Teams Battle On FOX Prime Ticket, ESPN3
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 7
• Friday, October 10 is a must see matchup between CSUN and Hawai’i, two of the three teams that shared the 2013 Big West title, which is set to air on FOX Prime Ticket at 7:30 p.m. The past two seasons the Matadome has showcased epic five-set marathons between the Matadors and Rainbow Wahine and with both teams displaying a wealth of talent on their rosters, this year shouldn’t be any different. Hawai’i captured a road win in 2012 by scores of 22-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-17, 19-17, while CSUN secured the home victory in 2013 by scores of 30-32, 28-26, 20-25, 25-22,15-10, earning its first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 25 Long Beach State in 2008. The Matador-Rainbow Wahine showdown kicks off the home portion of CSUN’s schedule.
• CSUN senior middle blocker Casey Hinger has been selected as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, the nation’s premier award for NCAA senior student-athletes. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
• The Big West Conference announced that 11 women’s volleyball matches will be distributed on ESPN3.
Fri., September 26 - CSUN at Cal State Fullerton
Sat., October 4 - CSUN at Long Beach State
Fri., October 10 - UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
Sat., October 11 - Hawai‘i at Long Beach State
Fri., October 24 - UC Davis at CSUN
Fri.,, October 31 - Hawai‘i at UC Irvine
Sat., November 1 - Hawai‘i at Cal State Fullerton
Fri., November 14 - Cal Poly at Long Beach State
Sat., November 15 - UC Santa Barbara at Long Beach St.
Thurs., November 20 - CSUN at UC Riverside
Wed., November 26 - UC Irvine at Long Beach State
Cal Poly Splits Conference Double: Cal Poly went 1-1 in its home conference matches last weekend, losing 3-1 to UC Davis before rebounding with a 3-1 victory over UC Riverside. The Mustangs now sit 1-2 in Big West action.
Greisen Sets Career-Best: Freshman Raeann Greisen recorded a personal-best 14 kills in the win over UCR. Greisen is the Mustangs’ top finisher as she ranks sixth in the Big West in total kills (178) and kills per set (3.42).
Get All Packed Up: After playing seven of its last eight matches at home, Cal Poly hits the road for five of its next seven matches. All of those contests will be against conference clubs including co-league leaders No. 21 Hawai’i and Long Beach State as well as defending champion CSUN. The Mustangs have produced a 1-2 mark on the road so far this season.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Titans Fall To 0-2 Against Ranked Opposition: Cal State Fullerton’s road trip to the islands ended in defeat as the club fell to No. 24 Hawai’i, 3-0. The Titans played in front of 6,321 fans, the largest road attendance the club has encountered all season.
The Nikki Show: Freshman Nikki Withers has established herself as one of the top attacking players in the league. Withers is tied for third in the Big West in total kills (219), second in kills per set (3.78) and fifth in total points (233.5) and points per set (4.0).
Midseason Struggles: In the first eight matches of the season, Cal State Fullerton produced a 5-3 record, but since then the Titans have struggled on the court. In the last eight contests, the Titans have posted a disappointing 1-7 record. CSF will look for a turnaround in the coming matches as it plays three straight home contests against conference foes. A contest against Cal Poly Friday evening starts things off.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Matadors Suffer First Conference Loss: CSUN suffered its first conference loss of the season last week, falling to Long Beach State, 3-1. WIth the loss, the Matadors fall to 11-4 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Finally! Matadome Doors Are Open: Following a 15- match, season-opening road trip, the Matadors are set to entertain No. 21 Hawai’i Friday night on FOX Prime Ticket with first serve at 7:30 p.m. The showdown with the Rainbow Wahine marks the home opener for CSUN, who was 8-1 at The Matadome last season.
CSUN Earns High Ranks In RPI: CSUN may not be ranked in the AP Top 25 poll, but the Matadors do find themselves stacked up against the best in the first RPI listing of the 2014 season. In Monday’s RPI ranking, the Matadors own the 20th slot.
LONG BEACH STATE
Off To A Good Start: Long Beach State maintained its perfect Big West record with a 3-1 victory over CSUN last week to improve to 3-0 in Big West play and 13-4 overall. This week the 49ers, 8-1 at home this season, face another tough battle with No. 21 Hawai’i visiting The Pyramid Saturday, which will air live on ESPN3. Long Beach State is 0-2 against ranked opponents this season, falling to both No. 11 Illinois and No. 20 North Carolina, 3-0.
Powerful Trio: Long Beach State, led by Ashley Murray’s .326 clip, paces the Big West Conference with a .253 hitting percentage. Along with Murray, who sits fourth in the league, teammates Bre Mackie and Chisom Okpala rank in the Big West’s top 10 with marks of .312 and .311.
Long Beach State Top 40 In RPI: The NCAA released its first RPI standings of the 2014 season and Long Beach State is the third Big West school listed as it sits 38th. The 49ers dropped their first two contests of the season, which were against ranked opponents, before winning 12 of their next 14 contests. Long Beach State enters this week on a three-match win streak.
Aggies Sweep Central Coast: The UC Davis Aggies rebounded from their conference-opening loss in fine fashion, knocking off both central coast foes Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. Playing on the road last week, the Aggies battled Cal Poly to a 3-1 victory before sweeping defending tri-champion UC Santa Barbara to improve to 2-1 in league play.
Strength Comes Out In Conference Play: In conference only contests, UC Davis tops the Big West charts in three different categories. Aima Eichie leads the offense with a dominating .438 hitting percentage, while Katie Quinn holds the reigns defensively with a 1.60 blocks per set average. Teammates Erika Conners and Allie Wegener are knotted in first in service aces with a .50 mark.
New Face At The Helm: UC Davis welcomes Dan Conners, most recently the top assistant at Illinois, as the new head coach for the Aggies. His appointment marks a return to the Golden State, who spent three years as an assistant coach with the CSUN men’s volleyball team. He also served on the staffs at three elite women’s programs during the past eight seasons: Illinois, Nebraska and UCLA.
UCI Looking For First Conference Win: After an 0-3 start to open Big West play, UC Irvine hopes to turn things around this week when the Anteaters return home to host UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly. Friday’s match against the Gauchos is set to air live on ESPN3 at 7:00 p.m.
‘Eater Leaders: The Anteaters currently pace the conference and rank 21st in the nation with a 12.09 kills per set average. They also lead the Big West in assists after posting a 13.05 assist per set mark. Individually, Marisa Bubica holds the Big West’s top spot in kills with a 4.18 average, while Shelley Anderson leads all setters with a 10.88 mark.
Climbing The Charts: Junior Marisa Bubica is eyeing UC Irvine’s career kills Top 10 list as she sits 14th with 893 kills. Having recorded 234 kills so far this season, she needs just 32 more kills to move up to the 13th slot. Also in search of a Top 10 mark is senior Arielle Mans, who ranks 12th in school history with 211 block assists. She needs just 12 more to secure a Top10 finish.
Cox In Control: Ashley Cox continues to power the Highlanders with a 2.90 kills per set average and 3.20 points per set mark. The junior from Irvine, Calif., tallied a game-high 22 kills in Saturday’s match against Cal Poly to improve her season kill total to 116 and her career total to 751.
On The Hunt: On a nine-match skid, the Highlanders are in need of a victory to turn things around. Their last win was a sweep over Savannah State on Saturday, Sept. 6. This week they take on UC Davis Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in their lone conference match of the week.
Can You Dig It?: The Highlanders may be struggling on the court when it comes to wins, but in terms of defense they are on top of the Big West. Led by Maggie Hubbell, UC Riverside currently owns a conference-best 15.58 digs per set average. Hubbell holds the eighth spot in the league with a 3.79 mark.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Gauchos Suffer First Conference Loss: UC Santa Barbara snapped a four-game win streak last week after suffering its first Big West loss of the season. The Gauchos were swept by UC Davis at The Thunderdome, dropping the Gauchos record to 2-1 in league play.
UC Santa Barbara Set To Play First Conference Road Contests: The Gauchos’ five-match homestand comes to an end this week as UC Santa Barbara visits Orange County to battle UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton it their first Big West road matches of the season. The Gauchos-Anteaters showdown on Friday, October 10 is scheduled to air live on ESPN3.
A Glimpse At The Gauchos: Offensively, the Gauchos are led by sophomore Phoebe Grunt, who sits third in the Big West with a .350 hitting percentage. On defense, sophomore Ali Spindt paces UC Santa Barbara with a league-leading 4.51 dig average, while sophomore Allie Sullberg owns the sixth spot in blocks with a 1.02 average.
Hawai’i Maintains Perfection: Propelled by a seven-match win streak, the 21st-ranked Rainbow Wahine own a perfect 4-0 mark to open Big West play. The tri-defending champion returns to the mainland this week for two critical matchups. Hawai’i kicks off the weekend battling fellow tri-defending champion CSUN Friday at 7:30 p.m. on FOX Prime Ticket. UH follows that up with a contest against the 49ers on Saturday night.
Magill’s Power: Junior Olivia Magill is the lone Big West athlete sporting an above-.400 hitting percentage. The middle blocker from Shoreline, Wash., holds a .411 clip to rank 20th in the nation.
Rainbow Above: In conference-only contests, the University of Hawai’i sits atop of the Big West in multiple categories. Hitting .297, while limiting its opponents to a .128 clip, awards the Rainbow Wahine the top spot in both hitting percentage and opponent hitting percentage. They also secure the top spot in assists (13.42) and blocks (3.42)