uiato Hawai'i S So.
Allison Walker# Idaho OH So.
Second Team. Team Pos. Yr.
Alex Akana San Jose State MB Jr.
Janelle Batista Nevada MB Jr.
Jane Croson Hawai'i OH Fr.
Jenny Feicht Idaho S Jr.
Cassie Hamilton Idaho L Sr.
Michelle Kuester New Mexico State MH Sr.
Kylie Miraldi San Jose State MB Sr.
Kelsi Phillips New Mexico State L Sr.
Tatiana Santiago
S Sr.
Alex Sele Idaho M Jr.
Shay Sorensen Utah State OPP Jr.
Korrin Wild Fresno State OH  So.
All-Freshman Team
Jane Croson Hawai'i OH
Meredith Hays New Mexico State OH
Tessa Lea'ea Nevada MB
Maci Murdock Fresno State MB
Paige Neves Utah State S
Alyssa Schultz Idaho M

WAC Player of the Year: Kanani Danielson, Hawai'i
WAC Freshman of the Year: Meredith Hays, New Mexico State
WAC Coach of the Year: Debbie Buchanan, Idaho

*2008 first team pick
**2008 second team pick
^2009 first team pick
^^2009 second team pick
#2010 first team pick
##2010 second team pick



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