Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 14
Rainbow Wahine Claim Big West Volleyball Title:
With a perfect 16-0 mark, Hawai’i captured the 2015 Big West women’s volleyball conference championship, its eighth Big West title overall. The Rainbow Wahine become the 10th team to finish the conference season undefeated and the fourth Hawai’i team to master the feat. Long Beach State finished second with a 13-3 mark.
Four teams still have one match remaining but the outcome should not drastically alter the standings as Cal Poly is currently in third place and UC Davis holds the fourth spot. CSUN sits fifth and is followed by UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara with Cal State Fullerton rounding out the nine-team field.
NCAA Selection Show:
The field of 64 teams for the 2015 NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be unveiled on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, Nov. 29. The first and second round host sites will also be announced during the selection show while the Regional and Final sites are predetermined. This year’s Regional sites include Austin Texas, Des Moines, Iowa, Lexington , Ky. and San Diego, Calif., with the finals taking place at the Centurylink Center in Omaha, Neb., December 17 & 19.
Big West In the Top 25:
Big West Conference champion Hawai’i, 26-1 overall, maintained the eighth 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 812 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 3.29 blocks per set average. Olivia Magill is the catalyst for the team, sporting the country’s fifth-best average of 1.59. Magill paces the Big West while teammates Emily Maglio and Nikki Taylor sit second (1.25 BPS) and third (1.23 BPS).
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 1,214 career kills and finishes her time at CSUN ranked eighth in school history.
Squyres Reaches Milestone:
Senior Kaylin Squyres lifted her career kill total to 1,184 last week and currently sits in 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, who needs 25 kills to move to the fifth slot, is averaging a 4.35 kills per set to rank second in the league and 19th in the nation.
The End Is Near:
Cal Poly wraps up the 2015 season with a showdown at The Pavilion against UC Davis. The Mustangs fell to the Aggies in a five-set marathon earlier this season.
Get Out The Brooms:
The Mustangs captured 11 of its 19 wins by virtue of sweeps, the most 3-0 victories the program has recorded since 2007.
In The Big West:
Adlee Van Winden ranks fourth with a 3.91 kills per set average while teammate Raeann Greisen holds the seventh slot with a 3.27 mark. Savannah Niemen is currently hitting .305 to sit eighth and Taylor Nelson continues to dominate the league with a conference-best 10.84 assists per set average. Nelson and Niemen are also occupying spots in service aces at second and seventh, respectively.
Off And Running:
Over the course of the year, the Mustangs managed to string together seven consecutive victories from Oct. 2 - Oct. 23. The seven-victory run matched the longest conference win streak for the Mustangs since 2007.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
In Search Of A ‘W’:
Under the helm of first-year head coach Ashley Preston, the Cal State Fullerton Titans wrapped up the season with a 0-26 mark. This marks the first time the Titans have gone winless in program history. Prior to this year, the lowest win total came in 1994 when they produced a 1-28 record. It is also the first time they failed to record a win in conference and the first since 1993.
Another Scoop Please:
Junior Paige Reed currently sports a 3.94 digs average to sit fifth in the Big West.
Sophomore Kyra Hill paced the Titans with a 2.57 kill average and Kandace Thomas held a team-high .255 hitting percentage.
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.
Season Comes To An End:
CSUN ended the season with a bang, as the Matadors captured back-to-back, five-set comeback victories to improve to 8-20 overall and 7-9 in Big West play. The Matadors downed UC Riverside at The Matadome Friday night before taking care of the Titans on their home court.
Career Night For Conati:
Sophomore setter Lauren Conati registered a career-high 63 assists in the Matadors’ 3-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton.
Senior Cieana Stinson concludes her final season as a Matador ranked fifth in the Big West with a 3.74 kills per set average. Sophomore Katie Sato holds the seventh slot in digs with a 3.64 mark.
Home Is Where The Victory Is:
Five of CSUN’s eight victories occurred in front of its hometown fans at The Matadome.
LONG BEACH STATE
LBSU Ends Big West Play:
Long Beach State was unsuccessful at defending its title this year but they did manage to capture the second spot in the standings with a 13-3 Big West mark. The 49ers closed out league play winning nine of their final 10 contests.
Long Beach State closes out the 2015 regular season with a pair of post-Thanksgiving, nonconference contests. The 49ers entertain Pacific Friday evening before hosting Denver in a Saturday matinee.
Out With A Bang:
In one of her final Big West contests of her career, senior Hayley Benson registered a career-best .706 hitting percentage to lead LBSU to a 3-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton. Benson paces the 49ers and sits sixth in the league with a .329 attack percentage.
Facing The Best:
Long Beach State has posted six losses this season, three of which were against ranked opponents - No. 14 UCLA, No. 8 Hawai’i and No. 6 Hawai’i.
Having won three of its last four contests, UC Davis gears up for its final contest of the 2015 season when it entertains Cal Poly Tuesday evening. A UC Davis win would secure a .500 record and a second consecutive 10-win conference season for the Aggies, who downed the Mustangs, 3-2, earlier this month.
Leaving Her Mark:
Senior Kaylin Squyres already eclipsed the 1,000-kill career threshold earlier this year and sits sixth all-time in UCD history but she is eyeing another milestone. She enters Tuesday’s match with 390 digs, 10 shy of joining Candy Lench (493 in 1990) as the only non-libero to record 400 in a season for UC Davis. Squyres currently sits second in the league in kills this season with a 4.35 average and eighth in digs 3.55.
UC Davis currently sits second in the Big West with 2.30 blocks per set. The Aggies are led by Kelechi Ohiri and Aima Eichie, who hold the fourth (1.10) and fifth (1.06) spots.
2015 Comes To An End:
UC Irvine wraps up a season-ending, three-match homestand Tuesday when it hosts UC Santa Barbara. UC Irvine, who currently sits sixth with a 6-9 mark, downed the Gauchos, 3-1, a few weeks back. A win on Tuesday could bump the Anteaters to a tie with CSUN for fifth place.
Bubica’s Career Scoops:
In UC Irvine’s 3-2 loss to UC Davis last week, senior outside hitter Marisa Bubica recorded a career-high 15 digs.
Senior Ella Rosenfeld and freshman Harlee Kekauoha sit fourth and ninth in the league in hitting percentage with marks of .331 and .304. You can also find Kekauoha’s name in the kills category with the sixth-best mark of 3.33 and service aces with a .31 average to tie for third.
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.
Highlanders Set School Record:
UC Riverside concludes the 2015 season with an overall mark of 10-19 and 5-11 league record, breaking the program record for most conference wins in a season since the Highlanders made the move to Division I fifteen years ago. Also worth noting, the Highlanders’ 10 overall victories is the highest total since the 2005 squad registered a 16-11 mark.
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 cur paces the league with a 4.91 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.
Banner Year For Riverside:
Along with the highest conference win total in school history, the Highlanders concluded a 2015 season filled with historic achievements and outstanding performances: two sweeps of Big West Opponents-UCR DI record; four sweeps on the season; one Big West Player of Week Award, two Defensive Player of the Week Awards.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Sporting a 7-19 record with one game remaining on their schedule, the Gauchos are unable to reach double-digit wins for the first time in school history. Prior to this season, the lowest win total dates back to 2008 when the squad went 11-16 overall. UC Santa Barbara, who currently owns a 3-12 Big West mark, tallied a program-low four conference victories back in 1984 when it played just eight conference matches.
The Gauchos wrap up the 2015 season visiting UC Irvine Tuesday evening. The Anteaters won the previous matchup, 3-1.
Rottman Shines From Service Line:
UCSB freshman libero Alexis Rottman had a breakout performance last week against Hawai’i as she racked up four aces after entering the match with zero in her career.
Leading The Way:
Junior Phoebe Grunt sits third in the Big West with a team-high .336 attack percentage, while Emilia Petrachi owns the second slot in digs with a 4.67 mark.
‘Bows Capture Crown:
With a perfect 16-0 mark Hawai’i captured its eighth Big West Conference championship, while becoming the 10th team to claim the conference title with an unblemished record. The Rainbow Wahine also own an impressive 26-1 overall mark with its lone defeat coming against then-ranked No. 25 UCLA (3-1) on Sept. 6.
The Rainbow Wahine enter the postseason riding a 21-match win streak, the longest since Hawai’i won 26-straight in 2011.
Cramping Their Style:
The ‘Bows are holding their opponents to a miniscule .142 hitting percentage to rank fifth in the country.
Hawai’i swept 16 of its opponents this season, including a streak of six consecutive 3-0 victories from Sept. 20 - Oct. 9.
Leading The Pack:
Hawai’i leads the league in hitting percentage (.288), blocks (3.29), kills (14.13), service aces (1.50), assists (12.97) and opponent hitting percentage (.142).