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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Utah volleyball team was selected to repeat as Mountain West Conference champions in the 2009 Preseason Coaches Poll.
The panel included the nine conference head coaches and selected media.
Utah won last season's championship with a 14-2 conference record, ending the league slate with 14 consecutive victories, en route to the second NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance in school history.
Colorado State was chosen second in the poll, collecting four first-place votes and 135 total points. New Mexico was 16 points ahead of BYU for third place, totaling 112 points and three first-place votes.
The Cougars collected 96 points and a pair of first-place votes for fourth place in the poll. TCU (89 points) edged UNLV (87 points) by two points to claim fifth. The Rebels took sixth place and were followed by San Diego State (seventh, 53 points), Wyoming (eighth, 38 points) and Air Force (ninth, 17 points).
Utah junior opposite hitter Karolina Bartkowiak was named to the Preseason All-MWC Team.
Bartkowiak, who earned All-MWC honors for the first time in her career in 2008, was one of the most efficient attackers in the league last season, finishing second in the MWC in hitting percentage at a .354 clip.
The Utes open the 2009 season against Arizona State on Friday, Aug. 28.
**Team (1st place votes)**
Colorado St. (4)
New Mexico (3)
San Diego St.
Kayla Walker Sr. RS BYU
Tessa Nelson R-Sr. MB CSU
Lauren Salisbury Jr. MB SDSU
Christy Hudson Jr. RS TCU
Karolina Bartkowiak Jr. OPP Utah
Setter: Jade Michaelsen, Jr., UNM
Libero: Katelyn Blackwood, Sr., TCU
Preseason Co-Players of the Year: Tessa Nelson, CSU; Jade Michaelsen, UNM