Big West Race Tightens
Files associated with this release:
10 VB Release-Week 9
Big West Race Tightens
After a topsy-turvy week, only two matches separate first through fifth place. Cal State Fullerton owns the top spot with a near-perfect 6-1 mark. The Titans are followed by two-time defending champion Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara at 5-2. Cal Poly and UC Davis are knotted in fourth with a 5-3 conference record. The fight for the top continues this week when Cal State Fullerton hosts Long Beach State at Titan Gym, where it is a perfect 11-0 this season. Back on Sept. 25, the 49ers took advantage of their home crowd fans and handed CSF its lone Big West loss. The two teams take to the court Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
49ers' Rare Sighting
In Long Beach State's 3-2 victory over UC Riverside last Saturday, Ashley Lee finished with 50 assists, 10 kills and 13 digs, both season highs, while smashing her career blocks record with 10 block assists. Lee's quadruple-double was the first in the nation this season. A day earlier, Lee recorded a double-double with 39 assists and 13 digs, while passing the 1,000-dig milestone for her career. In passing 1,000 digs for her career, she became the fourth LBSU setter to tally 1,000 career digs and assists, joining Misty May, Sheri Sanders and Nicole Vargas.
Fullerton Sweeps Competition
League-leading Cal State Fullerton paces the Big West with most overall wins at 17. The Titans, winners of 13 of their last 14 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.
Climbing The LBSU 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 1,080 kills, needs just 39 more to crack Long Beach State's top 10 in career kills.
On Saturday evening, libero Lauren Minkel passed 1,000 digs in her career, reaching 1,002 to become the 11th 49er to get to the mark.
UC Davis has had an impressive showing so far in 2010 with a 5-3 Big West mark and overall record of 13-7. Part of the Aggies' success comes from the arm of junior Betsy Sedlak. Sedlak is hitting .433 on the season to rank among the top five 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 1.18.
No Sideout Here
The one bright spot for the Cal State Northridge Matadors this season has been with their serves. Led by Sam Orlandini's 0.33 service ace average, the Matadors pace the league with a 1.33 average. Cal State Northridge has also recorded the highest total of service aces with 114.
Gauchos Position Themselves For Top Spot
With nearly half of the conference season completed, UC Santa Barbara finds themselves in a heated battle for the top stop. Just one match behind league-leading Cal State Fullerton, the Gauchos are well within reach of capturing their fifth league title. What's even more fortunate is that the Gauchos are scheduled to play six of their final nine contests in the familiar confines of The Thuderdome. Just last season UC Santa Barbara registered a 11-1 mark in front of its hometown fans.
Playing on the road is always tough, but for UC Irvine and UC Riverside it has been quite strenuous as both teams are winless on the road this season. The Anteaters and Highlanders get their next opportunity to record their first victory in hostile territory this week. UC Irvine heads to the central coast for contests at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside travels north to take on Pacific and UC Davis. Fortunately for UC Irvine, there are only four more road contests left on its 2010 schedule. UC Riverside isn't as lucky as it embarks on a three-game journey this week and have a total of six more road matches.
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 11-0 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 10 contests at home, all of which are conference matchups. Cal State Fullerton looks to extend its home win streak to 12 Saturday when it faces defending champion Long Beach State.
Also taking full advantage of their hometown crowds is Long Beach State. 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.
The Elusive 'W'
One team still remains winless in Big West play after a month of competition. The UC Riverside Highlanders are 0-7 in conference play after posting a 0-2 record at home last week. UC Riverside, who begins a three-match road trip, plays Pacific and UC Davis this weekend.
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 104-148 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 105-59. His coaching career total is 188-126.
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 State's Brian Gimmilaro (693), UC Santa Barbara's Kathy Gregory (617) and Cal State Fullerton's Carolyn Zimmerman (125).
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. 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 women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in men's and women's 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!