Cal Poly Captures Big West Title, NCAA Tournament Berth
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 13
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Cal Poly Captures At Least a Share Of The Big West Conference Title: In front of the home crowd on senior day at Mott Athletics Center Saturday, No. 22 Cal Poly swept UC Irvine to claim the 2017 Big West Conference Championship and secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The win gives the Mustangs its first conference title since 2007, a perfect 8-0 record at home for the first time since 2007 and guarantees their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2007. Hawai’i (12-2), last year’s conference champion still has a slim chance to share the title if Cal Poly (14-0) were to drop its final two contests and Hawai’i posts victories in it’s last two contests. The Mustangs close out the regular season at UC Riverside (1/12), which is slated to air on ESPN3, and at Cal State Fullerton (1/13).
Around The Big West: Cal Poly tops the Big West in kills per set (15.20), hitting percentage (.317) and assists (14.15). 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 (16.30 DPS) and CSUN leapfrogged UC Irvine, who had been holding the top spot all season, with a 1.62 service ace average.
Mustangs Extend Win Streak For Best Program Start: Cal Poly, who enters the week riding a program-record 19-match win streak, improved to 24-2 on the season last week, continuing its best start in school history. The Mustangs aren’t just winning these matches, they are dominating as they have swept 18 of their opponents this season. The Mustangs’ two losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington and No. 14 Oregon.
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.
Home Sweet Home: League-leading Cal Poly posted a perfect 8-0 record at Mott Athletic Center this season, a first since 2007, the same year they won the Big West Conference title.
Hawai’i Getting Extra Playing Time In 2017: Hawai’i, which plays its final two regular season games on the mainland this week against UC Davis and UC Irvine (FOX Prime Ticket), 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.
UCSB Ruddins Dominates: In UCSB’s five-set win over UC Irvine, sophomore Lindsey Ruddins, who currently leads the nation in kill average, notched 32 kills. It was the second career 30-kill match for Ruddins, who earlier this season had a personal-high 36 against then-No. 15 Florida State. Those 36 kills are still the most by any player in an NCAA match this season.
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 24 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 4.64 and 3.49. 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 (.337), while Adlee ranks seventh in service aces (.31 APS).
NCAA Selection Show: The field of 64 teams for the 2017 NCAA Volleyball Tournament will be unveiled on ESPNU at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Sunday, Nov. 26. The first and second round host sites will also be announced during the selection show. Regionals will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites with the four winners advancing to the DI Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., December 14 & 16.
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.
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.
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