Rainbow Wahine Receive Highest Honors
Links associated with this release:
2016 Women's Beach Volleyball All-Conference
Hawai‘i dominated the 2016 women’s beach volleyball season, claiming the inaugural Big West tournament in Huntington Beach, Calif. in addition to garnering all three of the top awards: senior Katie Spieler and freshman Emily Maglio earned Pairs Team of the Year honors, Maglio garnered Freshman of the Year accolades and Jeff Hall was tabbed Coach of the Year as the conference announced the all-conference teams today.
The “SandBows” will represent the Big West Conference in the first-ever NCAA Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, May 6-8. The championship will have an eight-team bracket that will be played in double-elimination format. Like the conference tournament, teams will consist of five pairs of female student-athletes.
With an 18-4 overall record, Hawaii’s Spieler and Maglio posted a 9-4 mark at the No. 1 spot and an undefeated 9-0 record at No. 2. The tandem received three Pairs Team of the Week honors over the course of the season to help UH to a 16-8 record overall. Spearheading the way for the Rainbow Wahine, the duo helped the SandBows maintain a No. 5 national ranking and earn a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The pair will be key in the ’Bows run in the postseason.
Not only did Maglio earn Pairs Team of the Year honors, but the first year received Freshman of the Year accolades for her efforts on the sand. The Coquitlam, B.C., Canada native posted a 19-5 overall mark for a .792 win-percentage. The first year highlighted her standout season with 16 straight-set wins in 2016.
In his second year at the helm, coach Hall led the SandBows to the Big West Conference Tournament championship and took the title in 3-2 fashion over Long Beach State, winning at the 1, 2 and 4 positions. The ’Bows defeated LBSU twice to earn the crown and finished undefeated 3-0 on the weekend. The first year coach will take his squad to the first-ever NCAA Tournament where the Rainbow Wahine will face UCLA to open postseason play. The SandBows are 10-8 against ranked teams and have recorded five 5-0 victories in 2016. UH has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country this season.
The all-conference first team features Hawai‘i duo Nikki Taylor and Lara Schreiber in addition to the Pairs Team of the Year. Rachel Nieto and Nele Barber represent the 49ers along with teammates Sammee Thomas and Kobi Pekich. From Cal Poly, Taylor Nelson and Adlee Van Winden represent the Mustangs on the first team and rounding out the list is pair Carol Grasso and Sydney Haynes from CSU Bakersfield.
The complete 2015-16 Big West women's beach volleyball all-conference team is available at the above link.