This Week In Big West Volleyball
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10 VB Release-Week 8
This Week In The Big West
Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara enter the week tied for first in the Big West Conference with a 4-1 record. This week the Gauchos take to the road with conference matches at UC Davis and Pacific, while the Titans host Cal State Northridge Thursday before visiting UC Riverside for a Sunday matinee. Cal Poly is also making the trek up north to face both the Aggies (10/15) and Tigers (10/16).
Two-time defending champion Long Beach State welcomes UC Irvine to The Walter Pyramid Friday evening. The 49ers follow that up with a trip to Riverside for a Saturday-night showdown with the Highlanders. Along with the 49ers, UC Irvine battles Cal State Northridge at The Matadome (10/16).
Fullerton Sweeps Competition
Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West with most overall wins with 15 and is tied with UC Santa Barbara for first in the league with a 4-1 Big West mark. The Titans, winners of 11 of their last 12 matches, reached the double-digit quota in dominating fashion, sweeping all but two of their opponents. Cal Poly and UC Davis are the two teams that took their respective matches to five sets before eventually falling to the Titans. On the flip side, Cal State Fullerton has only been swept by one of its opponents, then-ranked No. 23 Long Beach State.
Gauchos' View From The Top
Despite struggling a bit in nonconference action (6-7), UC Santa Barbara has found its winning ways in league play. Following three weeks of Big West action, the Gauchos are tied for first in the league with Cal State Fullerton after posting a 4-1 mark. UC Santa Barbara is led by Stacey Schmidt, who ranks sixth in the conference with a .347 hitting percentage. Schmidt also averages .30 service aces and .88 blocks pet set to lead the team.
Ledoux Climbing Career Ladder
Caitlin Ledoux's first kill in Long Beach State's first conference match of the 2010 season was her 1,000th of her career. Ledoux, who currently holds 1,040 kills, needs just 79 more to crack Long Beach State's top 10 in career kills.
Home Court Advantage
Cal State Fullerton has proven it is a force to be reckoned with when battling on its home court, Titan Gym. The Titans hold a perfect 10-0 record in front of their spirited fans. Not boding well for the rest of the Big West, is the fact that the Titans are lucky enough to play seven of their final 12 contests at home, all of which are conference matchups. Cal State Fullerton looks to extend its home win streak to 11 Thursday when it entertains Cal State Northridge. The Titans then play one road contest Sunday before returning home for another three-game homestand.
Also taking full advantage of their hometown crowds are Long Beach State and UC Davis. The 49ers currently hold a 9-1 mark when playing at The Walter Pyramid. Their lone loss was a 3-1 defeat to then-ranked No. 25 San Diego. UC Davis, who returns home this week to host Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, has been victorious in seven of its eight matches at The Pavilion.
While most teams would prefer to play at home, it seems that Cal Poly would rather play its contests away from Mott Gym. The Mustangs are 5-1 on the road and 6-2 on neutral ground. All three losses came in the first two weeks of the season during tournament play. After their third straight loss to then-No. 7 Nebraska on Sept. 4, the Mustangs have yet to lose a match away from Mott Gym. Lucky for Cal Poly, it travels to Pacific and UC Davis for this week's matchups.
The Elusive 'W'
One team still remains winless in Big West play after three weeks of competition. The UC Riverside Highlanders are 0-5 in conference play after posting a 0-3 record on the road last week. Despite returning home to the Student Recreation Center this week, the schedule doesn't get any easier for UC Riverside as they host league-leading Cal State Fullerton and two-time defending champion Long Beach State.
Pacific's Svenja Engelhardt paces the Big West Conference with a 4.45 kill average. In conference matches she is just as good, with a league-leading 4.32 average. Her power is also showcased on serves, where she leads the Big West with a .45 service ace average in conference-only contests. Her overall service ace average of .29 paces the Tigers and earns her the sixth slot in the league.
UC Davis has had an impressive showing so far in 2010 with a 4-2 Big West mark and overall record of 12-6. Part of the Aggies' success comes from the arm of junior Betsy Sedlak. Sedlak is hitting .440 on the season to rank second in the country. She is currently one of two Big West athletes to be hitting over .400 this season. While showing her dominance on offense she has also contributed defensively with the league's second-best block average of 1.21.
Duo Reaches Coaching Milestone
After an impressive 3-0 performance at the UNLV Classic, Cal State Northridge head coach Jeff Stork captured his 100th career win. Over the past nine years at the helm of the Matadors squad, Stork has compiled a 103-148 mark.
A day after Stork's accomplishment, Jon Stevenson captured his 100th victory as Cal Poly's head coach with a 3-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield. In six seasons as the Mustangs leader, Stevenson has registered an overall record of 104-58. His coaching career total is 187-125.
Only 11 Big West Conference coaches have collected 100 or more overall wins during their time in the league. Three of the 11 coaches are still coaching in the Big West - Long Beach States Brian Gimmilaro (691), UC Santa Barbaras Kathy Gregory (616) and Cal State Fullerton's Carolyn Zimmerman (123).
LBSU Tabbed Preseason Favorite
The Big West Conference head coaches selected Long Beach State to claim the 2010 women's volleyball title after receiving seven first-place votes and 79 total points. If the coaches' prediction reigns true, the 49ers would capture their third straight championship, 11th overall. Long Beach State (22-9) is coming off a stellar season where it won the Big West title with a 12-4 mark and advanced to its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament, 24th overall.
UC Irvine received one first-place vote and a total of 68 points to secure the second spot. UC Santa Barbara nabbed one first-place vote and 65 overall points to claim the third spot in the poll. Cal State Fullerton was selected fourth after picking up 47 points, followed by Cal Poly and UC Davis, who were tied for fifth with 45 points. Pacific secured seventh place with 28 points and Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside were knotted in the eighth spot with 14 points apiece.
The Big West is a California-only league and two schools have followed suit with their 2010 lineups. For the second straight year, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara each showcase rosters composed entirely of players from the Golden State.
Live On The Net
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in womens volleyball as well as mens and womens basketball. Also covered are select contests in mens and womens soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive cover age to you. If you cant make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!