Six Big West Representatives On AVCA All-Region List
The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released its 2017 AVCA All-Region Teams today and five Big West athletes and one coach were recognized.
Cal Poly’s Torrey Van Winden nabbed her second AVCA All-Pacific North Region Team, while her teammate Taylor Nelson and Hawai’i’s Emily Maglio each collected their first All-Pacific North Region Team. Mustang Adlee Van Winden was named to the AVCA All-Pacific North Region Honorable Mention Team, while her coach, Sam Crosson, earned the region’s coach of the year accolades. Representing the Big West on the AVCA All-Pacific South Region Team is UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsey Ruddins.
Torrey Van Winden finished the year as one of the nation’s leaders in kills, averaging 4.72 kills per set (third best kills per set average for a single season in Cal Poly program history) to rank in the nation’s Top 20, which included a career-high 30 against Wichita State. The All-Big West First Teamer finished second in the conference in kills and sixth in the conference in hitting percentage at .337.
Nelson, the 2017 Big West Player of the Year, guided the Mustangs to a league best .310 to rank seventh in the country and had three players ranked in the league’s top 10 in hitting percentage, including Savannah Niemen, who owns the top spot with a .398 clip to sit 16th in the country. The Granite Bay, Calif., native ranks fifth in the nation in assists per set with an average of 11.84.
Maglio, for the second-straight year, led the Big West in blocks per set (1.46) which ranks her 15th in the nation. Maglio tallied 22 double-digit kill matches this season and recorded her first two career double-double matches against Cal Poly (10/7) and at Long Beach State (10/13). Maglio was second on the team with 355 kills and led UH amongst hitters with a .381 hitting percentage.
Adlee Van Winden, a two-time Big West Player of the Week selection, finished eighth in the Big West in kill average (3.32), while ranking seventh in the conference in service aces with a .29 average.
Crosson, in his sixth season at the helm of the Mustangs’ program, guided Cal Poly (27-3) to its first conference title in 10 years with a perfect 16-0 record. It’s the first time the Mustangs were undefeated in conference play and the 11th time in Big West history a school has posted a perfect mark in league action. With the conference crown, the Mustangs earned a spot in the NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship for the first time since 2007, 15th overall, and they enter the postseason riding a 21-match winning streak. The Mustangs dominated their opponents while building its historic season as they swept the opposition in 20 of their 27 victories.
Despite entering the year at less than 100-percent health, Ruddins went on to log one of the most productive seasons in program history. The All-Big West First Teamer native ended the regular season with an NCAA-leading 5.84 kills per set average, leading all other league players by more than a full kill. Should she remain at the perch of the kills list, she will become the first Gaucho ever to lead the nation in kills per set for an entire season. Not just a prolific offensive weapon, she also managed a team-high 12 double-doubles while ranking ninth in the league in serving (0.28 aces per set).