Matadors Atop The Big West With Perfect 5-0 Mark
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 8
AVR VAN RENTAL ROADTRIP OF THE WEEK
The AVR Van Rental Roadtrip of the Week features first-place Cal State Northridge and UC Davis trekking to the Central Coast to battle UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. The Matadors own a half-game lead on Hawai‘i, which saw its 22-match Big West win streak snapped at the hands of UCSB last week. Now the Gauchos hope to pin a loss on the league leaders. Cal Poly's eight wins this season already doubles its entire total from 2012.
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Mustangs Knotted In Fourth: Cal Poly suffered its second straight loss last week falling to No. 5 Hawai’i 3-0. With the loss, the Mustangs dropped to 2-2 in the Big West Conference, tying them for fourth with Cal State Fullerton.
Visions Of Green And Gold: This week the Mustangs return home to Mott Gym, for just the second time this season, to entertain UC Davis and Big West leader Cal State Northridge. Cal Poly hopes to turn things around from a year ago when it went 0-4 against the Aggies and Matadors. In their home opener two weeks ago, the Mustangs went 2-0.
Turnaround Season: Things are looking up for the Mustangs as their 2013 season approaches the halfway point. So far this year, Cal Poly has already doubled its overall win total from 2012 (4-26) with an 8-9 record. In conference, the Mustangs need just one more victory to match their total from a year ago.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Titans Continue Road Trip: Cal State Fullerton opened a three-match road trip with a win at UC Riverside last week and hope to carry that success into this week where it visits local rivals Long Beach State (10/18) and UC Irvine (10/19). The Titans registered a 3-1 record against their SoCal foes in 2012, sweeping the Anteater series and splitting with the 49ers.
Seeing Double: In the Titans sweep over the Highlanders last week, Bre Moreland tallied her fifth double-double of the season. The senior, who ranks second on the team in both kills and digs, notched 10 kills and 10 digs to complete her impressive performance.
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 sixth in the nation and pace the conference in digs with a 17.63 average. They are led by freshman McKenna Painton, who owns a league-best 4.61 average, while Bre Moreland and Alyse Hensley sit sixth and seventh with marks of 3.34 and 3.32.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
A View From The Top: Following back-to-back 3-1 victories over Long Beach State and UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge finds itself atop the Big West leaderboard with a perfect 5-0 record. The Matadors, who continue to climb up the receiving votes category of the AVCA Top 25 poll, own a 15-3 overall mark with all three losses coming by way of Top 25 opponents.
Challenging Week Ahead: This week the Matadors have their hands full with UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. Friday night they visit the Gauchos, who are coming off an impressive 3-2 victory over nationally-ranked Hawai’i. The following evening Cal State Northridge travels to Cal Poly, who is tied for fourth with a 2-2 mark.
1,000 And Counting...: Two weeks ago senior Mahina Haina became the ninth player in Matador history to eclipse the 1,000-kill mark and teammate Natalie Allen isn’t far from reaching the same milestone. The junior opposite collected 22 kills last weekend to bump her career total to 915.
LONG BEACH STATE
Back In the Win Column: Long Beach snapped a three-match losing streak with a 3-1 victory over UC Davis Saturday evening. The 49ers are currently tied for sixth with a 2-3 conference mark.
LBSU Returns To The Pyramid: The 49ers return to the Pyramid, where they are 5-5 this season, for a three-match homestand that begins Friday against Cal State Fullerton. They follow up their clash with the Titans hosting UC Riverside Saturday evening.
Hampton Blocks Her Way To Career Night: In Long Beach State wins over UC Davis, junior Haleigh Hampton recorded a career-high nine block assists to lead the defense at the net. Hampton, who missed part of the season due to an injury, paces the 49ers with a 1.26 blocks per set average. Her current average would top the Big West but she has only played in 33 percent of LBSU’s matches and the minimum is 50 percent.
Big West Leader: Long Beach State continues to lead the Big West with a 2.60 blocks per set average.
Coastal Bound: The Aggies, who are tied for sixth in the conference with a 2-3 record, head to the central coast to battle Cal Poly (10/18) and UC Santa Barbara (10/19), who is coming off an upset win over then-ranked No. 5 Hawai’i. UC Davis was 3-1 against the central coast in 2012.
Aggies Suffer First Home Loss: UC Davis suffered its first loss at The Pavilion this season when Long Beach State topped the Aggies , 3-1, last week to end the Aggies four-match unbeaten home streak.
Sixth Times The Charm: After dropping five five-set matches this season, UC Davis finally broke the streak with a 3-2 victory over UC Irvine last week.
Lee Continues To Rank Among The Best: Victoria Lee continues to rank second in the Big West Conference with an explosive .417 hitting percentage, which also places her among the best in the nation. She is currently tied for 21st in the NCAA standings.
Anteaters On Quest To Break Losing Streak: UC Irvine enters the week riding a six-match skid but hope to turn things around when they return home to host UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton. Friday night the Anteaters (9-10/0-5) entertain the Highlanders (1-15/0-4) at Crawford Court, guaranteeing one of the two Big West winless teams its first victory. On Saturday, UC Irvine battles Cal State Fullerton at the Bren Center.
Look Out Below: UC Irvine currently sits second in the Big West in blocks with a 2.47 blocks per set average. The Anteaters’ catalysts are senior Shannon Fleming and Arielle Manz, who are tied for first in the league with a 1.11 average.
Fleming Blocking Her Way To The Top: Senior Shannon Fleming moved past Dana Kurzband (2001-04) to grab the third spot in UC Irvine’s career block assist leaders after tallying eight block assists last week. With a total of 321 block assists, she needs just 16 more to grab the second spot.
Hunt For Big West Victory Continues: The quest for UC Riverside’s first conference win continues this week with a trip to UC Irvine (10/18) and Long Beach State (10/19). Like the Highlanders, UC Irvine has yet to capture a conference victory. First serve for Friday’s Highalnders-Anteaters showdown at Crawford Court is slated for 5:00 p.m.
Diaper Dandy: Freshman Cristina Maietta is making a splash in just her first season with the Highlanders. She currently paces the team with a 2.88 kills per set average. and points per set and sits second with 84 digs.
A New Look: UC Riverside is competing in its first season with Michelle Patton at the helm of the program. Prior to joining the UCR 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
UCSB Upsets No. 5 Hawai’i: UC Santa Barbara collected its first win over Hawai’i since 1994 with a 3-2 victory on Hawai’i’s home court which snapped a 22-match Big West win streak for UH. With the victory, the Gauchos extend their current win streak to three and improve to 3-1 in the league.
Top 10 Victory: UC Santa Barbara notched its first victory against a Top 25 opponent for the 2013 season last week with a 3-2 win over fifth-ranked Hawai’i. Prior to their trip to the Islands, the Gauchos faced No. 1 USC, No. 3 Stanford and No. 9 San Diego.
Against The Big West: UC Santa Barbara is coming alive against its Big West competition. In conference-only statistics the Gauchos rank second in the league in hitting percentage, kills, assists and blocks.
Big West Block Party: When glancing at the Big West conference-only stats, you will find a lot of blue and gold near the top of the blocks category. Allie Sullberg is third with a 1.35 average and is followed by Katy Thompson and Phoebe Grant, who sit fifth and sixth with marks of 1.18 and 1.12.
The Streak Is Over: After 22 consecutive Big West Conference victories the nationally-ranked University of Hawai’i suffered its first loss last weekend in the tightly-contested showdown against UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos topped the Rainbow Wahine in a five-set marathon at the Stan Sheriff Center by scores of 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 22-25 and 15-12. The Rainbow Wahine regrouped and swept Cal Poly the following evening to improve to 5-1 in the league.
The Waiting Game: Following their 3-0 victory against Cal Poly on Oct. 12, the Rainbow Wahine do not play again until Nov. 24 when they visit Cal State Northridge, who is currently sitting in first place with an unblemished 5-0 Big West record.
Against The Rest: Hawai’i is putting up some impressive numbers this season. It is currently tied for 11th in the nation with a 14.47 kill average and 20th with a 13.31 assists per set mark. The Rainbow Wahine also own a .297 hitting percentage that slid them into the country’s ninth slot.