Tops Teams Clash At The Matadome, Set To Broadcast On ESPN3
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 12
Cal Poly Faces Second Straight Ranked Opponent: Cal Poly suffered its second straight loss last week to No. 12 Hawai’i. This week the Mustangs face another ranked opponent when they hit the road to battle league-leading No. 21 Cal State Northridge and UC Davis. Earlier this season, Cal Poly dropped a five-set contest to CSUN and fell to the Aggies 3-1.
Improving On Last Season: Holding a 4-6 Big West mark, Cal Poly has already bested last year’s conference win total of three. The Mustangs have also improved their overall win total from a year ago with a 10-13 mark. In 2013 Cal Poly only managed to tally a 4-26 record.
Against The Rest: Senior Chelsea Hardin ranks sixth in the Big West Conference with a 3.06 kills per set average, while teammate freshman Taylor Gruenewald sits eighth wtih a .295 hitting percentage. Senior Jennifer Keddy also finds herself in the Top-10 mix with a the fifth-best service ace average of .32.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Cal State Fullerton Back In Win Column: A 3-0 victory over UC Riverside on Saturday, Nov. 9 ended a six-match losing streak for the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Sophomore Holland Crenshaw led the charge, hitting a robust .588 without an error in 17 swings and tallying 10 kills. As a team, the Titans registered a .327 attack percentage.
Titans Host SoCal Foes: Cal State Fullerton continues its three-game homestand this week with contests against UC Irvine and Long Beach State. The Titans dropped both contests against those teams earlier this season.
Titans Continue To Rank Among Best In Nation: Cal State Fullerton continues to hold the nation’s fourth spot in digs with an 18.08 average. The Titans are led by freshman McKenna Painton, who owns a league-best 4.59 average, while senior Bre Moreland and senior Alyse Hensley sit eighth and 10th with marks of 3.49 and 3.22.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Tops Teams Clash At The Matadome, Set To Broadcast On ESPN3: All eyes will be on the Matadome Saturday evening, not just because it airs live on ESPN3, but because it pits league-leading Cal State Northridge (11-1) against second-place UC Santa Barbara (8-2). Back on Oct. 18 at the Thunderdome, the Gauchos swept the Matadors to hand them their only conference loss of the season. A victory for the Matadors, who are a perfect 7-0 at the Matadome this year, would increase the gap between first and second place. A Gauchos win would even the score with both teams having two losses., but more importantly, UCSB would hold the tiebreaker (head-to-head) if the two teams end the season tied for first.
Movin’ On Up: The Matadors, who entered the Top 25 for the first time since 1992 moved up two spots in the AVCA poll to 21st. Northridge has now been ranked or has received votes in 10 straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.
1,000 And Counting...: Earlier this season senior Mahina Haina became the ninth player in Matador history to eclipse the 1,000-kill mark and teammate Natalie Allen is approaching the same mark with a career total of 976.
LONG BEACH STATE
49ers Embark On Final Road Trip: Long Beach State begins its final road trip of the season this week when it visits UC Riverside (11/15) and Cal State Fullerton (11/16). The 49ers defeated both teams earlier this season at the Pyramid. The 49ers close out their three-match road trip the following week at UC Irvine.
Double Threat: Junior Chisom Okpala presence at the net is showcased both on offense and defense as she ranks third in the Big West Conference in both hitting percentage and blocks. She currently owns a 1.14 blocks per set average while hitting .345.
Long Beach State Woes: This year seems to be an off-season for Long Beach, who owns a 13-11 overall record. Over the past 17 years, Long Beach State has only registered double-digit losses twice - 2012 (18-11) and 2003 (19-11). In conference play, Long Beach State holds a 6-5 mark to sit fourth in the standings. The 49ers haven’t recorded more than five Big West losses since the 2003 season when the team tied for second in the league with a 12-6 record.
Double Trouble: Last week UC Davis posted back-to-back conference losses for the first time since the start of conference play when it kicked off play with losses to Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies are currently fifth in the Big West Conference with a 6-6 record. This week the Aggies entertain the central coast duo of Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
Damelio Reaches Career Milestone: Devon Damelio recorded 29 kills against Long Beach State and UC Irvine last week to elevate her past the 1,000-career kill threshold. Damelio, who became the eighth Aggie to reach the milestone, currently owns 1,011 career kills.
Coach Collects 100th Victory: A 3-2 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 2 propelled Head Coach Jamie Holmes to her 100th victory at the helm of the UC Davis women’s volleyball program. During her six-year stint at UCD, Holmes has tallied a 100-75 record.
UC Irvine Enters Final Stretch: The UC Irvine Anteaters are packing their bags for the last time this season as they visit UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton in their final road trip of 2013. September 14 marks the last time the Anteaters recorded a road win with a 3-1 victory over Utah Valley State as part of the Wolverine Classic.
A Week In Review: UC Irvine snapped a three-match skid last week after downing UC Davis, 3-2, on Saturday, Nov. 9. Prior to the showdown with the Aggies, UC Irvine dropped a 3-1 contest against nationally-ranked Cal State Northridge. The Anteaters are now 12-13 overall and 3-8 in the Big West Conference.
Offensive Prowess: Anteaters Marisa Bubica and Aly Squires rank seventh and eighth in the Big West Conference in kills with marks of 3.03 and 3.00. Bubica also paces the Anteaters with a .257 hitting percentage.
Looking For A ‘W’: UC Riverside is the lone team in the conference that has been unsuccessful in securing a Big West victory. This week the Highlanders entertain UC Irvine (11/14) and Long Beach State (11/15) at the Student Recreation Center.
Blue And Gold Digger: Freshman Maddie Hubbell continues to hover around the top of the Big West Conference in the digs category. She currently owns the third spot with a 3.88 average. In conference-only contests she has an even better average of 3.97.
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 years 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 Battles League-Leading CSUN: UC Santa Barbara, who currently sits second in the Big West with an 8-2 mark, hits the road to face UC Davis Thursday, Nov. 14 and league-leading No. 21 Cal State Northridge (11-1) Saturday, Nov. 16. After falling to No. 12 Hawai’i last week, the Gauchos need to pull out a victory against both opponents to remain in contention of the Big West title. A win over the Matadors would give both teams two losses and UCSB would hold the tiebreaker with a 2-0 record over CSUN this season. The Gauchos swept the Matadors back on Oct. 18.
Gauchos Fall To No. 12 Hawai’i: Last week UC Santa Barbara suffered its first loss in over month when the Rainbow Wahine snuck past the Gauchos, 3-2, at the Thunderdome. The loss snapped a season-long eight-match winning streak for the Gauchos but they do remain in second place with an 8-2 league mark.
New Kids On The Block: Freshman Phoebe Grunt currently paces the Big West Conference with a 1.22 blocks per set average. Teammate freshman Allie Sullberg finds herself sitting fourth with a 1.11 mark.
Hawai’i Idle This Week: After posting a 2-0 record last week with wins over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, Hawai’i is idle week. The Rainbow Wahine do not return to the Stan Sheriff Center until Nov. 22 & 23 when they host UC Davis and first-place Cal State Northridge in their final home contests of the regular season.
Redemption: On Oct. 11 UC Santa Barbara handed Hawai’i its first conference loss since rejoining the Big West in 2012. Three weeks later the Rainbow Wahine got their revenge on the Gauchos with a five-set victory at the Thunderdome.
An Uphill Battle: With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Rainbow Wahine find themselves in unfamiliar territory, sitting third in the league with a 9-3 mark. The last time Hawai’i did not win its respective conference title, it competed in the Western Athletic Conference from 1996-2011, was in 1994 when it finished second in the Big West with a 15-3 record.
Hartong Senior CLASS Award Finalist: The women’s volleyball finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS award were announced and Hawai’i’s Emily Hartong was among the 10 student-athletes who excel both on and off the court.