Big West Women's Volleyball Release
BIG WEST TID BITS
Rainbow Wahine Grab Big West Title:
With a near-perfect 15-1 mark, the University of Hawai’i captured its second straight championship, and fourth out of the five years since rejoining the league. With the title comes the automatic berth in the NCAA tournament for the ‘Bows. The Rainbow Wahine are set to make their 35th overall and 24th-straight appearance in the NCAA tourney.
NCAA Selection Show:
The field of 64 teams for the 2016 NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be unveiled on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, Nov. 27. The first and second round host sites will also be announced during the selection show. Regionals will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites with the four winners advancing to the DI Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, December 15 & 17. The national semifinals will be held December 15 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m (ESPN2). The national championship will take place December 17 at 9 p.m. (ESPN2).
Shoji Earns 1200th Victory:
Thursday, November 17 was a big day for Hawai’i women’s volleyball fans. Not only did they capture the 2016 Big West Title and the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament, Head Coach Dave Shoji earned his 1,200th career victory. He became just the second NCAA DI women’s volleyball coach to hit the 1,200 win milestone. Following the 3-1 victory over UCSB on Saturday, Shoji, who is in his 42nd year at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine program, now has a career record of 1,201-203-1. He is right behind Penn State’s Russ Rose who notched his 1,200th career win earlier this season. Rose currently has a 1,208-195 career record.
In The Conference:
Conference play wraps up this week with final contests in the Central Coast. Tuesday Cal Poly host UC Davis and Wednesday UC Santa Barbara entertains UC Irvine. The top three spots in the standings are set with Hawai’i (15-1) leading the way and followed by Long Beach State (13-3) and Cal Poly (10-5). The Gauchos and Aggies will be fighting for position with UCSB currently sitting fourth (8-7) and UCD fifth (7-8). CSUN holds the sixth spot with a 7-9 record and UC Irvine is holding on to the seventh slot at 6-9. UC Riverside (3-13) finishes eighth and Cal State Fullerton ninth (1.15).
Mustangs Finish On A High Note:
The Cal Poly Mustangs, winning four of their final five contests, are sporting a 10-5 league mark with one Big West Conference match left. If they pick up a final win over UC Davis, the Mustangs will finish third with an 11-5 record for the second straight season and tie for their highest conference win total since the 2010 team notched 12 Big West Conference victories. This is a huge improvement considering in 2014 Cal Poly only tallied four Big West victories.
Ace In The Hole:
If the season were to end for Hawai’i this week, Nikki Taylor would finish the 2016 season ranked seventh all-time in the Big West record book for service ace average. She currently averages .65 aces per set, but with Hawai’i advancing to the NCAA Tournament next week she has a chance to better her mark. A .68 mark would surpass Jackie Mendez, from San Diego State, (1987) for the fourth spot.
Hubbell Set UCR Career Mark:
On Thursday, Oct. 20, senior libero Maddie Hubbell logged 17 digs to reach 1,558 for her career to become UCR Volleyball’s all-time digs leader. She surpassed UCR Athletics Hall of Famer and Two-Time All American Sheryl Benson-Rawlins’ mark of 1,556 (1984, 86, 88-89). Hubbell ended the season collecting 32 digs in the final weekend to bump her career total to 1,695 scoops, earning her the seventh spot in the Big West annals.
Climbing The Charts:
Nikki Taylor sits in 11th place in Hawai’i’s career kill list with 1,354 total kills. To crack the top 10, Taylor needs to surpass Deitre Collins (1980-83), who registered 1,385 kills. With a season average of 4.59 kills per set, Taylor currently paces the Big West Conference and ranks 11th nationally.
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.
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.
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.