Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 7
Race For The Title:
Two weeks into league play and Hawai’i sits atop the Big West standings with an unblemished 4-0 mark. Defending Big West champion Long Beach State and CSUN are knotted in second with a 3-1 mark, while Cal Poly sits fourth at 2-1. UC Davis is fifth with an even 2-2 record and is followed by UC Riverside (1-2) and UC Irvine (1-3). UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton are winless in conference play thus far.
Big West In the Top 25:
Hawai’i continues to rise up the ranks in the AVCA Top 25 poll, jumping two spots to earn the eighth spot in this week’s poll. Long Beach State dropped out of the top 25 after a 1-1 performance during its trip to the central coast last week. The 49ers can be found in the receiving votes category.
800 And Counting...:
Head coach Brian Gimmillaro opened Big West play with a 2-0 mark to reach the 800-career win threshold during his 31 years at Long Beach State. Gimmillaro, who now holds 802 wins, became just the fourth active coach to reach 800 wins at one institution, and is only the 14th coach ever to record 800 wins at the Division I level.
Big West On FOX Prime Ticket:
FOX Sports Prime Ticket and the Big West Conference recently unveiled the fall broadcast schedule on Prime Ticket which features a showdown of CSUN and Long Beach State squaring off in the Walter Pyramid. The Saturday, October 17 match begins at 7:00 p.m. The 49ers seek to defend their 2014 championship, accomplished with a unblemished 16-0 record and the 13th overall title in program history. The Matadors regularly have finished among the upper echelon in the Big West standings, including a share of the championship two seasons ago.
• The Big West Conference announced that 11 women’s volleyball matches will be distributed on ESPN3 this fall, beginning on September 25.
Fri., September 25 - UC Davis at Long Beach State
Sat., September 26 - UC Irvine at Long Beach State
Fri., October 2 - Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton
Sat., October 3 - Hawai‘i at UC Riverside
Fri., October 23 - Cal Poly at CSUN
Sat., October 24 - UC Santa Barbara at CSUN
Fri., November 6 - Hawai‘i at Long Beach State
Fri., November 13 - UC Santa Barbara at Cal St. Fullerton
Sat., November 14 - Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton
Tues., November 17 - Hawai’i at UC Irvine
Sat., November 21 - UC Davis at UC Irvine
After opening conference play with a loss to No. 11 Hawai’i, the Mustangs rebounded with a pair of victories last week against No. 24 Long Beach State and CSUN. The 3-1 win over defending Big West champion LBSU snapped a 23-match Big West win streak for the 49ers. Cal Poly’s sweep of the Matadors was its first win against CSUN since Oct. 13, 2011. The Mustangs look to keep the momentum going as they visit UC Irvine (10/8) before entertaining central coast foe UC Santa Barbara (10/10) at Mott Athletics Center.
Cal Poly has found success on both offense and defense this season. The Mustangs currently pace the Big West in digs with a 15.67 average while sitting second in kills with a 13.63 kills per set mark. Individually, Adlee Van Winden and Raeann Greisen sit third and sixth in the league with kill averages of 3.94 and 3.31. Katherine Brouker has tallied 3.16 digs to sit ninth.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
In Search Of A ‘W’:
Under the helm of first-year head coach Ashley Preston, the Cal State Fullerton Titans are still searching for their first victory of the season with a 0-15 mark thus far. The last time the Titans opened the year with an 0-15 mark was back in 1994 when they tallied an overall record of 1-28.
Thomas’ Mistake-Free Performance:
Despite falling to No. 10 Hawai’i, Kandace Thomas shined as she set a new season-high with a .700 attacking percentage, registering seven kills on 10 attempts without an error.
On The Road Again:
After a single contest versus Hawai’i, that ended an 11-match road trip, the Titans are back on the road this week as they visit UC Davis Saturday evening for their lone contest of the week.
Diaper Dandies On The Bench:
The Cal State Fullerton coaching staff is one of the youngest in the nation as the three full-time coaches are a combined 89 years old. In addition, volunteer assistant Naseri Tumanuvao preps for his first season at Cal State Fullerton at 28 years of age.
CSUN Finds Winning Ways:
After posting a 1-11 mark during nonconference play, the Matadors have turned things around and are currently knotted in second place with Long Beach State in the Big West standings with a 3-1 mark.
Tough Road Ahead:
CSUN, who has won three of the last four contests, visits No. 8 Hawai’i Friday for its lone match of the week. The Matadors follow that up with a trip to defending Big West champion Long Beach State the (10/17) the following week, which is set to air on FOX Prime Ticket.
Stinson Eclipses 1,000-Kill Mark:
Senior Cieana Stinson reached the 1,000-kill threshold the final weekend of September to become the 12th player in Matador history to reach the career milestone. Both Casey Hinger and Natalie Allen reached 1,000 kills in 2014 with Mahina Haina accomplishing the feat in 2013. Stinson, currently averaging 3.64 kills per set, owns 1,042 career kills.
LONG BEACH STATE
LBSU Suffers First Big West Loss In Two Years:
Defending Big West champion Long Beach State, who posted an undefeated 16-0 conference mark last season, suffered its first Big West loss since Nov. 9, 2013, as it fell to Cal Poly, 3-1. The 49ers rebounded the following night and registered a 3-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara. They are currently tied with CSUN for second place in the conference with a 3-1 mark.
Top 25 Jumble:
With its 3-1 loss to Cal Poly, LBSU slipped out of the Top 25 but the 49ers can quickly jump back up the ranks with an impressive showing at No. 8 Hawai’i Sunday. Before crossing the Pacific, the 49ers host UC Riverside Tuesday for a rare midweek conference showdown.
Hudson’s Career Night:
In LBSU’s 3-1 win over UC Santa Barbara, senior setter Jenelle Hudson recorded 43 assists, 10 digs and a career-high nine kills, one kill away from a triple-double. Hudson currently ranks second in the league with a 10.30 assists per set average.
Aggies Notch Big West Victories:
UC Davis notched back-to-back conference victories, snapping a four-match skid in the process, to even its Big West mark to 2-2. This week the Aggies entertain UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton, who are both winless in league play.
Squyres Reaches Milestone:
Senior Kaylin Squyres blasted an impressive 49 kills over the weekend to boost her career kill total to 1,023. She becomes the ninth Aggie to reach the 1,000-kill milestone. Devon Damelio (1,058 in 2010-13) was the most recent Aggie to finish her career above that milestone. Squyres is averaging a conference-best 4.73 kills per set to rank in the nation’s top 10.
Look Out Below:
The blocking duo of Aima Eichie and Kelechi Ohiri has guided UC Davis to the league’s second-best block average of 2.36. Eichie is averaging 1.15 blocks per set while Ohiri owns a 1.10 mark. They are just two of six Big West players who own an above-1.00 block average.
UCI Drops Conference Opener:
UC Irvine notched its first Big West Conference win last week in a five-set thriller against Cal State Fullerton before falling to UC Davis. The Anteaters are now 7-9 overall and 1-3 in the Big West Conference.
Dandy Of A Freshman:
Harlee Kekauoha continues to be a driving force for the UC Irvine offense. The freshman opposite, who recorded a match-high and personal-best 19 kills against Cal State Fullerton last week, sits fourth in the league with a .328 hitting percentage and eighth in kills per set with a 3.26 mark. She is also showcasing her skills at the service line with the conference’s third-best service ace average of .34.
Hain At The Helm:
Ashlie Hain, starting setter on UC Irvine’s 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournament teams, returned UCI as head coach this season after coaching at American River College. There, she took over a program that had won just three matches and led the Beavers to consecutive Big 8 Conference titles in 2013 and 2014.
UC Riverside Suffers First Conference Loss:
After recording its first league-opening win since 2005, UC Riverside stumbled in week two, dropping contests against UC Davis and No. 10 Hawai’i. The Highlanders, 6-10 overall and 1-2 in the Big West, hit the road this week to battle Long Beach State in a rare Tuesday contest and UC Irvine Saturday.
Helena Peric is leading the Highlanders’ offense with a 2.83 kills per set average, while hitting .183. Alexis Urbach is averaging .33 service aces per set, tying her for fourth in the Big West Conference. At the net, Alex Greshman is sporting a .72 blocks average.
Can You Dig It?:
Ever since Maddie Hubbell began her career at UC Riverside three years ago, she has excelled on defense and this year is no difference. The junior libero currently paces the league with a 4.72 digs per set average. In 2014 she finished the year ranked eighth in the league and during her freshman campaign she ended her year in fourth.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Rough Start To Conference Play:
UC Santa Barbara, who opened Big West play facing ranked opponents in two of its first three matches, suffered a pair of Big West losses last week to drop to 0-3. The last time the Gauchos opened Big West Conference play winless after three contests was in 2007. That year the team went on to post a 6-10 league record. This week the Gauchos, on a nine-match skid, hit the road to battle UC Davis (10/8) and central coast foe Cal Poly (10/10).
Elizabeth Sheffield continues to pace the Gauchos while ranking sixth in the league with a .320 hitting percentage and Phoebe Grunt owns the 10th spot with a .292 clip. Teammate Emilia Petrachi sits second in digs with a 4.33 average.
Ace In The Hole:
Elizabeth Sheffield sits eighth in the Big West Conference in service aces with a .29 mark. She also holds the league’s single-match high from her performance against Yale on September 5 where she tallied seven service aces in the 3-1 victory.
UH Returns Home:
After a short stint on the mainland that witnessed Hawai’i collect a pair of Big West wins, the Rainbow Wahine return home for a six-match homestand that opens against CSUN Friday evening. The Rainbow Wahine, 12-1 at the Stan Sheriff Center, are averaging 6,691 fans per match.
The Rainbow Wahine own an impressive 14-1 overall mark to rank fifth in the country with a .933 win-loss percentage. Their lone defeat came on Sept. 6 against to No. 25 UCLA (3-1).
Road Block Ahead:
The Rainbow Wahine lead the nation with an explosive 3.27 blocks per set average. Olivia Magill is the catalyst for the team, sporting the country’s ninth-best average of 1.51. With Magill pacing the Big West, teammates Emily Maglio and Nikki Taylor rank second and third with marks of 1.38 and 1.31.
Against The Best:
Hawai’i, led by Olivia Magill (.402), is hitting a conference-best .292 to rank ninth in the country.