Cal Poly Eyes Conference Title
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 12
BIG WEST TID BITS
Magic Number Two: The 22nd-ranked Cal Poly Mustangs (12-0) need just two more wins to capture at least a share of the Big West Conference title and earn the conference’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament. The Mustangs, who have four contests remaining, can claim their first title since 2007 as early as Saturday if they are able to take care of business against UC Davis (11/10) and UC Irvine (11/11) at home. While Hawai’i (12-2) continues to hold the second slot, UC Irvine sits third with a 9-3 league record. UC Davis is fourth at 7-6 and is followed by UC Santa Barbara (5-6).
Around The Big West: Cal Poly tops the Big West in kills per set (15.37), hitting percentage (.311) and assists (14.35). Hawai’i tops the conference in blocks with a 2.48 average and opponent hitting percentage with a .162 clip. UC Riverside leads the way in digs (16.57 DPS) and the Anteaters of UC Irvine are dominating at the service line as they sport a 1.70 service ace average.
Home Sweet Home: League-leading Cal Poly owns a perfect 6-0 record at Mott Athletic Center so far this season, which includes a 3-2 victory over Hawai’i in the Mustangs first sellout crowd since 2006. The Mustangs put their unblemished record on the line this week when they host UC Davis and UC Irvine this weekend.
Streaking Aggies: UC Davis kicked off conference play dropping four straight contests, but have since won seven of their last nine matches for a 7-6 Big West mark to sit fourth. Up next for the Aggies is a trip to the central coast to tackle league-leading Cal Poly (10/10) and UC Santa Barbara (10/11). UC Davis dropped both contests to the central coast tandem earlier this year.
Mustangs Extend Win Streak For Best Program Start: Cal Poly, who enters the week riding a program-record 17-match win streak (the third longest winning streak currently in Division I), improved to 22-2 on the season last week, marking the best start in school history. The Mustangs aren’t just winning these matches, they are dominating as they have swept 16 of their opponents this season. The Mustangs’ two losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington and No. 14 Oregon.
Hawai’i Getting Extra Playing Time In 2017: Hawai’i, which is idle this week, have played four five-set conference matches this season. The Rainbow Wahine have won two of those four marathon matches. Last year the Rainbow Wahine only played one five-set conference match, which was a 3-2 loss to Long Beach State on October 8.
The Big 2-0: A week after Ca Poly captured its 20th win of the season for the first time since 2010, UC Irvine mastered the same feat. A sweep over UC Riverside lifted the Anteaters to their 20th victory of the year, a first since the 2009 squad tallied a 22-8 mark. The Mustangs currently have 22 wins while the Anteaters display 21 victories.
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 4.69 and 3.60. 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 sixth in the conference’s top 10 in hitting percentage (.328), while Adlee ranks seventh 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.
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