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Women's Volleyball

Big West Play Begins Tuesday


Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 5

Big West Play Begins This Week:
With the preseason tournaments complete, that can only mean one thing, Big West Conference play is upon us. Things kick off Tuesday, Sept. 19 for six of the nine schools.  UC Davis hosts Cal Poly, who was picked second in the preseason coaches poll and received two first place votes, at 5:00 p.m.  UC Riverside entertains Long Beach State on ESPN3 and Cal  State Fullerton hosts CSUN with first serve slated for 7:00 p.m. for both matches.

League-leading UC Irvine, who enters league play with a near-perfect 12-1 record, visits preseason favorite and defending champion Hawai’i Friday night in a showdown that could have conference title implications down the road.  The Rainbow Wahine wrap up a 13-match homestand Saturday when they host UC Davis.  Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside visit the Central Coast over the weekend to take on Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara while Long Beach State visits CSUN on Saturday.

Around The Big West:
Cal Poly heads into Big West action with the top offense in the league as the Mustangs own the top spot in kills (15.53), hitting percentage (.306) and assists (14.45 APS). Hawai’i tops the conference in blocks with a 2.69 average while UC Riverside is top dog in digs (17.51 DPS) and opponent hitting percentage (.171).  The Anteaters of UC Irvine are dominating at the service line as they sport a 1.84 service ace average.

Off And Running:
UC Irvine went 4-0 last week, bumping it’s overall record to 12-1 to extend the program’s best season-opening mark.  The Anteaters enter Big West play  riding a six-match win streak.

Cal Poly, who is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll swept the Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Classic to improve to 10-2 on the season, the Mustangs’ best start since the 1998 team started 12-0. The Mustangs two losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington and No. 14 Oregon.

Sister Power:
The Van Winden sisters, Torrey, a sophomore transfer, an Adlee, who is a junior, are leading the Mustangs at the net as they pace the team and sit second and fifth in the Big West with kill averages of 4.97 and 4.05. Both have already earned Big West Player of the Weeks nods with Adlee earning the first of the season and Torrey collecting back-to-back accolades the following two weeks. Torrey also sits in the conference’s top 10  in hitting percentage (2nd - .376), while Adlee ranks fourth in service aces (.34 APS).

New Head Coaches:
The 2017 women’s volleyball season will be missing two legendary coaches at the helm of their respective programs as Hawai’i’s Dave Shoji and Long Beach State’s Brian Gimmillaro both retired in the offseason.  Between the two, there was 74 years of coaching experience as Shoji led the Rainbow Wahine for 42 years and Gimmillaro guided the Beach for 32.

Hawai’i Tabbed To Claim 2017 Title:
The University of Hawai’i was selected to capture its third straight Big West Conference women’s volleyball championship, and fifth out of the past six years, after claiming six first-place votes en route to a 78 point total as part of the Big West women’s volleyball preseason coaches poll as voted on by the nine head coaches.  The Mustangs of Cal Poly, nabbing two first place votes and 71 total points, earned the second slot in the preseason poll.  Securing the third place spot with one first place vote and a total of 65 point was Long Beach State. The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara sit fourth with 47 points and is followed by UC Irvine after registering 41 points.  UC Davis nabbed the sixth slot after collecting 39 points and is followed by CSUN, who holds the seventh spot with 33 points. UC Riverside locked-in the eighth position after grabbing 19 points and Cal State Fullerton rounds out the nine-team field  with 10 points.

Big West Volleyball On ESPN3:
The Big West Conference announced that nine women’s volleyball matches will be streamed via ESPN3, beginning with a Sept. 19 with a battle between Long Beach State and UC Riverside.  The Beach also hosts UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Sept. 30 and UC Davis on Friday, Oct. 27.

Two-time defending Big West champion Hawai‘i appears twice in the package under first-year head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos.  Fans get their first sneak peek of the Rainbow Wahine on Friday, Sept. 29 at Cal State Fullerton, and again on Saturday, Oct. 14 at CSUN.  Cal Poly, makes two road appearances.  The Mustangs face UC Irvine on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and UC Riverside on Friday, Nov. 17. UC Davis and CSUN each make their second appearance in the package when they play each other on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Matadome. The final women’s volleyball tilt occurs on Saturday, Nov. 18 when UC Santa Barbara travels to UCR.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually.  It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected streaming devices through the ESPN app.  The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.

UH-UCI Clash On FOX Prime Ticket:
Prime Ticket will televise a women’s volleyball showdown between Hawai‘i and UC Irvine from the Bren Events Center on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8:00 p.m. (PT).  In addition to telecast coverage on Prime Ticket and FOX Sports West, all games on the regional sports network will also be available on FOX Sports GO. 

ESPNU To Televise LBSU-UH Showdown:
ESPNU is scheduled to air the Hawai‘i at Long Beach State women’s volleyball match Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. (PT) inside the Walter Pyramid.  The match-up pits two programs who have combined to win – either shared or outright – each of the last six Big West Conference championships.  Long Beach State all-time has claimed 13 conference titles to Hawaii’s 10, making them the two winningest programs in league history.