Four Teams Put Undefeated Record On The Line
Big West Women's Volleyball Release
Quartet Is Perfect After First Week Of Conference Play: Following the first week of Big West Conference action, four teams maintained a perfect record - Cal Poly, CSUN, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai’i. The Mustangs opened with a strong statement, sweeping all three of their opponents - UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside. Defending champion Hawai’i downed UC Davis and UC Irvine, who entered league play with a conference-best 12-1 mark. UC Santa Barbara, who struggled in nonconference play, took care of business against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton while CSUN knocked off Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State.
The number of undefeated teams will dwindle this week as the pair of central coast teams, Cal Poly (3-0), who is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll, and UC Santa Barbara (2-0), visit CSUN, who is 2-0 in Big West play. The Gauchos also visit Long Beach State Saturday for an ESPN3 showdown with first serve slated for 7:00 p.m.
Rainbows Hit The Road: For the first time this season, defending Big West Champion Hawai’i heads to the mainland for a pair of conference matches. The Rainbow Wahine, 2-0 in league play, battle Cal State Fullerton Friday on ESPN3 and then visits UC Riverside the following day. Hawai’i tallied a 7-2 mark on the road last season.
Around The Big West: Cal Poly tops the Big West and the nation in both kills per set (15.60) and assists (14.55). The Mustangs offense is also number one in the league in hitting percentage (.315). Hawai’i tops the conference in blocks with a 2.67 average and opponent hitting percentage with a .170 clip. UC Riverside leads the way in digs (17.15 DPS) and the Anteaters of UC Irvine are dominating at the service line as they sport a 1.77 service ace average.
Mustangs Extend Win Streak, And Best Program Start in Nearly 20 Years: Cal Poly, who enters the week riding an eight-match win streak, improved to 13-2 on the season, the Mustangs’ best start since the 1998 team started 13-2. The Mustangs’ two losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington and No. 14 Oregon.
UCSB’s Lantagne Welch 300th Career Victory: UC Santa Barbara head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch collected her 300th victory of her career last Friday when the Gauchos downed UC Riverside by scores of 25-21, 25-17, 25-22. Fifty-eight of the victories have been during her stint at Santa Barbara.
Sister Power: The Van Winden sisters, Torrey, a sophomore transfer, and Adlee, who is a junior, are leading the Mustangs at the net as they pace the team and sit second and fifth in the Big West with kill averages of 4.83 and 3.87. Both have already earned Big West Player of the Weeks nods with Adlee earning the first of the season and Torrey collecting back-to-back accolades the following two weeks. Torrey also sits fourth in the conference’s top 10 in hitting percentage (.372), while Adlee ranks sixth in service aces (.32 APS).
New Head Coaches: The 2017 women’s volleyball season will be missing two legendary coaches at the helm of their respective programs as Hawai’i’s Dave Shoji and Long Beach State’s Brian Gimmillaro both retired in the offseason. Between the two, there was 74 years of coaching experience as Shoji led the Rainbow Wahine for 42 years and Gimmillaro guided the Beach for 32.
Hawai’i Tabbed To Claim 2017 Title: The University of Hawai’i was selected to capture its third straight Big West Conference women’s volleyball championship, and fifth out of the past six years, after claiming six first-place votes en route to a 78 point total as part of the Big West women’s volleyball preseason coaches poll as voted on by the nine head coaches. The Mustangs of Cal Poly, nabbing two first place votes and 71 total points, earned the second slot in the preseason poll. Securing the third place spot with one first place vote and a total of 65 point was Long Beach State. The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara sit fourth with 47 points and is followed by UC Irvine after registering 41 points. UC Davis nabbed the sixth slot after collecting 39 points and is followed by CSUN, who holds the seventh spot with 33 points. UC Riverside locked-in the eighth position after grabbing 19 points and Cal State Fullerton rounds out the nine-team field with 10 points.
Big West Volleyball On ESPN3: The Big West Conference announced that nine women’s volleyball matches will be streamed via ESPN3. ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected streaming devices through the ESPN app. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. It is also available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
UH-UCI Clash On FOX Prime Ticket: Prime Ticket will televise a women’s volleyball showdown between Hawai‘i and UC Irvine from the Bren Events Center on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 8:00 p.m. (PT). In addition to telecast coverage on Prime Ticket and FOX Sports West, all games on the regional sports network will also be available on FOX Sports GO.
ESPNU To Televise LBSU-UH Showdown: ESPNU is scheduled to air the Hawai‘i at Long Beach State women’s volleyball match Friday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. (PT) inside the Walter Pyramid. The match-up pits two programs who have combined to win – either shared or outright – each of the last six Big West Conference championships. Long Beach State all-time has claimed 13 conference titles to Hawaii’s 10, making them the two winningest programs in league history.
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