Taylor, CSUN Duo Notch Weekly Honors
Nikki Taylor of Hawai‘i, and the CSUN duo of Aeryn Owens and Katie Sato garnered the women’s volleyball weekly honors after guiding their teams to conference sweeps.
Taylor Helps Rainbow Wahine To Share Of Big West Title
Hawai‘i junior Nikki Taylor (Honolulu, O’ahu/Kaiser HS) claimed Big West Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week honors for the fifth time this season, helping the Rainbow Wahine finish conference play undefeated at 16-0.
Taylor totaled 46 kills, 13 digs, nine blocks and four service aces in an all-around productive week as Hawai‘i swept three opponents on the road in UC Irvine, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. She hit .276 with just 19 errors in 98 attempts as UH improved to 26-1 on the year and extended its winning streak to 21 matches.
The 6-3 outside hitter led UH in kills in all three matches. She began the week with 20 kills on .405 hitting in a 3-0 victory over UCI that clinched the outright Big West title for UH. It was the seventh time this season that Taylor has racked up 20 or more kills in a match. She also had four blocks (one solo), four digs and two service aces against the Anteaters.
Taylor put down 15 kills in 34 swings against the Mustangs and finished the regular season with 11 put aways versus the Gauchos. She added three blocks, seven digs and an ace. Taylor is Hawaii‘s leader in kills (392) and service aces (39).
Others nominated: Katelyn Nielsen (Cal State Fullerton); Aeryn Owens (CSUN); Jenelle Hudson (Long Beach State); Kaylin Squyres (UC Davis)
Owens Helps CSUN To Pair of Five-Set Wins
Hitting a combined .314 in two five-set victories, CSUN outside hitter Aeryn Owens (Alta Loma, Calif./Alta Loma HS) garnered Big West Women’s Volleyball Freshman Player of the Week kudos.
Owens averaged 3.30 kills and 0.50 blocks per set as the Matadors concluded the season in fifth place in the Big West standings with a 7-9 record.
The 6-0 outside hitter pounded a team-high 17 kills while hitting .333 on 36 swings to complement two solo blocks in CSUN’s come-from-behind win over UC Riverside on Senior Night. The Matadors faced a two-set deficit before Owens helped pull back the momentum in CSUN’s favor with eight kills in a 25-23 set three victory.
Owens then keyed another Matador comeback from two sets down as she swung at a .294 clip with 16 kills in 34 attacks against Cal State Fullerton. She notched three blocks, including two solo, and added a pair of digs to deny CSF its first victory. Owens provided a key kill that tied the match at 15-all in the decisive fifth set as CSUN went on to win the frame by a 17-15 score.
Others nominated: Megann Delgado (Cal State Fullerton); Peyton Grahovac (Long Beach State); Kelechi Ohiri (UC Davis); Chelsea Doyle (UC Riverside)
Defensive Stalwart Sato Sets Career-High In Digs
CSUN sophomore libero Katie Sato (Calabasas, Calif./Agoura HS) collected 48 digs over two matches, including a career-high 33, to capture the Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week award.
Sato’s 33 digs in a five-set victory over Cal State Fullerton bettered her previous career-best of 26 by seven.
She added 15 digs in another five-set triumph over UC Riverside. Sato also had eight assists against the Highlanders. She tallied a service ace in each match.
Others nominated: Paige Reed (Cal State Fullerton); Mykah Wilson (Long Beach State); Kelechi Ohiri (UC Davis); Emily Maglio (Hawai‘i)