Hawai'i-Long Beach State Showdown To Be Televised
Women's Volleyball Release - Week 6
Stylin’ Stallions: The Cal Poly Mustangs opened the home portion of their schedule with back-to-back victories over conference foes UC Irvine and Long Beach State, extending their win streak to four and improving to 8-7 overall and 2-0 in the Big West.
Perfection: Cal Poly was perfect in its opening week of Big West play, sweeping both UC Irvine and Long Beach State. The last time the Mustangs opened league play with a perfect record was in 2010 when they posted a 12-4 mark to tie for second in the Big West. This is a stark contrast to last season where Cal Poly dropped five straight conference losses before collecting its first Big West victory. The Mustangs finished last season with a 3-15 mark in league play.
Night And Day: While ranking in the bottom half of the Big West’s overall stats in most categories, Cal Poly sits atop the charts in conference-only stats. After an impressive start to league play, the Mustangs pace the conference in kills (15.83), digs (16.50) and assists (14.50), while sitting second in hitting percentage (.309).
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Home Success: Cal State Fullerton opened Big West action with a 3-0 loss at sixth-ranked Hawai’i but hope to turn things around this week when the Titans return to Titan Gym to host UC Davis (10/4) and Cal State Northridge (10/5). The Titans are 4-1 this season when playing in front of their hometown fans.
Weathering The Storm: The Titans enter the week with a three-match skid, but two of the three matches were on the road against top 10 opponents (No. 5 USC and No. 6 Hawai’i). Prior to the losing streak, CSF had won seven of the last eight contests.
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 and pace the conference in digs with a 17.11 average. They are lead by freshman McKenna Painton, who owns a league-best 4.37 average, while Bre Moreland sits seventh with a 3.24 mark. Paige Reed and Alyse Hensley also eclipsed the top 10, placing ninth and 10th with dig averages of 3.02 and 2.98.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Off To A Good Start: In front of its home crowd, Cal State Northridge kicked off Big West play with an exciting 3-2 win over UC Davis, who entered the match winning six of its last eight contests. The Matadors claimed the final two sets after trailing 2-1 to capture their first conference victory of the season. This marked the first time CSUN won its Big West home opener since 2006. With the win, Northridge improved to 11-3 overall and 1-0 in league play. This week the Matadors hit the road to battle UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.
Marathoner: With the 3-2 victory over UC Davis, Cal State Northridge improves to 5-1 in five-set matches. Its lone lose was to No. 11 UCLA.
Against The Best: Led by Sam Kaul’s .349 clip, the Matadors are hitting .283 on the season to rank second in the conference and 16th in the nation.
Need A Hand: Senior setter Sydney Gedryn paces the Big West Conference with a 10.86 assist average.
LONG BEACH STATE
Coming To A Small Screen Near You: The No. 6 Hawai’i-Long Beach State showdown scheduled for Friday, October 4, which pits the 2012 defending champion against the 2011 league champion, will be broadcast live on Fox Sports West. First serve at the Walter Pyramid is slated for 8:10 p.m. This is the fourth ranked opponent LBSU has faced this season. The 49ers dropped 3-2 decisions to No. 18 Florida State and No. 11 UCLA and suffered a 3-0 loss to No. 17 Kentucky.
Split Decision: Long Beach State opened Big West play with a 1-1 mark. The 49ers out-played UC Santa Barbara in a 5-set match before being swept by Cal Poly.
Block Party: Long Beach State continues to rank first in the conference’s block category with a 2.59 average. Outside hitter Joy Miley is leading the charge in her freshman season, posting a 1.21 blocks per set average which currently paces both the 49ers squad and conference. The Downey, Calif., native is also hitting .268 for the season.
Aggies Continue Conference Road Trip: UC Davis’ three-match road trip to kick off Big West play comes to an end this weekend when it travels to Cal State Fullerton (10/4) and UC Riverside (10/5). Like UC Davis, the Titans and Highlanders dropped their conference openers.
Lee Explosive In Conference Opener: In UC Davis’ 3-2 loss to Cal State Northridge last week, junior Victoria Lee tallied 15 kills en route to an explosive .650 hitting average. For the season she owns a .442 clip, ranking her second in the Big West and 12th in the country.
Woolway Notches Another Milestone: Setter Jenny Woolway notched 41 assists in UC Davis’ lone match last week, pushing her career total to 4,013. Woolway becomes the first Aggie to eclipse the 4,000 assist threshold.
Can’t Go The Distance: With the 3-2 loss to CSUN last week, the Aggies are now 0-4 in five-set matches. Earlier in the year they fell to San Diego State, Illinois State and Oregon State.
Central Coast Woes: UC Irvine struggled in its conference-opening weekend, falling to both Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, 3-0. The Anteaters, who suffered their first back-to-back sweeps of the year, fell to 9-7 overall and 0-2 in the Big West.
UCI Battles Hawai’i In Hopes Of Breaking Losing Streak: The Anteaters have a tough task ahead of them as they look to break their three-match losing streak. They are slated to host sixth-ranked Hawai’i at Crawford Court Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m. UC Irvine was swept by No. 5 USC on Sept. 18 in its only match against a ranked opponent this season.
Fleming Climbing The Big West Ranks: Senior Shannon Fleming finds herself among the top of the conference in two statistical categories. The middle blocker currently ranks second in both blocks (1.13 BPS) and service aces (0.35 APS).
Doors Open at SRC: Friday, October 4 marks the first home match of the season for the UC Riverside Highlanders, ending a conference-long, season-opening, 13-match road trip. The Highlanders open play at the Student Recreation Center against Cal State Northridge with first serve slated at 7:30 p.m. The following evening the Highlanders entertain UC Davis at 7:00 p.m.
Dig-tastic: Freshman libero Maddie Hubbell continues to find herself ranked among the top in the conference as she holds the fourth spot in digs with a 3.70 average.
A New Look: UC Riverside is competing in its first season with Head Coach Michelle Patton at the helm of the program. Prior to joining the UC Riverside family, Patton spent five year reviving a San Francisco State program that lay dormant from 2004-07. In 2012, the Gators posted the second best winning percentage in the history of the program going 21-9 on the year including a 16-6 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association play and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Headed To Battle With New Leader: Competing in their first conference contests under first-year head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, the Gauchos posted a 1-1 mark. They dropped a five-set decision to Long Beach State but rebounded with a sweep over UC Irvine.
Central Coast Showdown: UC Santa Barbara closes out its three-match homestand with a matchup against central coast foe Cal Poly. The Gauchos lead the series 44-26, but Cal Poly holds a 12-8 edge over the past 10 years. The excitement at the Thunderdome begins at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Thompson and Sullberg Display Power: The offensive domination by senior Katey Thompson and freshman Allie Sullberg are giving the Gauchos a fighting chance in evey match played. Thompson is battling for the top spots in the conference in both kills and points. She currently sits third with a 3.46 kill average and second with a 3.99 points per set average. Sullberg currently sits sixth in the Big West with a .335 hitting percentage.
Off To The Races: The Rainbow Wahine got off to an impressive start on their quest to defend the 2012 Big West title, sweeping both Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Wahine are a perfect 20-0 against Big West competition since rejoining the league last year.
Hawai’i Travels To Mainland For Televised Match: Sixth-ranked Hawai’i, riding an 11-match win streak, travels to the mainland for its first league road matches of the year. Friday night’s match at Long Beach State will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net at 8:10 p.m. The Rainbow Wahine follow that up with a showdown at Crawford Court against UC Irvine on Saturday.
Longo Catalyst In Hawai’i Record-Setting Performance: In Hawai’i’s 3-0 win over Cal State Fullerton, senior libero Ali Longo won 20 straight points off her serve in UH’s second-set dominance over the Titans as the Rainbow Wahine won a program record 21 straight points en route to a 25-5 win. The five points were also the fewest points allowed by UH since the rally-scoring era.