UVU Athletics
Three Utah Valley volleyball players received postseason recognition at the WAC Tournament banquet Wednesday night. Seniors Madison Dennison (left) and Lexi Thompson (center) were named first-team all-conference, while freshman Kristen Allred (right) was named to the league's all-freshman team.

A trio of Utah Valley University volleyball players received Western Athletic Conference postseason accolades on Wednesday evening at the pre-tournament banquet in Edinburg, Texas.

Seniors Madison Dennison and Lexi Thompson led the way by earning first-team all-conference honors, while freshman Kristen Allred was named to the league's all-freshman team.

"This is a great honor for our girls as far as their accomplishments and shows the respect that they've earned from the coaches," head UVU coach Sam Atoa said. "The hard thing about these awards is that there are certain others that get left off that are deserving. But I'm very happy for these girls for what they have done and for their pursuit toward excellence. I'm proud of them."

Dennison, a senior middle blocker from Pleasant Grove, Utah, received first-team all-WAC honors for the second-consecutive season after leading the Wolverines and the WAC in blocking and hitting on the year. She not only leads the league at the net but also the entire nation with 177 blocks on the year, as well as ranks third currently nationally in blocks per set with a 1.64 average. The three-time WAC Player of the Week honoree on the season also leads the league with a .312 hitting percentage and ranks second on the team offensively with a 2.76 kills per set clip.

After being named to the league's second team a season ago, Thompson earned all-conference honors for the second-consecutive year after being tabbed first-team all-WAC. The senior outside hitter from South Jordan, Utah, led UVU on the season offensively with 366 kills and a 3.39 kills per set average. She also ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, in the WAC this season in kills and points (3.73). Thompson has also tallied a solid .226 attack percentage on the year, as well as a 1.94 digs per set average, 39 total blocks and 15 service aces.

Allred, a true freshman from Mapleton, Utah, earned all-freshman team accolades in 2017 after finishing third in kills for the Wolverines on the year with 202 and a 2.43 per set average. She also recorded a 1.94 digs per set clip, as well as a 0.54 blocks per set average. The graduate of Maple Mountain High School finished second on the team from the service line with 19 total aces, while also adding 15 assists and a .173 hitting percentage.

Dennison, Thompson, Allred and the Wolverines open WAC Tournament play on Thursday against UMKC at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. The third-seeded Wolverines and sixth-seeded Kangaroos will battle at 6 p.m. MT, and the match can be watched live on the WAC Digital Network. The winner of that contest will then advance to the tournament's semifinal round against the two seed and host UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros on Friday at 6 p.m.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.