PROVO, Utah — The No. 12 BYU women’s volleyball team captured four individual 2012 West Coast Conference postseason awards, with Jennifer Hamson leading the way as Player of the Year, head coach Shawn Olmstead receiving Coach of the Year, Alexa Gray receiving Freshman of the Year and Nicole Warner receiving Defensive Player of the Year.
Hamson, an opposite hitter from Lindon, Utah, was second in the conference for kills per set with 4.02 and hit .361. She also had 1.80 digs per set and 1.23 blocks per set, good for second best in the conference. She received three conference player of the week awards this season after being named to the Preseason All-WCC Team.
In his second year at the helm of the Cougars, Olmstead led the Cougars to a 26-3 overall record and 13-3 conference record – the team’s best conference record since 2006 – for a share of the WCC title. Olmstead has a career record of 47-12 and career conference record of 23-9.
Outside hitter Gray, a native of Calgary, Alberta, averaged 3.36 kills per set, the second highest mark on the team and eighth in the league. She hit .314 on the season.
Senior middle blocker Warner, a product of Rigby, Idaho, shared the WCC Defensive Player of the Year award with Rebecca Kopilovitch of San Francisco and Betsi Metter of Loyola Marymount. Warner led the conference and the nation in blocking through most of league play. She averaged 1.75 overall during the regular season and 1.93 during conference play. Warner also led the conference in hitting percentage, hitting .421.
Hamson, Gray and Warner were also named to the All-WCC First Team. Senior setter Heather Hannemann garnered All-WCC Honorable Mention.
Two of BYU’s freshmen — Gray and Kimberly Dahl — received All-WCC Freshman Team honors.
BYU tied for co-conference champions with San Diego but received the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament for winning more sets in the series with the Toreros. The Cougars host New Mexico State in the first round of the tournament Friday and will host the second round match Saturday.
Five other WCC teams received at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament — Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Saint Mary’s, San Diego and Santa Clara.
2012 All-West Coast Conference Awards
2012 West Coast Conference Player of the Year
Jennifer Hamson, BYU, Jr., Opposite
2012 West Coast Conference Defensive Players of the Year
Rebecca Kopilovitch, San Francisco, So., Outside Hitter/Libero
Betsi Metter, Loyola Marymount, Jr., Defensive Specialist
Nicole Warner, BYU, Sr., Middle Blocker
2012 West Coast Conference Freshman Player of the Year
Alexa Gray, BYU, Outside Hitter
2012 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year
Shawn Olmstead, BYU
2012 All-West Coast Conference First Team
Megan Anders, Santa Clara, MB, Jr.
Chloe Ferrari, San Diego, MH, Jr.
Kristina Graven, Saint Mary's, OH, Jr.
Alexa Gray, BYU, OH, Fr.
Jennifer Hamson, BYU, OPP, Jr.
Katie Hoekman, San Diego, MH, Jr.
Gabby Jolly, Saint Mary's, MB, Sr.
Kathleen Luft, Loyola Marymount, OH, Jr.
Jazmine Orozco, Pepperdine, OH, Jr.
Nicole Warner, BYU, MB, Sr.
Kellie Woolever, Pepperdine, S, Jr.
Valentina Zaloznik, San Francisco, MB, So.
2012 All-West Coast Conference Honorable Mention: Victoria Adelhelm, PEP; Rachel Alvey, USD; Carrie Baird, USD; Alaysia Brown, USD; Lauren Corp, SMC; Kylie Edinger, GON; Ester de Vries, USF; Heather Hannemann, BYU; Litara Keil, LMU; Rebecca Kopilovitch, USF; Jocelyn Levig, USF; Betsi Metter, LMU; Taylor Milton, SCU; Ariel Usher, POR
2012 All-West Coast Conference Freshman Team
Savannah Blinn, Gonzaga, OH
Kimberly Dahl, BYU, OH
Ester de Vries, San Francisco, OH
Dalad Dodd, Saint Mary's, SComment on this story
Alexa Gray, BYU, OH
Taylor Racich, Pepperdine, OPP
Hannah Tedrow, Loyola Marymount, S
Rachel Hawks is the women's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.