Big West Women's Volleyball Release
Big West On FOX Prime Ticket:
FOX Sports Prime Ticket is set to broadcast the showdown of CSUN and Long Beach State squaring off in the Walter Pyramid Saturday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Race For The Title:
Hawai’i swept CSUN and took down defending Big West champions Long Beach State in a five-set match to maintain its perfect conference mark at 6-0. Cal Poly owns the second spot with a 4-1 record and is followed by the 49ers and UC Davis, who are knotted in third with a 4-2 record. CSUN is fifth at 3-2 with UC Irvine (2-4) and UC Riverside (1-4) owning the sixth and seventh slots. UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton are still searching for their first league victories. This week the Gauchos and Titans battle at the Thunderdome, guaranteeing one time will clinch its first Big West win of the year.
Big West In the Top 25:
Hawai’i continues to hold the eighth spot in the AVCA Top 25 poll, its highest ranking since week 8 of the 2013 season. Long Beach State is listed in the receiving votes category.
800 And Counting...:
Head coach Brian Gimmillaro opened Big West play with a 2-0 mark to reach the 800-career win threshold during his 31 years at Long Beach State. Gimmillaro, who now holds 803 wins, became just the fourth active coach to reach 800 wins at one institution, and is only the 14th coach ever to record 800 wins at the Division I level.
Big West On ESPN3:
The Big West Conference announced that 11 women’s volleyball matches will be distributed on ESPN3 during the 2015 season beginning on September 25.
Fri., September 25 - UC Davis at Long Beach State
Sat., September 26 - UC Irvine at Long Beach State
Fri., October 2 - Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton
Sat., October 3 - Hawai‘i at UC Riverside
Fri., October 23 - Cal Poly at CSUN
Sat., October 24 - UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
Fri., November 6 - Hawai‘i at Long Beach State
Fri., November 13 - UC Santa Barbara at Cal St. Fullerton
Sat., November 14 - Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton
Tues., November 17 - Hawai’i at UC Irvine
Sat., November 21 - UC Davis at UC Irvine
Last week Cal Poly extended its win streak to four after sweeping UC Irvine and downing central coast foe UC Santa Barbara, 3-1. The Mustangs, currently sitting second in the Big West, entertain Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside at Mott Athletics Center this weekend.
One More Win:
If Cal Poly collects at least one victory this weekend, it will elevate its win total to 13, the most victories since the 2010 squad finished with an overall mark of 22-7. That same year the Mustangs posted a 12-4 Big West record to finish second in the league.
Against The Big West:
In conference-only contests, Cal Poly paces the league in both kills (14.47) and assists (13.29). Individually, a pair of Mustangs rank in the top five in kills. Adlee Van Winden is averaging 4.35 kills per contest against her conference opponents for the second spot, while Raeann Greisen is fourth with a 3.88 average. Quarterbacking the team is Taylor Nelson, who sports a league-leading 11.41 assists per set in Big West showdowns.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
In Search Of A ‘W’:
Under the helm of first-year head coach Ashley Preston, the Cal State Fullerton Titans are still searching for their first victory of the season with a 0-16 mark thus far. The last time the Titans opened the year with an 0-16 mark was back in 1994 when they tallied an overall record of 1-28.
Cal State Fullerton wraps up a three-match road trip with a visit to the central coast to battle Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, who like CSF, has yet to record a conference victory.
Middle blocker Kandace Thomas paces the Titans with a .256 hitting percentage, while Kyra Hill own a team-best 2.38 kills average. At the net, Kyra Smith is dominating with a .93 blocks per set average.
Diaper Dandies On The Bench:
The Cal State Fullerton coaching staff is one of the youngest in the nation as the three full-time coaches are a combined 89 years old. In addition, volunteer assistant Naseri Tumanuvao preps for his first season at Cal State Fullerton at 28 years of age.
CSUN Finds Winning Ways:
The Matadors, currently sitting fifth in the Big West standings, are looking to rebound from a pair of sweeps handed to them by Cal Poly and No. 8 Hawai’i. CSUN visits The Pyramid to take on Long Beach State live on FOX Prim Ticket Saturday at 7:00 pm.
Stinson Eclipses 1,000-Kill Mark:
Senior Cieana Stinson reached the 1,000-kill threshold the final weekend of September to become the 12th player in Matador history to reach the career milestone. Both Casey Hinger and Natalie Allen reached 1,000 kills in 2014 with Mahina Haina accomplishing the feat in 2013. Stinson, currently averaging 3.60 kills per set, owns 1,051 career kills.
Leading The Charge:
While Stinson leads the Matadors on offense, Katie Sato and Serna Arreola control the defensive side of the ball. Sato sports a 3.88 digs per set average and Arreola owns a .62 blocks average.
LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach State In Action:
Long Beach State split a pair of contests last week, sweeping UC Riverside and falling to No. 8 Hawai’i in five sets, to hold a 4-2 Big West record to tie for third in the standings. Up next for the 49ers is a Saturday-night showdown against CSUN on Fox Prime Ticket.
Ashley Murray and Hayley Benson both hold top-10 spots in the Big West’s hitting percentage. Murray sits eighth with a .301 clip and Hayley is hitting .293 to tie for ninth. Benson is also showing her dominance at the netting as she ranks sixth in the league with a 1.00 blocks per set average.
Barber Leads The Way:
In last week’s five-set loss to No. 8 Hawai’i, the 49ers became the first Big West team to take a set from the Rainbow Wahine and Nele Barber was the driving force behind their success. The junior outside hitter tallied her 15th double-double of the year, with a match-high 16 kills and 14 digs. She currently ranks fourth in the Big West with a 3.82 kills per set average.
Aggies Notch Big West Victories:
UC Davis collected another pair of victories last week, extending its win streak to four and improving to 4-2 and tie for third in the Big West standings. This week the Aggies face their toughest conference opponent with a trip to No. 8 Hawai’i Friday at 10:00 p.m. (PT). The Aggies are 0-3 against Top 25 opponents this year.
Squyres Reaches Milestone:
Senior Kaylin Squyres lifted her career kill total to 1,040 last week to rank ninth in school history. She is also just the ninth Aggie to reach the 1,000-kill milestone. Devon Damelio (1,058 in 2010-13) was the most recent Aggie to finish her career above that milestone. Squyres is averaging a conference-best 4.58 kills per set to rank 12th in the nation.
Dominating From The Line:
UC Davis currently sits third in the conference with a 1.38 service ace average but in conference-only matches the Aggies have bettered that mark to a league-leading 1.76 average. Sophia Mar is leading the charge with the second-best mark of .43. Teammates Allie Wegner and Malia Bolko are knotted in seventh with a .33 service aces average.
The Anteaters are jet-setting across the Pacific to battle No. 8 Hawai’i Saturday at 10:00 p.m. (PT). This marks the fourth ranked opponent for UC Irvine, who is 1-2 against the Top 25. The lone victory was a 3-1 upset over No. 21 San Diego back on September 19.
No Mistake Here:
In last week’s home matches where the Anteaters went 1-1, Ella Rosenfeld showcased a pair of error-free performances. The middle blocker was 7-for-15 to post a .467 clip against Cal Poly. She followed that up with a .429 effort against the Highlanders, knocking down six of 14 attempts. Rosenfeld is currently ranked third in the league with a .358 hitting percentage.
Victoria Dennis and Harlee Kekauoha are tied for seventh in the league with a 3.26 kills average.
Hain At The Helm:
Ashlie Hain, starting setter on UC Irvine’s 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournament teams, returned UCI as head coach this season after coaching at American River College. There, she took over a program that had won just three matches and led the Beavers to consecutive Big 8 Conference titles in 2013 and 2014.
UC Riverside Stumbles In Conference Road Trip:
After recording its first league-opening win since 2005, UC Riverside has since struggled and tallied four straight losses. The Highlanders look to turn things around this week when they visit Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
Helena Peric owns a team-high 2.74 kills average to place 10th in the Big West Conference. She’s recorded seven double-digit kill performances so far this season, including two season-best, 18-kill outings (9/18 and 9/30). Peric can also be found in the 10th slot in service aces with a .26 mark, while teammate Alexis Urbach is averaging .31 aces per set to rank fifth.
Can You Dig It?:
Ever since Maddie Hubbell began her career at UC Riverside three years ago, she has excelled on defense and this year is no difference. The junior libero currently paces the league with a 4.77 digs per set average. In 2014 she finished the year ranked eighth in the league and during her freshman campaign she ended her year in fourth.
UC SANTA BARBARA
The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos enter the week on an 11-match skid, which includes a 0-5 start to conference play. The Gauchos, who only have four wins so far this year with 11 matches remaining, have never not tallied double-digit wins in a season. The lowest overall win total by a UCSB squad was 11 back in 2008, while the lowest conference win total of six happened a year earlier in 2007.
Looking to snap their 11-match losing streak and earn their first conference victory, the Gauchos host UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton, who are a combined 1-8 in Big West play, at The Thunderdome this week.
Junior Elizabeth Sheffield continues to pace the Gauchos with a .323 hitting percentage, good enough for sixth in the league. She also ranks ninth in service aces with a .27 mark.
Hawai’i, riding an 11-match win streak - its longest win streak since UH won 19 in a row in 2012, own an impressive 16-1 overall mark to rank fourth in the country with a .941 win-loss percentage. The lone defeat came on Sept. 6 against to No. 25 UCLA (3-1). The Rainbow Wahine may be one win away from a perfect overall record, but the Rainbow Wahine do own an unblemished 6-0 record in Big West play.
Road Block Ahead:
The Rainbow Wahine lead the nation with an impressive 3.40 blocks per set average. Olivia Magill is the catalyst for the team, sporting the country’s fifth-best average of 1.63. With Magill pacing the Big West, teammates Emily Maglio and Nikki Taylor rank second and third with averages of 1.34 and 1.25.
Hawai’i has swept 10 of its opponents this season, including a streak of six consecutive 3-0 victories from Sept. 20 - Oct. 9.
Junior opposite Nikki Taylor is averaging a league-leading 5.5 points per set to rank fourth in the nation.