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Women's Volleyball

Big West Takes On Top 25 Opponents

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13 VB Release-Week 3

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This Week in the Big West - September 9-15, 2013

9/10/2013

CAL POLY
Cal Poly Claims Tournament Title:
After opening the 2013 season with a 1-2 mark, Cal Poly rebounded last weekend and swept its competition to claim the Sacramento State Invitational title.  Megan McConnell earned MVP honors while Chelsea Hardin and Taylor Gruenewald received all-tournament accolades.

Cal Poly Continues To Notch Victories: 
Head Coach Sam Crosson, who is currently in his second season at the helm of the Cal Poly women’s volleyball team, seems to have the Mustangs headed in the right direction.  In just six games into the new year, the Mustangs have already posted as many wins as they did during the entire 2012 season. Cal Poly (4-2) will be tested in its third week of competition as it faces No. 23 California in the opening match of the Cal Invitational.

Against The Rest:
  Senior Megan McConnell currently ranks third in the conference in kills with a 3.67 average.  Teammates Kate Walters and Hannah Schleis sit second and tied for fourth in services aces to elevate the Mustangs to first in the league.

CAL STATE FULLERTON
Streakin’ Titans:
Cal State Fullerton started the year with back-to-back losses, but have since recorded five straight victories, which includes a sweep of the competition at the Fullerton Classic Presented by the Holiday Inn of La Mirada.   Over the course of their five-match win streak the Titans shut out the competition in four of the matches.

Tradition Continues:
Freshman McKenna Painton looks to be continuing the tradition of exceptional liberos that have donned the blue and orange as she currently paces the Big West with a 4.42 average.  Vanessa Vella (2004-06) and Cami Croteau (2007-10) dominated the league while wearing a Titan uniform.  Vella finished her career ranked second in dig average while Croteau finished fourth.  Croteau also holds the third and fourth best single season performances in dig average - 5.48 in 2009 and 5.41 in 2010.

Titans Visit Lonestar State: 
Cal State Fullerton enjoyed a brief visit to its home court - Titan Gym - where it posted a perfect 4-0 mark but unfortunately the Titans head back on the road this week for the Lonestar Showdown in Lubbock, Texas.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Perfection:
Cal State Northridge tallied a 3-0 record at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament to improve to 6-0 on the season.  This marks the first time the Matadors have remained undefeated through six matches since the 1997.  The Matadors, who are receiving votes in the AVCA poll, are the lone team in the Big West to maintain an unblemished record.  

Allen Shines For Matadors: 
Junior Natalie Allen earned tournament MVP honors for the second straight week. The Murrieta, Calif., native, who ranks second in the league with a 3.70 kill average, has tallied five consecutive double-doubles this season.

Stork Reaches Milestone:
  A 3-1 victory over host Northern Arizona on Saturday night not only clinched the Fiesta Bowl Tournament title for the Matadors, but it awarded Head Coach Jeff Stork his 150th Cal State Northridge victory. Over the course of 12 years, Stork has tallied a 150-178 record.
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LONG BEACH STATE
LBSU Set To Host Second Tournament Of 2013: 
This week Long Beach State teams up with Loyola Marymount for the LBSU/LMU Tournament.  The 49ers travel to Los Angeles Thursday evening to battle the LMU Lions before retuning home to entertain College of Charleston (9/13) and Seattle (9/14) at the Walter Pyramid.  After posting 1-2 marks in their first two tournaments, the 49ers hope to turn things around this weekend.

Leading The 49ers:
Senior Delainey Aigner-Swesey paces the 49ers and sits fourth in the Big West with a 3.59 kills per set average, while Junior Chisom Okpala sits sixth in the league in hitting percentage with a .345 clip.

Home Sweet Home: 
This week’s LBSU/LMU Tournament kicks off a six-match homestand for Long Beach State.   The 49ers follow up the tournament with a midweek home contest against nationally-ranked UCLA Wednesday, Sept. 14 and their third home tournament of the year, LBSU Baden Classic, Sept. 20-21. 


UC DAVIS
Aggies Turnaround:
Week one and week two of the 2013 season were as different as night and day for the UC Davis Aggies.  UC Davis struggled in its opening-weekend tournament and posted a 0-3 record but the Aggies found their grove in week two and registered a 3-1 mark.   They were led by senior Devon Damelio, who tallied a .305 hitting percentage  and averaged 3.2 kills per set.

Aggies Play First Home Contest:
Following a season-opening, seven-match road trip, UC Davis opens the home portion of its schedule Tuesday, Sept. 10 when it welcomes Sacramento State to The Pavilion.   The homestand is short-lived as the Aggies head north to Portland, Ore., for the UP/OSU Challenge over the weekend.
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In The Big West: Victoria Lee sits third in the Big West with a .383 hitting percentage while teammates Kaylin Squyres and Devon Damelio own spots in kill average with marks of 3.54 (6th) and 3.11 (9th).

Woolway Approaching Milestone:
Senior setter Jenny Woolway is 18 digs shy of becoming just the eighth Aggie, and first setter, to hit the 1,000-dig threshold for a career.

UC IRVINE
UC Irvine Off To Best Start Since 2009: 
The UC Irvine Anteaters opened the season with a 5-0 mark, the first time since 2009, before falling to Cleveland State, 3-2, in the final match of the CSU Invitational.  In 2009, UC Irvine posted six straight victories before suffering its first loss. 

All-Tournament Honors:
For the second straight week, Marisa Bubica and Aly Squires received all-tournament recognition for their efforts.  Squires averaged 4.27 kills and 3.18 digs per set while hitting .275 in three matches.  Bubica notched an impressive .417 hitting percentage in the final two matches of the tournament.

Headed To the Rockies:
The Anteaters gear up for their final road volleyball tournament of the season this weekend when they head to Utah for the Wolverine Classic.  The two-day event features host Utah Valley, Utah and Idaho State.   Prior to the tournament, UC Irvine visits BYU on Thursday  for a battle that begins at 6:00 p.m. (pacific).

UC RIVERSIDE
Highlanders Set For Third Straight Tournament:
In search of their first win of the season, the UC Riverside Highlanders head to Stockton, Calif., for the Bankers Classic. UC Riverside battles former Big West foe Pacific in its first match of the two-day event.  On day two the Highlanders battle San Jose State and Winthrop.

Freshman Shines In Tournament: Freshman Maddie Hubbell earned a spot on the Sheraton Airport Lobo Classic All-Tournament Team after the libero/defensive specialist recorded a team-high 43 digs over the weekend for an average of 4.30.

UC Riverside Welcomes New Head Coach: UC Riverside fans will notice a new face sitting on the bench this year as Michelle Patton was named head coach of the women’s volleyball program in the offseason after a five-year stint at San Francisco State.    Patton guided the Gators to an 83-61 record (.576). 

UC SANTA BARBARA
Fresh Faces and Senior Leadership:
UC Santa Barbara has an even mix of youth  and veterans  represented on its roster and both are demonstrating their power and strength.  Freshman Allie Sullberg paces the Gauchos and ranks fourth in the Big West with a .380 hitting percentage while senior Leah Sully ranks seventh in the conference in kills with a 3.35 average.

All-Tournament Honors:  The Gauchos struggled at the Pepperdine Invitational last week, tallying a 0-3 record, but Leah Sully was recognized for her efforts with a spot on the all-tournament team after registering 54 kills on the weekend.

On The Road Again: The Gauchos are set to compete in their third consecutive road volleyball tournament this weekend when they had south to San Diego for the USD Tournament.  UC Santa Barbara faces Eastern Washington on Sept. 13 and USC and the Toreros on Saturday.

New Era For The Gauchos:
For the first time in 38 years, there is a new face at the helm of the UCSB women’s volleyball program as Nicole Lantagne Welch takes over the reigns as Gaucho head coach.
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HAWAI'I
King Of The Hill: University of Hawai’i head coach Dave Shoji became the NCAA’s career leader in wins on Friday, September 6, 2013, when his Rainbow Wahine defeated Santa Clara in four sets. The victory was Shoji’s 1,107th of a career that has spanned four decades, and pushed him past former UCLA coach Andy Banachowski in the all-time annals.

Collected Another Top 10 Victory:
For the second straight week Hawai’i has knocked-off a Top 10 opponent.  The Rainbow Wahine opened the 2013 season with a 3-1 victory over top-ranked Texas and over the weekend they swept No. 10 UCLA.

Hawai’i Closes Out Home Tournament Schedule: The University of Hawai’i closes out it nine-match, season-opening homestand with the Verizon Volleyball Challenge.  The three-day event, which spans from Sept. 12-14, includes Portland State, Northwestern and Arizona.