COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Following a stellar 2017 campaign, Air Force senior blocker Piper Heineck was named to the Mountain West All-Conference Volleyball Team this afternoon (Nov. 27). Heineck, one of 18 members of the all-MW squad, is just the fourth player in Air Force history to receive all-conference status from the Mountain West.
With her all-MW distinction, Heineck joined former Falcons Summer Koons (1999), Delavane Diaz (2003) and Akokwe Clement (2014, 2015) on the league’s all-time all-conference list.
The senior, who ranked among the conference’s top-four in blocking during the conference season (1.30, fourth), set Air Force Division I single-season records for assisted blocks (133) and total blocks (158). Heineck led the conference – and was ranked 16th in the nation – with 142 blocks during the coaches’ voting period – and finished season ranked 14th with 158 total blocks. A two-time MW Defensive Player of the Week, Heineck recorded Air Force DI single-match records for assisted blocks (13) and total blocks (14) against San Diego State, with the 13 assisted stops also breaking the program’s all-time record and the 14 total blocks tying for third in the nation and setting a new Cadet East Gym record.
Backed by a .706 performance against Boise State (the second-best single-match outing in the conference this season), Heineck led the team in hitting during half of the squad’s conference matches (9-of-18). She hit .322 (179k-60e-370a) during Mountain West action, while averaging .303 during the full 32-match season (302k-112e-628) – the Falcons’ only full-time player to hit over .300 on the year. Her 302 total kills were second on the team, while she led Air Force with 31 service aces.
The senior helped Air Force tie its Division I record for conference wins (7), while the 14 total victories are the second-most since the Academy joined Division I at the start of the 1996 season. On the year, the Falcons nabbed their first road wins over Fresno State and UNLV, their first victory over New Mexico in 14 years and their first-ever season sweep of Boise State.
All-Conference: Piper Heineck (Air Force), Sierra Nobley (Boise State), Maddi Osburn (Boise State), Sabryn Roberts (Boise State), Janell Walley (Boise State), Jasmine Hanna (Colorado State), Kirstie Hillyer (Colorado State), Paulina Hougaard-Jensen (Colorado State), Katie Oleksak (Colorado State), Breana Runnels (Colorado State), Lauren Twitty (New Mexico), Deja Harris (San Diego State), Devyn Pritchard (San Diego State), Nandyala Gama (San Jose State), Breann Robinson (San Jose State), Lauren Anderson (Utah State), Jackie McBride (Wyoming), Tara Traphagan (Wyoming)
Honorable Mention: Sanja Cizmic (Colorado State), Shayla Hoeft (Nevada), Ashley Kelsey (New Mexico), Alexis Cage (San Diego State), Baylee Little (San Diego State), Marissa Harmon (Wyoming)
Player of the Year: Katie Oleksak (Colorado State); Freshman of the Year: Marissa Harmon (Wyoming); Newcomer of the Year: Breana Runnels (Colorado State); Coach of the Year: Tom Hilbert (Colorado State)