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Women's Volleyball

Cal Poly Maintains Perfect Big West Record


Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 9

Around The Big West: 
Cal Poly came out the victor of the Blue-Green Rivalry match last week to maintain its perfect 7-0 conference record and extending its Big West match streak to 24, dating back to 2016.  Hawai’i went 2-0 last week to hold the second spot with a 7-1 mark, while UC Irvine sits third at 6-1.  UC Santa Barbara is fourth at 4-4 and is followed by Long Beach State (3-4), UC Davis (3-5) and CSUN (2-5).  Rounding out the nine-team field is UC Riverside (1-6) and Cal State Fullerton (0-7).

On Tap:
  League-leading Cal Poly visits CSUN and Long Beach State.  The Beach have a loaded slate this week as they also host Cal State Fullerton (10/16) and UC Santa Barbara (10/19).  Hawai’i returns to the mainland to tackle both UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.   UC Irvine also visits UC Davis Saturday for their lone contest of the week.

Aggie Duo Eyeing School Marks:
Senior Emily Allen is inching her way to the 1,000 kills-1,000 digs club with 924 career kills and 934 career digs.  Nine UCD players grace the 1,000 clubs in each category, with just three former Aggies appearing on each: Candy Lench (1989-92), Jill Changaris (1993-96) and Kelly Gaudino (2000-03). Senior Malia Bolko has 1,721 career digs, second in school history and 110 shy of catching Avreeta Singh (2006-09) for the top slot in UC Davis annals. 

Petrachi Crushes UCSB Digs Record: 
Senior libero Emilia Petrachi has already tallied 1,791 scoops to own the top spot in UCSB history and sits fifth in the Big West record book.  She needs 116 more digs to surpass Pacific’s Julie Magud for fourth place. This is the second time in six years that head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch has witnessed this record being broken. It was in UCSB’s 2013 regular season finale, during her first year at the helm of the Gauchos, when she watched Leah Sully leapfrog past Kristin Nelson for the most in program history at the time.

Streaking Stangs:
Cal Poly, riding a 16-match win streak, which includes 11 sweeps, is also sporting a record-breaking home winning streak of 18 straight matches dating back to 2016.  (This year’s team is now off to best start since the 1985 team started 18-1.)

Owens Climbing CSUN’s Kills Ranking:
Senior Aeryn Owens ranks third on the CSUN career kills list with 1,402. Owens opened the 2018 season ranked 11th in school history and has already moved past eight players on the Matador career kills list this season. Owens now trails Missy Clements (1991-94) and second place by 62 kills. Laura Walter holds the CSUN record for kills with 1,694 from 1998-2001.

Cal Poly Picked To Repeat As Big West Champion:
After capturing its first Big West title in 10 years, Cal Poly has been selected to repeat as the Big West Conference women’s volleyball champion after claiming five first-place votes en route to a 77 point total, as voted on by the nine head coaches. The University of Hawai’i secured the remaining four first-place votes to lock down the second spot with 75 points.  UC Irvine followed in the third slot with 62 points, while Long Beach State  registered 48 points to rank fourth and UC Santa Barbara was close behind in fifth place with 45 points. The Aggies of UC Davis nabbed 38 points for the sixth spot and was followed by CSUN (30), UC Riverside (18) and Cal State Fullerton (12).

The Mustangs are coming off a year where they posted the program’s best overall record of 27-3, a perfect 16-0 Big West Conference mark and an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007.  Led by 2017 AVCA Pacific North Coach of the Year Sam Crosson, CP broke the Top 25 and posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 2007.  The Mustangs concluded 2017 ranked in the nation’s Top 10 in kills per set (2nd - 15.07), assists (4th - 14.06), win/loss percentage (5th - .900) and hitting percentage (7th - .310).

They return four players who earned Big West postseason awards this past season in seniors Adlee Van Winden and Katherine Brouker, junior Torrey Van Winden and sophomore Madilyn Mercer. There are six new additions to the team, five true freshmen and one transfer from Duke, who will all be competing for playing time.

In head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos’ rookie season at Hawai’i, she led them to a 20-8 overall record and a 14-2 conference mark which advanced them to their 36th NCAA Tournament appearance. Hawai’i is on a quest to capture its fifth conference title in seven years and will rely on 2018 All-Big West First Teamers outside hitter McKenna Granato and setter Norene Iosia to lead the way.

Securing the third spot is UC Irvine, who finished third in the Big West with a 10-6 league mark and a 24-8 overall record, which tied the school record for wins. The Anteaters advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, falling to Texas Tech, 3-1. It was the first postseason appearance since 2004. They welcome back 2018 All-Big West First Team members middle blocker Idara Akpakpa, outside hitter Haley DeSales and opposite.

Volleyball Slated For ESPN3:
The Big West Conference announced its fall schedule for the women’s volleyball, which commences Tuesday, Sept. 18 when UC Riverside visits Long Beach State at The Walter Pyramid. IN all, 10 matches were scheduled to broadcast live on ESPN3.  Below is a list of the remaining Big West volleyball matches:

Oct. 19 Cal Poly at CSUN 7 pm
Nov. 2 Hawai'i at CSUN 7 pm
Nov. 3 Hawai'i at Long Beach State 7 pm
Nov. 8 UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine 7 pm
Nov. 10 Cal Poly at UC Irvine 7 pm

Celebrating 50/35
The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s.  All season long the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all 16 conference-sponsored sports.

Did You Know?
• In 1984, the first year the Big West sponsored women’s volleyball, UC Santa Barbara led the league with a 2.44 service ace average that still tops the charts as the best season average by a conference member.

• Long Beach State All-American Tara Cross owns the top spot in three Big West career records - kills (2,767),  kill average (5.54) and attack attempts (5,694).  Cross donned the black and gold from 1986 to 1989.