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Nevada volleyball picked to finish last in Mountain West in preseason poll

Lee Nelson
Lee Nelson and the Wolf Pack volleyball team begin its season later this month. (Nevada athletics)

Nevada volleyball will enter the season as underdogs after the Wolf Pack was voted to finish last in the conference preseason poll.

UNLV was picked to win the MW after receiving eight of the 11 first-place votes. Boise State earned two first-place votes and Colorado State one. They ranked second and third, respectively, in the preseason poll. UNLV outside hitter Mariena Hayden was named the preseason player of the year. Hayden is the reigning MW player of the year.

Of the 11 MW coaches who make up the voting panel, 10 picked Nevada to finish last in the conference. One coach voted for the Wolf Pack to finish second-to-last. The ballots were anonymous.

The MW has typically been run by Colorado State, which has dominated the league under coach Tom Hilbert. UNLV is the first team other than Colorado State to be selected as the preseason title favorites since 2014. Joining UNLV's Hayden on the All-MW preseason team are Danielle Boss (Boise State), Jessica Donahue (Boise State), Lauren Ohlinger (Boise State), Alexa Roumeliotis (Colorado State), Desiree Sukhov (Fresno State), and Jackie McBride (Wyoming).

The volleyball season is returning to the fall after being push to the spring last year due to COVID-19 when the MW played a conference-only schedule. Nevada, which went a MW-worst 3-12 last season, opens the year against Portland in the University of Idaho tournament on Aug. 27. The Wolf Pack was scheduled to scrimmage Pacific on Wednesday but the match was canceled due to COVID-related issues within Nevada's program.

Preseason awards

Preseason poll

1. UNLV (8), 98

2. Boise State (2), 90

3. Colorado State (1), 80

4. Wyoming, 69

5. Fresno State, 61

6. San Diego State, 53

7. Air Force, 46

8. San José State, 41

9. Utah State, 29

10. New Mexico, 26

11. Nevada, 12

All-MW preseason team

Danielle Boss, Sr., S, Boise State

Jessica Donahue, Sr., MB, Boise State

Lauren Ohlinger, Jr., OH, Boise State

Alexa Roumeliotis, Sr., L, Colorado State

Desiree Sukhov, Sr., OH, Fresno State

Mariena Hayden, Sr., OH, UNLV

Jackie McBride, Sr., MB, Wyoming

Preseason player of the year

Mariena Hayden, Sr., OH, UNLV

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