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Women's Volleyball

Final Week Of Play With CP In The Driver's Seat


Big West Conference Women's Volleyball Release - Week 13


Final Week Of Big West Action Sees Cal Poly On Top: 
As the final week of the regular season approaches, the 15th-ranked Cal Poly Mustangs (13-1) control their own destiny in their quest for back-to-back Big West Conference championships.  The Mustangs own a one-match lead over second place Hawai’i (12-2). If Cal Poly sweeps its competition this weekend, UC Riverside (4-10) and Cal State Fullerton (0-14), it will secure its fifth league title.  If the Mustangs drop one of the two contests they are still guaranteed at least a share of the title if the Rainbow Wahine, who host UC Irvine and UC Davis, win out.  If the Mustangs secure the 2018 title, this will mark the second time in school history they posted back-to-back league titles as they did so in 2006 and 2007.

UC Irvine sits third in the standings with a 10-5 mark and is followed by UC Davis (8-7) in fourth and UC Santa Barbara (7-7) in fifth.  Holding the sixth spot with a 7-8 record is Long Beach State.  Rounding out the nine-team field is UC Riverside (4-10), CSUN (4-11) and Cal State Fullerton (0-14).

NCAA Selection Show:
The field of 64 teams for the 2018 NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be unveiled on ESPNU at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, Nov. 25.  The first and second round host sites will also be announced during the selection show and held at 16 non-predetermined campus sites November 29-December 1.  At each campus site, four teams will compete in single-elimination first round competition. Regionals will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites December 7-8 with the four winners advancing to the DI Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., December 13 & 15. 

Cal Poly’s Home Win Streak On The Line:
Cal Poly enters the final week of the regular season riding a 19-match home win streak. The Mustangs have a chance to extend that streak this week as they are slated to host UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.

Davis Duo Reach Milestones:
In UC Davis’ 3-1 loss to UC Santa Barbara senior libero Malia Bolko became the school’s all-time career digs leader, while senior outside hitter Emily Allen achieved both her 1,000th career kill and 1,000th career dig.  Bolko had a team-high 27 digs to bring her career total to 1,833 -- two ahead of previous school record-holder Avreeta Singh - which places her sixth all-time in the Big West annals. Allen had nine kills and 14 digs, lifting her respective career totals to 1,004 and 1,004. She is the 10th member of the 1,000 club in each category, and just the fourth player in UC Davis history to reach both thresholds.  She joins the ranks of Candy Lench (1989-92), Jill Changaris (1993-96) and Kelly Gaudino (2000-03).

Petrachi Crushes UCSB Digs Record: 
With 54 digs tallied last week, senior libero Emilia Petrachi increased her career total to 1,927 scoops. She already owned the top spot in UCSB history but moved to fourth in the Big West record book.  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.

Owens Climbing CSUN’s Kills Ranking:
Last week, senior Aeryn Owens moved up to second  on the CSUN career kills list with 1,548. Owens opened the 2018 season ranked 11th in school history. Owens now trails the record-leader, Laura Walter, who holds the CSUN record for kills with 1,694 from 1998-2001, by 146 kills.

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, assists, win/loss percentage and hitting percentage. 

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 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.

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?

• The first NCAA Tournament win for the Big West Conference was in 1984 when Pacific defeated Penn State, 3-0, in regional play. The Tigers went on to post a 3-1 mark in the 1984 NCAA Tournament.

• The Big West Conference has placed a team in the Final Four 16 times since 1984. Out of the 16 opportunities, the league has claimed six national titles (Long beach State 3, Pacific 2, Hawai’i 1) and four runner-ups.