Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 1
Big West Tid Bits
Off With A Bang:
The sixth-ranked Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine aren’t shying away from competition in 2016, as they kick off the new year facing No. 4 Wisconsin in match one of the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational scheduled from August 26-28. Hawai’i is also slated to battle Kansas State and Arizona the other two days of the event.
Hawai’i isn’t the only Big West team to face the top 25 this weekend as Cal Poly and UC Irvine are slated to stare down some tough competition as well. The Mustangs battle No. 13 BYU on day two of the BYU Invitational, while UC Irvine closes out the USC Baden Invitational against host and seventh-ranked USC.
Flashback To 2015:
Hawai‘i finished the 2015 season a perfect 16-0 in conference play to claim its eighth Big West title, and third in the last four seasons. The Rainbow Wahine reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament, where a four-set loss to Minnesota ended their season at 29-2. Hawai’i concluded the year ranked No. 7 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
The Rainbow Wahine became 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. Cal Poly placed third with an 11-5 mark while UC Davis secured the fourth spot at 10-6. CSUN and UC Irvine ended up knotted in fifth after posting a 7-9 record. UC Riverside finished seventh followed by UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton.
Hawai’i Picked To Repeat As Conference Champion:
The University of Hawai’i has been unanimously selected to repeat as the Big West Conference women’s volleyball champion, according to the Big West women’s volleyball preseason coaches poll as voted on by the nine head coaches. The Rainbow Wahine, who reclaimed the title last season with a perfect 16-0 mark, captured all nine first-place votes en route to a perfect 81-point total.
Long Beach State secured the second slot after securing 68 points and earning the third spot with a point total of 66 was Cal Poly. The Anteaters of UC Irvine ranked fourth with 47 points and is followed by UC Davis after tallying 44 points. UC Santa Barbara, who welcomes the No. 24 recruiting class in the nation, according to PrepVolleyball.com, nabbed the sixth slot after registering 39 points. CSUN holds the seventh spot with 29 points and UC Riverside locked-in the eighth position after grabbing 20 points. Rounding out the nine-team field is Cal State Fullerton with 11 points.
Hawai’i Opens 2016 With A Ranking Of Sixth In The Nation:
Defending Big West women’s volleyball champions Hawai’i is set to open the season as the sixth-ranked team in the nation, according to Wednesday’s American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Poll. Long Beach State, who finished second in the conference in 2015, was listed in the receiving votes category.
Ranked No. 7 in the final AVCA Poll of 2015, the Rainbow Wahine are coming off an exceptional season which saw them amass a 29-2 record overall, a 16-0 conference record and their 34th NCAA Tournament appearance, which ended in the Elite Eight.
The Wahine are scheduled to host three other teams in the preseason Top 25 as they open the season with No. 4 Wisconsin (Aug. 26), before meeting No. 12 UCLA (Sept. 3) and No. 7 Washington (Sept. 11). They will also host Arizona (Aug. 28), who is receiving votes.
Long Beach State finished 25-6 overall and 13-3 in conference play. The Beach face a pair of ranked opponents in the nonconference portion of the season, No. 21 Loyola Marymount (Sept. 8) and No. 12 UCLA (Sept. 14), as well as a team receiving votes, Arizona State (Sept. 10).
Gauchos Welcome Top Recruiting Class:
In 2016, the UCSB women’s volleyball team will be joined by the No. 24 recruiting class in the nation, according to PrepVolleyball.com. This is the program’s third appearance on the list in four years and its fourth ever top-30 selection, including last year’s school record No. 18 ranking.
Power Hitters: Last year the University of Hawai’i concluded the season with a .288 team hitting percentage, marking the highest team total since Long Beach State sported a .359 clip on 2001. They were led by Olivia Magill and Emily Magilo, who hit .411 and .384 to pace the conference. Magilo returns for her junior season in 2016.
Women’s Volleyball Match To Air On ESPNU:
ESPNU is set to televise the Hawai‘i at UC Riverside women’s volleyball match Friday, October 28 at 8:00 p.m. (PT) inside the SRC Arena, which was updated with a newly designed floor over the summer.
Big West In Rio:
A total of 26 Big West Conference athletes, coaches and staff represented nine different nations in fifteen different sports at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil., Aug. 5-21, 2016. Included in the mix was former CSUN volleyball player Lynda Morales. The former Matador and her teammates from the Puerto Rico National Team participated in the Olympic Games for the first time this summer in Rio. Morales led the Matadors in blocks three of her four seasons (2007, 2008 and 2010).
UC Davis’ Quinn Returns “Home”:
Katie Quinn, a two-time All-Big West Conference honoree and one of UC Davis’ all-time leading blockers, returns to her alma mater to serve as an assistant women’s volleyball coach, announced UCD head coach Dan Conners. Quinn will be involved in all aspects of the program, including that of recruiting coordinator, while her on-court focus will be with the Aggie middles.