FRESHMAN (2011): During her freshman year Hays quickly became one of NM State's team leaders and finished the 2011 season with one of the greatest freshman years in Aggie history. Hays joined seniors Jennah DeVries and Kelsi Phillips as the only NM State players to play in all 113 sets in 2011. The season started with Hays being named to the all-tournament team after the Aggies' first two tournaments of the season, the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic in Albuquerque, and NM State's home tournament, the Hotel Encanto Classic. The season concluded with Hays receiving first-team All-WAC honors and being named the WAC Freshman of the Year, only the second freshman in Aggie history to win such award. She was also named to the WAC All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the WAC tournament in Las Vegas and was also the AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) West Region Freshman of the Year.
Statistically, Hays was one of the top hitters in the nation. Her 4.42 kills/set and 4.94 points/set were not only tops in the WAC, but placed Hays 17th and 18th respectively in the entire country. Hays also led the WAC with 500 kills on the season. It was only the second time in NM State history that a player had reached 500 kills and was the highest total ever by an Aggie freshman. Hays reached the 500 kill mark by posting a season-high 31 kills during the Aggies' final match of the season against Colorado State (Nov. 26).
The WAC Freshman of the Year, however, could not be categorized as just an outside hitter. Hays also ranked among the best Aggies in other categories, including ranking fourth on the season in assists with 22, second in service aces with 32, including a team-high 18 in conference play, fifth in blocks with 41 and third in digs with 286. Hays also finished second on the team with 12 double-doubles, one behind senior DeVries' 13.
HIGH SCHOOL: Hays, an outside hitter from Hereford High School led her team to a state championship in 2008 as they posted a 45-3 record. Earning four varsity letters, Hays was named the 3-4A Newcomer of the Year in 2007, the Amarillo Globe News honorable mention team in 2008, and to the 4A All-State Texas Girls Coaches Association Team in 2009. She was also the Seminole Tournament Most Valuable Player that season. She also earned the Hereford High School Casey Smith Award, and earned the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Player of the Month this past October. She was on the Canyon/Randall All-Tournament team, the Byron-Nelson All-Tournament team and the Seminole all-tournament team in 2010. Hays was an Under Armor AVCA All-American her senior year and also earned Texas Girls Coaches Association all-state honors, academic All-State honors, Texas Sports Writers All-State honors and Hereford High School Female Athlete of the Year honors. She also works hard in the classroom and was in the top five percent of her class for academics from 2007-09 and was in the top 10 of her class in 2010.
PERSONAL: Hays is the daughter of John and Polly Hays. She was born in Hereford, Texas and is majoring in elementary education and would like to go into youth ministry and worship after finishing with her degree.