Volleyball Wraps Up Tournament Play
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13 VB Release-Week 4
Seniors Taking The Reigns: Senior Megan McConnell leads the Mustangs and ranks sixth in the Big West with a 3.38 kills average. Teammate seniors Kate Walters is tied for third in the conference with .38 service aces per set.
Besting Last Year: Cal Poly needs just one win to surpass its win total from a season ago. The Mustangs have four chances this week, two of which are against Top 25 opponents. They visit No. 8 Stanford on Wednesday and then travel to Arizona for the Arizona State Tournament where they are scheduled to battle the 18th-ranked Sun Devils, LA-Monroe and Alabama State.
Headed To Mott Gym...Finally: This week’s tournament at Arizona State closes out a season-opening, 13-match road trip for Cal Poly. The Mustangs open the home portion of their schedule on Friday, Sept. 27 when they entrain UC Irvine in both teams’ conference opener.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Can You Dig It?: Cal State Fullerton has been known for stellar defense for several years and this season is no different. The Titans currently rank 13th in the nation in digs with a 17.26 average. They are lead by freshman McKenna Painton, who owns a league-best 4.42 average, while Bre Moreland is fourth with a 3.44 mark.
Home And Away: The Titans remove themselves from tournament play this week for two single matches against No. 5 USC and American. Cal State Fullerton visits the Women of Troy Friday, Sept. 20 for its first contest agaist a Top 25 opponent before retuning to Titan Gym, where it is 4-0 this season, to host the Eagles in a Sunday matinee.
Leading The Way: Setter Julie Consani and libero McKenna Painton pace the Big West Conference in their respective categories. Consani owns a league-best 11.32 assists per set average and Painton averages 4.42 digs.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
CSUN Suffers First Loss: Cal State Northridge entered the week with an unblemished 6-0 record and exited the week with a 7-2 mark. Unfortunately the Matadors suffered back-to-back losses to No. 24 Creighton (3-0) and No. 11 UCLA (3-2). Despite the two losses to nationally-ranked opponents, CSUN is still receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll.
Welcome To The Matadome: Tuesday, Sept. 17 marks the season’s home opener for Cal State Northridge as it welcomes Seattle to The Matadome. Last year the Matadors posted an 8-3 record in front of their hometown fans. The home-court advantage is short-lived as CSUN heads to Washington to play two neutral matches against Coppin State and one contest versus the Huskies over the weekend.
In The Big West: Cal State Northridge (.279) sits second in both hitting percentage and kills (13.90).
Stork Reaches Milestone: On Sept. 7 head coach Jeff Stork collected his 150th Cal State Northridge victory with a 3-1 win over Northern Arizona.
LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach Sweeps Tournament: Competing in its second home tournament of the season, the LBSU/LMU Tournament, Long Beach State posted a 3-0 record to improve to 5-4 on the season. This marks the longest win streak of the season for the 49ers.
49ers Look To Continue Pyramid Success: Coming off a 3-0 performance in last week’s home tournament, Long Beach State hopes to carry that momentum into its final home tournament of the season - LBSU Baden Classic. In the event that spans from Sept. 20-21, the 49ers host CSU Bakersfield, Oregon State and Prairie View A&M at the Walter Pyramid. Prior to the LBSU Baden Classic, the 49ers host No. 11 UCLA Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7:00 p.m.
Block Party: Led by Chisom Okpala and Joy Miley, who sit first and third in the Big West Conference in blocks, Long Beach State paces the league with a 2.66 blocks per set average. Individually, Okpala averages 1.30 blocks per set while Miley averages 1.15.
UC Davis Riding Success: After tallying a 3-1 record last week, UC Davis has won six of its last eight contests to improve to 6-5 this season. Both losses over that span were five-set marathons.
Aggies Strong In Home Opener, Hope To Continue Success: UC Davis opened the home portion of its schedule last Tuesday with an impressive 3-0 win over Causeway Cup foe Sacramento State. This week the Aggies host California, who is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll, and CSU Bakersfield.
Woolway Approaching Milestone: On Friday, Sept. 13, senior setter Jenny Woolway became the eighth Aggie, and first setter, to hit the 1,000-dig threshold for a career. She recorded 12 more digs over the week to improve her career mark to 1,012.
Lee Hits Her Way To The Top: Junior Victoria Lee is one of only three Big West players with an above-.400 hitting percentage as she holds the third-best clip of .403.
UC Irvine Battles Top Five Program: UC Irvine (7-3) faces its toughest competition so far this season Wednesday when it travels to Los Angeles to face fifth-ranked USC. This marks the Anteaters’ first ranked opponent of 2013.
Anteaters Host UC Irvine Invitational: Following their showdown with USC that closes out an 11-match roadtrip, the Anteaters kick-off the home portion of its schedule with the UC Irvine Tournament. The Anteaters are set to entertain American, Xavier and Fresno State at Crawford Court, where they were 4-9 in 2012.
UC Irvine Explosive At Wolverine Classic: UC Irvine’s offense was explosive in its 3-1 win over Utah Valley last week. Lead by Marisa Bubica’s career-high .645 hitting percentage, the Anteaters blasted a season-best .421 percentage. En route to Bubica’s impressive performance, she put away 21 of 31 attempts with just one error.
UC Riverside Notches ‘W’: In the final match of the Bankers Classic in Stockton, Calif., the UC Riverside women’s volleyball team recorded its first victory of the year. The Highlanders downed Winthrop, 3-1. UC Riverside had opened the year with eight straight losses before notching its first win.
All-Tournament Honors: Freshman Cristina Maietta led the Highlanders with 3.80 kills per set during the Bankers Classic, earning her all-tournament team recognition.
Headed To The Rockies: In the midst of a 13-match road trip to open the 2013 season, the Highlanders head to Colorado for their final tournament of the year. UC Riverside is scheduled to face Wyoming, Utah Valley and Air Force at the Air Force Academy Tournament Sept. 20-21.
Freshman Libero Making Waves: Freshman Maddie Hubbell currently paces the Big West Conference with 128 digs, while ranking second in the league with a 4.13 dig average.
UC SANTA BARBARA
UC Santa Barbara Struggles against Top 10 Competition: The Gauchos went 1-3 last week at the USD Invitational, downing Eastern Washington before falling to top-ranked USC (1-3) and No. 9 San Diego. Despite their struggles at the tournament, senior Katey Thompson was named to the all-tournament team after leading UCSB with 39 kills and hitting .392.
Gauchos’ Final Road Tournament: UC Santa Barbara closes out an 11-match road trip with a visit to Arizona for the Wildcat Invitational. The Gauchos open the two-day event on Friday, Sept. 20 against Wofford and then face Loyola and Arizona 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.
Hawai’i Hot Streak: Following a 3-2 loss to San Diego on Sept. 1, Hawai’i has been unstoppable, stringing together six victories, which includes a sweep over No. 10 UCLA. The Rainbow Wahine enter the week with a league-best 8-1 mark.
Hawai’i Hits Road For First Time: The Rainbow Wahine are leaving the comfortable confines of the Stan Sheriff Center, where they own an 8-1 record, to visit the midwest for the Shocker Volleyball Classic. The three-day event features South Dakota, Creighton and host Wichita State.
Versus The Nation: Led by Jade Vorster, who sits third in the nation with a .510 hitting percentage, Hawai’i ranks eighth in the nation with a .316 hitting percentage and 13th in kills per set (14.69).
King Of The Hill: Head Coach Dave Shoji became the NCAA’s career leader in wins on September 6 when UH defeated Santa Clara in four sets. The victory was his 1,107th, which pushed him past former UCLA coach Andy Banachowski. He currently has 1,110 victories.