Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 11
Race For The Title:
Hawai’i continues to sit atop the Big West standings with a perfect 10-record. The Rainbow Wahine are followed by defending Big West champion Long Beach State, who owns a 9-2 mark. Cal Poly is third at 8-2 and UC Davis is fourth with a 6-5 mark. UC Irvine can be found in the fifth slot at 5-6, while CSUN sits sixth at 4-6. UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara are knotted in seventh with a 2-8 record while Cal State Fullerton is still searching for its first conference victory with a 0-9 mark.
Big West In the Top 25:
Hawai’i maintained the sixth spot in this week’s AVCA Top 25 poll while Long Beach State continues to receive votes.
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 808 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.
We’re Number One:
The Rainbow Wahine lead the nation with an impressive 3.43 blocks per set average. Olivia Magill is the catalyst for the team, sporting the country’s eighth-best average of 1.61. Magill paces the Big West while teammates Emily Maglio and Nikki Taylor sit second (1.34 BPS) and third (1.23).
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 owns 1,119 career kills and currently ranks 10th in school history and is just three kills from grabbing the ninth slot.
Squyres Reaches Milestone:
Senior Kaylin Squyres lifted her career kill total to 1,112 last week to vault to the sixth spot in school history. Devon Damelio (1,058 in 2010-13) was the most recent Aggie to finish her career above that milestone. Squyres is averaging a league-best 4.37 kills per set to rank 17th in the nation.
Big West On ESPN3:
The Big West Conference announced that 11 women’s volleyball matches will be distributed on ESPN3 during the 2015. Games remaining:
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
Back On Track:
After a 3-2 loss to Long Beach State that snapped a seven-match win streak, Cal Poly is back to its winning ways as it picked up a 3-1 victory at UC Santa Barbara. This week the Mustangs return to Mott Athletics Center, where they are 6-1, to host UC Irvine (11/6) and UC Davis (11.7).
The Mustangs currently sit atop the Big West statistics in assists (12.97) and digs (16.31). Individually, setter Taylor Nelson tops the charts with an 11.03 assists per set average.
A Clean Sweep:
The Mustangs have claimed nine three-set victories this season, marking the most sweep victories the program has recorded since 2008. The only Big West team to have produced more three-set victories this year is Hawai’i with 12.
For the first time since Nov. 6, 2010, Cal Poly defeated the Gauchos in Santa Barbara. With Thursday’s victory, the Mustangs swept UC Santa Barbara in a season series for the first time since 2008.
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 0-21 mark thus far. The last time the Titans opened the year with a winless stretch spanning 20 games was back in 1994 when they tallied an overall record of 1-28.
A Look Ahead:
Cal State Fullerton returns to Titan Gym this week to host Long Beach State for a rare midweek showdown and UC Riverside Saturday evening.
Another Scoop Please:
Junior Paige Reed currently sports a 3.92 digs average to sit fourth in the Big West Conference. In conference-only contests she’s bettered her average to 4.27.
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 suffered a pair of road losses last week and currently own a 4-6 Big West mark. This week the Matadors visit UC Riverside Tuesday before retuning home to host No. 6 Hawai’i Saturday evening. This marks the first meeting of the season for the Matadors and Highlanders, while CSUN suffered a 3-0 loss to Hawai’i on October 9.
In CSUN’s 3-2 loss to UC Davis, sophomore middle Rachel Diaz, who returned to the line-up this week after nursing an injury, registered a career-best 11 kills and one error on a career-high 16 swings to hit a match-high .625.
Senior Cieana Stinson currently sits fifth in the Big West with a 3.58 kills per set average, while teammate Katie Sato occupies the seventh spot in digs with a 3.77 mark. Stinson also ranks second in solo blocks with 20.
LONG BEACH STATE
Crucial Matchup This Week:
Long Beach State, who sits second in the Big West standings with a 9-2 mark, host No. 6 Hawai’i, who owns a perfect 10-0 mark, Friday evening. A victory for the 49ers, who are riding a five-match win streak, would place them just one game back from the Rainbow Wahine in their quest to defend their title. Before hosting Hawai’i, LBSU must visit Cal State Fullerton Wednesday.
Last week junior outside hitter Nele Barber tallied a pair of double-double performances to bump her season total to 19.
Home Sweet Home:
Long Beach State enters this week’s showdown against No. 8 Hawai’i with a 16-match home conference winning streak on the line. The 49ers, who are receiving votes in the AVCA poll, are 2-2 against the Top 25 this season.
In The Big West:
Long Beach State has a few student-athletes scattered among the Big West statistical categories. Hayley Benson is ninth in hitting percentage (.307) and tied for fifth in blocks (1.00 BPS), while Barber owns the third slot in kills with a 3.98 average and the 10th spot in digs (3.30).
Aggies Mixed Success On The Road:
For the second straight week UC Davis split a weekend series and now sit 11-14 overall and 6-5 in Big West play. This week the Aggies visit the central coast to tackle UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. UC Davis swept the Gauchos earlier this season while the Aggies and Mustangs are squaring off for the first time this season.
Record Night For The Aggies:
It was a powerful team performance in UCD’s 3-2 victory over CSUN as three Aggies hit career marks. Freshman opposite Nicola Moore and redshirt freshman middle blocker Kelechi Ohiri posted career-high kills totals of 14 and 12, while senior outside hitter Kaylin Squyres tied a 25-year-old school record with eight aces. Squyres also tied her previous personal best dig performance with 24.
Against The Best:
Senior Kaylin Squyres paces the Big West Conference with a 4.37 kills per set average, while ranking 17th in the country. She is also sporting the country’s 19th-best point total of 452.
It’s A Wrap:
UC Irvine is gearing up for its final road trip of the season as the Anteaters head to the central coast to face Cal Poly (11/6) and UC Santa Barbara (11/7). The Anteaters have tallied a 6-9 mark when playing away from their hometown fans.
Latour On The Mark:
Against Long Beach State last week, junior opposite Lena Latour knocked down a career-high 12 kills.
In The Big West:
Ella Rosenfeld and Harlee Kekauoha sit fifth and sixth in the Big West Conference in hitting percentage with marks of .327 and .317. Kekauoha also owns the seventh spot in kills at 3.29 while her teammate Victoria Dennis ranks eighth with a 3.01 kills average.
Hain At The Helm:
Ashlie Hain, starting setter on UC Irvine’s 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournament teams, returned to 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 looks to rebound from a 3-1 loss to No. 6 Hawai’i this week when the Highlanders host CSUN Tuesday before visiting Cal State Fullerton Saturday evening. The Highlanders recorded a five-set victory over the Titans earlier this season at the SRC.
The Highlanders, who own an overall mark of 7-15, need just one more win to tie for the highest win total since the 2005 squad registered a 16-11 mark. Twice, in 2008 and 2012, UC Riverside notched eight overall victories.
Can’t Touch This:
Freshman Alexis Urbach currently ranks 10th in the Big West with a .26 service aces per set average.
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 4.78 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 Gauchos, 2-8 in Big West play, close out a three-match homestand at The Thunderdome this week hosting UC Davis (11/6) and UC Irvine (11/7). The Aggies swept the Gauchos back on Oct. 8, while this is the first meeting of the year for the Gauchos and Anteaters.
Joos Career Night:
In UC Santa Barbara’s 3-1 loss to Cal Poly, Devin Joos tallied career-best in kills and hitting percentage as she knocked down 12 kills for a .258 clip.
In The Big West:
UC Santa Barbara currently sits third in the Big West Conference in both blocks and service aces. Led by juniors Elizabeth Sheffield and Phoebe Grunt, who sit seventh and eighth in the league, the Gauchos own a 2.11 blocks per set average. The Gauchos also have three players in the top 15 in service aces, elevating them to a team average of 1.42. Leading the trio is Annie Hasselman, who ranks eighth with a .28 mark.
Hawai’i, who heads to the mainland to kick off a season-ending, six-match road trip, is riding a 15-match win streak - its longest win streak since UH won 19 in a row in 2012. The Rainbow Wahine own an impressive 20-1 overall mark to rank fourth in the country with a .952 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 10-0 record in Big West play.
Battle At The Pyramid
: Friday night, live on ESPN3, Hawai’i battles defending Big West Champion Long Beach State, who is currently sitting second in the league standings. The Rainbow Wahine won the previous matchup between the two teams by a score of 3-2.
Cramping Their Style:
The ‘Bows are holding their opponents to a miniscule .141 hitting percentage to rank sixth in the country.
Hawai’i has swept 12 of its opponents this season, including a streak of six consecutive 3-0 victories from Sept. 20 - Oct. 9.