Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 4
BIG WEST TID BITS
Gauchos Keep On Rolling:
UC Santa Barbara is off to a great start to the new year as it currently sports an 8-2 record, the program’s best start since 2009 when they went 13-2 before posting their third loss. The Gauchos’ impressive start includes a victory over No. 25 Colorado State, a feat that Baylor also mastered the same day, to become the first unranked teams to beat a nationally-ranked Colorado State since New Mexico back on Nov. 11, 2010.
They look to keep the momentum this week as their final nonconference tournament of the season - the SDSU/USD California Mixer - where they are slated to battle San Diego State, San Jose and No. 10 San Diego.
WVB: Sweep of San Francisco, sweep of the weekend, and the best start to a Gauchos season since 2009!
Posted by Big West Conference on Saturday, September 10, 2016
With Big West Conference play only a week away, opening weekend is shaping up to be an exciting one. League-leading UC Santa Barbara opens the conference potion of its schedule hosting defending conference champion Hawai’i. Another interesting showdown is the Cal State Fullerton-UC Riverside matchup at Fullerton on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Titans enter the aforementioned match with a conference winless streak dating back to Nov. 15, 2014, when it captured a 3-0 victory over the Highlanders. Cal State Fullerton, who was winless in 2015, has already secured five victories this season.
In The Ranks:
In the most recent AVCA Top 25 poll, the University of Hawai’i continues to make a presence in the poll as it sits 15th. A 3-1 record last week, which included a win over No. 25 Loyola Marymount, elevated Long Beach State in the receiving votes category as it picked up 10 votes. The Beach has a chance to aquire more votes this week as they are slated to battle both No. 10 San Diego and No. 11 UCLA.
UC Davis’ Allen Has Career Night:
Emily Allen posted a career-high 30 kills on 69 swings to pace UC Davis women’s volleyball in a 3-2 marathon victory over Southern Utah in the opening match of Nevada’s Wolf Pack Tournament at Virginia Street Gym Friday night. The sophomore outside hitter became the first UC Davis player to surpass 30 kills in the Division I era. The last to hit that milestone was Chantal Paschetta, who notched 31 in a September 3, 2005 match against Washington State. The Aggies were in their second year of the four-year reclassification period at the time.
Long Beach State freshman YiZhi Xue posted a career-best and match-leading 11 blocks in the 49ers 3-2 victory over Duke last week. Xue wasn’t the only one that was unstoppable at the net that night as senior outside hitter Nele Barber also pounded a career-high with nine blocks The duo is part of a LBSU squad that currently sits second in the Big West, and 25th in the nation, with a 2.77 blocks per set average.
With UC Santa Barbara and Hawai’i sitting one-two in the Big West standings, it isn’t a surprise that they are also dominating the league statistics. The Gauchos are leading the way in hitting percentage (.243), opponent hitting percentage (.185), blocks (2.90) and service aces (1.74), while the Rainbow Wahine are pacing the conference in assists (133.06) and kills (13.88). The only category neither team is dominating is digs, where Cal State Fullerton owns the top spot with a 16.08 set average.
A quartet of Big West schools have the tough task of playing their entire nonconference portion of their schedules on the road. One week before Big West play kicks off means more frequent flyer miles for Cal Poly, CSUN, UC Davis and UC Riverside. The four teams will travel a combined 20, 022 miles during the nonconference portion of their schedules. The Matadors and Highlanders lead the group with a season-long 14-match road trip to kick off the 2016 season.
Despite spending so much time away from home, all four teams have produced a .500-or-better winning percentage the first two weeks of the season. Cal Poly is 4-2, while the other three schools are knotted at 3-3.
Kekauoha Notches Triple-Double Opening Weekend:
In UC Irvine’s 3-2 loss to Marquette opening weekend, sophomore Harlee Kekauoha recorded a triple-double with 15 kills, 19 assists and 14 digs.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.