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Hutchins, Bilo Lead Cal Poly Charge Again
Impressive performances at the UC Riverside Invitational for Clayton Hutchins and Peyton Bilo resulted in the Cal Poly duo earning their second Big West Cross Country Athlete of the Week awards in 2016.
Hutchins won the Division I 8K on Ag Ops Course with a time of 23:52.6, which was 22.4 seconds faster than his previous effort on the course. Among 392 runners overall, the junior finished second to Central Arizona’s Gilbert Kigen, the 2015 JC national champion.
The San Anselmo, Calif. native, who was individual medalist at the Lagoon Open two weeks ago, led the Mustangs to a team win with 31 points. Cal Poly outclassed Mountain Region No. 11-ranked Utah Valley by 37 points in the Division I scoring.
Bilo recorded the fifth-fastest 6K time on the Ag Ops Course in a scorching 20 minutes, 5.4 seconds. She was 31.5 seconds faster than her time a year ago at the Big West Championships to finish in first place, ahead of three runners from No. 12 Arkansas who took spots two through four in the field of 160.
It was Bilo’s second individual medalist performance after taking first at the Lagoon Open two weeks ago. The native of El Dorado Hills, Calif., helped Cal Poly to a second place team score of 47, just 19 points behind the Razorbacks among D-I competitors.
Other men’s nominees: Jose Penaloza (Cal State Fullerton); Jordy Ceja (UC Davis); George Baier (UC Santa Barbara)
Other women’s nominees: Sierra Ungerman (Cal State Fullerton); Hannah Kirkegaard (UC Davis); Jenna Hinkle (UC Santa Barbara); Camille Campos (Hawai‘i)
Bettencourt, Morales Help Teams Post 2-0 Records
Alex Bettencourt recorded a pair of game-winning goals and Vincent Morales helped stage an upset of a nationally ranked program, giving the duo men's soccer Athlete of the Week recognition.
Bettencourt Nails Game-Winners Against Portland, San Jose State
Two consecutive game-winning goals from Alex Bettencourt (Hilmar, Calif./Modesto JC) led the Sacramento State senior to Big West Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Bettencourt, who has delivered the game-winner in all three Hornet wins this season, helped Sacramento State defeat Portland (2-1) and San Jose State (3-2) to level the team’s record at 3-3.
Against a Pilot team receiving votes in the NSCAA poll, he polished off a Hornet comeback from a 1-0 halftime deficit, knocking home a rebound with just 45 seconds remaining in regulation.
Bettencourt assisted on Sacramento State’s first goal in Sunday’s win over San Jose State. He then clinched the victory in the 49th minute on a redirection.
The forward was efficient as he scored on his only two shots on goal for the week. He played 155 minutes in the two games, the most of any Hornet forward.
Others nominated: Ross McPhie (Cal State Fullerton); Noah Wilson (UC Davis); Eduardo Sanchez (UC Riverside)
Morales Helps UC Riverside Defeat No. 20 Gonzaga
UC Riverside junior Vincent Morales (Bellflower, Calif./Mayfair HS) helped his team to a couple of big results, posting a 0.50 goals against average in victories over San Diego and No. 20 Gonzaga as the Big West Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
Morales recorded his second shutout of the season in a 2-0 triumph over the Toreros, giving the Highlanders their first win over the fellow southern California program in UCR’s 16-year Division I history. He made four saves in the win.
He then limited the nationally ranked Bulldogs to just one goal in the 2-1 victory. Morales stopped three shots, as UCR clinched at least one win over a top-25 opponent for the fourth straight season.
Morales is tied for the Big West lead in saves (29) and save percentage (.744).
Others nominated: Eric Kam (Cal Poly); Paul-Andre Guerin (Cal State Fullerton); Andrew Gosselin (Sacramento State); Dashiell MacNamara (UC Davis)
Taylor, Aggie Pair Honored
Hawai‘i senior Nikki Taylor joined UC Davis teammates Heather Reed and Lauren Matias as recipients of the women’s volleyball weekly honors.
Do-It-All Taylor Spearheads Sweep of Pepperdine
Hawai‘i senior Nikki Taylor (Honolulu, Hawai‘i/Kaiser HS) collected Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week accolades with solid all-around efforts in back-to-back victories over Pepperdine.
A 6-4 opposite, Taylor dazzled to the tune of 3.86 kills, 2.71 digs, 0.86 blocks and 1.57 service aces per set as the Rainbow Wahine downed the Waves on consecutive nights.
Taylor had 13 kills and 11 digs in UH’s three-set win in the first match. She recorded her third double-double of the season. In addition, she notched a career-high seven service aces, including four straight to start the second set to help her team to an 8-0 lead. She swung at a .276 clip (13-5-29) for the match.
In a four-set triumph the next night, Taylor turned in 14 kills, eight digs and five blocks. She added four more service aces and committed only five attack errors for the second straight match.
Taylor, who put up 20.5 points per match, moved up to No. 16 on UH’s career kill list with her team-high 27 for the two contests. She currently owns 1,137 kills with a team-high 146 of those coming this season. She is also the conference leader with 25 service aces.
Others nominated: Raeann Greisen (Cal Poly); Nele Barber (Long Beach State); Lauren Jackson (UC Davis); Victoria Dennis (UC Irvine)
Reed Helps Aggies To Upset of No. 17 Santa Clara
Heather Reed’s (Brentwood, Calif./Heritage HS) 25 digs against No. 17 Santa Clara helped UC Davis upset the Broncos in four sets and led to the freshman’s selection as Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week.
Reed, who averaged 5.14 digs per set to help the Aggies post a 3-1 record for the week, was instrumental in the program’s first win over an AVCA Division I Top 25 team since 2013, and just the third in school history.
Reed had 20 scoops in a straight set sweep of Causeway rival Sacramento State earlier in the week, and finished with 14 and 13 digs versus Boise State and Portland State, respectively.
She has registered double-figure digs in all 13 matches this season, including five with 20 or more.
Others nominated: Katherine Brouker (Cal Poly); Harlee Kekauoha (UC Irvine); Meg Graham (UC Riverside); Emily Maglio (Hawai‘i)
Matias Named All-Tournament at Boise State Invitational
Lifting UC Davis to a four-set upset of No. 17 Santa Clara with a career-high 22 kills, freshman Lauren Matias (Santa Cruz, Calif./Harbor HS) corralled her first career Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week citation.
Matias hit .405 with just five errors in 42 attempts as the Aggies derailed the Broncos in the final match of the Boise State Invitational. The performance helped land Matias on the All-Tournament Team, and give UC Davis a victory over an AVCA Division I Top 25 club for the third time in program history.
The 6-2 outside hitter amassed more than half of her 43 kills for the week in that match, adding four block assists against the Broncos.
Matias also played well in a sweep of Sacramento State with five kills on .308 hitting efficiency, and nine put aways to go along with five digs and four blocks in a three-set victory over Portland State.
For the week, she averaged 3.07 kills, 0.64 digs and 0.79 blocks per set with .241 hitting (43-16-112).
Others nominated: Nadia Retoff (Cal Poly); Hailey Harward (Long Beach State); Loryn Carter (UC Irvine); Hannah Juley (UC Santa Barbara); Norene Iosia (Hawai‘i)
Steiner, Guzman Contribute to Road Successes
The women’s soccer weekly awards were bestowed upon Hawai‘i senior Addie Steiner and UC Riverside junior Alanna Guzman – both of whom keyed solid road victories for their teams.
Steiner’s Brace Leads Hawai‘i to Best Program Start
Hawai‘i senior Addie Steiner (Prairie Village, Kan./Northwestern) scored both goals in a road victory against Air Force, capturing Big West Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week accolades.
Steiner’s goals in the fourth and 21st minutes were all the Rainbow Wahine needed to pick up their seventh win of the season, 2-1, over the Falcons. UH’s 7-1-1 non-conference record marks the program’s best nine-game start to a season in school history.
The forward netted both goals off of assists from Raisa Strom-Okimoto. Steiner nearly secured a hat trick with two solid opportunities in the 90th minute, banging one shot off the post and a follow-up wide left.
Her third and fourth goals of the season tied her for the team lead with Strom-Okimoto.
Others nominated: Caitlyn Kreutz (Cal Poly); Kourtney Kutscher (CSUN); Ashley Gonzales (Long Beach State); Crystal Crump (UC Davis); Kiana Palacios (UC Irvine); Sammy Arellano (UC Riverside); Shaelan Murison (UC Santa Barbara)
Guzman Shines On Texas Road Trip
UC Riverside junior Alanna Guzman (Corona, Calif./Centennial HS) earned Big West Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors after two strong performances in the state of Texas.
The netminder notched seven saves in a 3-0 blanking of Houston on Friday. It was Guzman’s third shutout of the season.
On Sunday, Guzman kept No. 8 Texas A&M at bay for just over 60 minutes before the Aggies overcame a halftime deficit to hand the Highlanders a 2-1 defeat. Guzman made four more saves in the contest to give her 49 for the season, second-most in the Big West.
For the week, Guzman recorded a 1.00 GAA and an .846 save percentage.
Others nominated: Kendra Bonsall (Cal Poly); Nicole Thompson (CSUN); Kelsey Texeira (UC Irvine); Monk Berger (Hawai‘i)
Heilmann, Del Curto Spearhead Winning Efforts
Alex Heilmann and James Del Curto provided the heroics in earning this week's men's soccer awards.
Heilmann Keeps Hold On Big West Goals Lead
Conference points leader Alex Heilmann (La Habra, Calif./Old Dominion) continued his goal scoring theatrics as the Cal State Fullerton senior claimed Big West Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Heilmann, who had scored zero goals in 16 previous career games entering the 2016 season, has found paydirt six times in six games. His latest exploits occurred in back-to-back wins against Memphis and UTRGV last week at the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Central Tourney.
The defender provided an insurance goal in CSF’s 4-1 victory over Memphis, then registered the game-winning tally in double overtime as the Titans fended off UTRGV, 1-0. He slotted in the goal from seven yards off in the 102nd minute. Heilmann earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Others nominated: Justin Dhillon (Cal Poly); Alex Bettencourt (Sacramento State)
Del Curto Blanks Loyola Marymount In Road Victory
Sacramento State goalkeeper James Del Curto (Santa Rosa, Calif./Cardinal Newman HS) garnered the Big West Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week award with a seven-save performance in a 1-0 victory at Loyola Marymount.
Del Curto helped the Hornets to their first win of the season and defeat a Lions side that had gone 19-6-2 at home over the last four seasons. He made a stellar stop with 10 seconds left on a scramble in the box. Del Curto ranks second in the Big West with 4.67 saves per game.
Others nominated: Eric Kam (Cal Poly); Corentin Ohlmann (Cal State Fullerton)