LAS VEGAS - The Western Athletic Conference 2009 volleyball postseason award winners, as selected by the league's head coaches, were announced tonight at the WAC Volleyball Tournament banquet. For the 14th-straight year, Hawai'i boasts the WAC Player of the Year, as sophomore outside hitter Kanani Danielson earned the honors in 2009. Teammate Brittany Hewitt captured Freshman of the Year honors, while head coach Dave Shoji was named WAC Coach of the Year.
Four different schools were represented on the first team. Hawai'i, the No. 1 seed in the WAC Tournament, had four players named to the first team and three to the second team. Second-seeded New Mexico State had four players on the first team and one on the second team, while Idaho had three first-team selections. Nevada had one player on the first team.
Three Nevada players earned honors as junior Kylie Harrington earned first-team All-WAC honors for the second year in a row, junior Lindsay Baldwin was selected to the second team and freshman Elissa Ji was chosen to the WAC Freshman squad.
Harrington leads the team averaging 3.55 kills and 3.89 points per set which also ranks in the top 10 in both categories in the WAC.
Baldwin earned second-team All-WAC honors after being named to the 2008 first-team. She tops the team averaging 1.06 blocks perr set and is second on the team averaging 2.41 kills and 3.16 points per set.
Ji earned a starting spot in her first season in the silver and blue. Her 1.21 kills and 1.89 points per set is fourth on the team.
For the 14th-straight year, Hawai'i boasts the WAC Player of the Year. Danielson has ranked in the Top 50 nationally in kills per set all season, averaging 4.11. A sophomore, she was named WAC Player of the Week five times this season. She is a two-time first-team all-WAC honoree.
Hewitt earned Freshman of the Year honors, the seventh Rainbow Wahine player to do so. She ranked second in the conference with a .397 hitting percentage in WAC matches and currently ranks 29th nationally in the category. She was also honored as an All-Freshman Team selection and a second-team all-WAC pick.
Shoji led his team to its 14th-consecutive WAC regular-season title and an undefeated record in WAC play. Earlier this year, he became just the second Division I volleyball coach ever to eclipse the 1,000-win mark. This is the seventh WAC Coach of the Year honor of his career.
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