Aug. 5, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State senior middle blocker Brianna Clarke was honored for the second straight season as a Preseason All-Western Athletic Conference selection, the league office announced Friday.
Clarke has dominated the net at the Save Mart Center as a premier offensive and defensive force that is a two-time second-team All-WAC postseason honoree.
In 2011, Clarke's team-high .365 hitting percentage was second-best in the WAC. She launched a total of 275 kills (2.6 kps) and blistered opponents with 137 blocks (1.3 bps), the fourth-highest mark in the WAC during the year.
As the Dogs' head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell enters her fourth season, Fresno State was picked to finish fifth after tying with Nevada for sixth last year while 15-time defending WAC regular season champion Hawai'i was tabbed to top the conference yet again and UH senior Kanani Danielson was the unanimous pick for WAC Preseason Player of the Year. All preseason voting is done by the WAC's head coaches.
The Rainbow Wahine received seven of the eight first-place votes with Utah State earning the other first-place vote. Hawai'i earned 49 total points followed by New Mexico State with 41. Utah State was picked to finish third with 34 points, followed closely by Idaho in fourth with 33 points. Fresno State was projected to earn the fifth spot with 25 points, while Nevada was selected sixth with 20 points. San Jose State and Louisiana Tech rounded out the poll with 14 and eight points, respectively.
The Bulldogs welcome eight newcomers and new assistant coach Mallori Gibson for the 2011 season that begins Aug. 26 when Fresno State faces Cal Poly at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center.
The 2011 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 21-23 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include the top six teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.
2011 WAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Team Points
1 Hawai'i - (7) 49
2 New Mexico State - 41
3 Utah State - (1) 34
4 Idaho - 33
5 Fresno State - 25
6 Nevada - 20
7 San Jose State - 14
8 Louisiana Tech - 8
2011 Preseason All-WAC Team
Player Yr. Pos. School
Kelsey Brennan, Sr., MH, New Mexico State
Brianna Clarke, Sr., MB, Fresno State
Kanani Danielson, Sr., OH, Hawai'i
Jennah DeVries, Sr., S, New Mexico State
Emily Hartong, So., MB, Hawai'i
Brittany Hewitt, Jr., M, Hawai'i
Liz McArthur, Sr., OH, Utah State
Chanteal Satele, Sr., OH, Hawai'i
Desiree Scott, So., MH, New Mexico State
Shay Sorensen, Jr., OPP, Utah State
Allison Walker, So., OH, Idaho
Joselyn White, Jr., OH, Utah State
Preseason Player of the Year: Kanani Danielson, Sr., Hawai'i
"We Are Your Team!" - Stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@FSAthletics) and watch the Bulldogs all season at the Save Mart Center. The Dogs host the Fresno State Classic Aug. 26-27. Tickets are available on gamedays at the Save Mart Center box office.
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