Big West Play Concludes Tuesday; Cal Poly Wins Conference Title
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 14
Big West Tid Bits
Cal Poly Wins Big West Conference Title: The Cal Poly women’s volleyball team (26-2) swept Cal State Fullerton Saturday to close out the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record. It’s the first time the Mustangs were undefeated in conference play and the 11th time in Big West history a school has posted a perfect mark in league action. The last Big West team to accomplish that was Hawai’i in 2015. Cal Poly, which continues its best season in program history, enters the postseason riding a 21-match win streak. The Mustangs aren’t just winning these matches, they are dominating as they have swept 19 of their opponents this season. The Mustangs’ two losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington and No. 14 Oregon. With the regular season over, the Mustangs now wait to see who and where they will play in the NCAA Tournament, as they receive the conference’s automatic qualifier with the conference title.
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.
Climbing The Ranks: After two wins over the weekend to finish out Big West Conference play with a perfect 16-0 mark and an overall record of 26-2, the Cal Poly volleyball team jumped up one spot in the AVCA National Top 25 to No. 21. This is the highest the Mustangs have been ranked since week three of the 2008 season when they were ranked No. 19 in the country. This is the seventh consecutive week Cal Poly has been ranked in the Top 25 and the highest they have been ranked all season. Before this season, the last they were ranked in the Top 25 was 2008.
Big West Play Concludes Tuesday: The 2017 regular season is coming to a close with the final two Big West Conference matches taking place Tuesday, November 21. UC Irvine entertains UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside hosts CSUN. Cal Poly already claimed the title with a perfect 16-0 mark, while Hawai’i, winning 18 of the last 20 matches, took second with 14-2 record. The Anteaters secured the third slot with a 9-6 mark, while UC Davis sits fourth at 8-8 but could share that spot with the Gauchos if they pick up a win in their final contest.
Around The Big West: No. 21 Cal Poly tops the Big West in kills per set (15.13), hitting percentage (.314) and assists (14.09). Hawai’i tops the conference in blocks with a 2.50 average and opponent hitting percentage with a .158 clip. UC Riverside leads the way in digs (16.43 DPS) and CSUN maintained the top spot in service aces with a 1.58 average.
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 the Mustangs won the Big West Conference title. Six of the eight matches were won by sweeps.
Hawai’i Getting Extra Playing Time In 2017: Hawai’i played four five-set conference matches this season and 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.
UCD’s Bolko Sets School Mark: Junior libero Malia Bolko eclipsed the school’s single-season digs record last Thursday against Hawai’i. Bolko finished the match with 14 digs on the night, bringing her season total to 529. That surpasses the previous benchmark of 526, set by Nichole Brown in her lone collegiate season of 2005, when the university was in its third year of its NCAA Division I reclassification. Her 529 dig total is the highest single-season mark in the Big West since UCSB’s Taylor Formico tallied 792 in 2012.
The Big 2-0: Three schools registered a 20-win season in 2017 - Cal Poly, UC Irvine and Hawai’i - a first since a trio of Big West programs posted 20-plus win seasons in 2012. The Mustangs, with 26 victories so far this season, captured its first 20-plus win season since 2010. With 21 victories, the Anteaters mastered the feat for the first time since the 2009 squad tallied a 22-8 mark. Hawai’i joined the 20-win club last week after picking up two league wins to sit at 20-7.
CSUN’s Owens Eyes Top 10: Junior Aeryn Owens owns a career kill total of 1,089 to sit 11th all-time in the Matador annals. She became the 13th player in CSUN history with 1,000 career kills.. The Matadors have one match remaining, allowing Owens to improve on her career total.
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 sixth in the Big West with kill averages of 4.69 and 3.38. 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 (.343), while Adlee ranks seventh in service aces (.30 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.
Big West Volleyball On ESPN3: The Big West Conference announced that nine women’s volleyball matches were 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.
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