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Women's Volleyball

Cal Poly, Hawaii Headed To NCAA Tournament

Links associated with this release:
NCAA Women's Volleyball Bracket


For the second-straight year, the duo of Cal Poly and Hawai'i will rep the #BigWest in the NCAA Tournament.

Cal Poly, the 2018 Big West Conference Champion, and the University of Hawai’i are headed to the postseason as announced by the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee.  The Mustangs are making their second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, and 16th overall, after earning the league’s automatic bid after tallying a 15-1 conference mark to claim its fifth title. The University of Hawai’i is headed to its 37th overall and 26th straight NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship after receiving an at-large berth.

Thirty-two conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 32 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket.  The top-16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. Stanford earned the top seed followed by No. 2 Minnesota, Illinois secured the third seed, while the BYU rounded out the top four.

For the second straight year the Mustangs (25-2), are headed to Los Angeles for the postseason, but this year it is at the Galen Center on the campus of USC. Joining Cal Poly is host and 11th-seeded USC (21-10), San Diego (16-12) and Samford (19-14). For the first round matchup, the Mustangs drew the San Diego Toreros, an at-large selection from the West Coast Conference.  The two teams take to the court Friday, November 30  with the winner advancing to the second round to face the victor of the USC-Samford showdown.

Cal Poly is 12-22 all-time against the three teams that are headed to Los Angeles.  The Mustangs have never faced Samford on the volleyball court but own a 6-11 record against both USC and San Diego.  Interestingly enough, the last time Cal Poly faced USC and San Diego was on the same day, Sept. 8, 2012, at a USC women’s volleyball tournament at the Galen Center. 

The Rainbow Wahine (18-8) are set to travel to Eugene, Ore., for both the first the second rounds, along with host and No. 15-seeded Oregon (20-10), Baylor (19-8) and New Mexico State (24-7).  The Rainbow Wahine face the Bears, who are an at-large team from the Big 12, in a first round showdown.  First serve is slated for Thursday, November 29 with the winner advancing to the second round to face either the Ducks or Aggies.

Hawai’i is 22-22 all-time against the Eugene qualifier field.  The Rainbow Wahine hold an 18-16 advantage over New Mexico State but trail the series versus Baylor, 1-2, and Oregon, 3-4.  The Rainbow Wahine and Ducks faced off twic ethis season and Oregon came out on top in both matches.  

First- and second-round matches will be played November 29 through December 1 at 16 campus sites. Teams winning both matches will move on to regional play December 7 and 8. Regionals for the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship will be held at four non-predetermined campus sites, which will be announced after play concludes, on December 1. At each site, four teams will compete in single-elimination regional semifinal competition.

The regional winners will advance to the national semifinals and championship final hosted by the University of Minnesota on December 13 and 15 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. The national semifinal matches will broadcast on ESPN and the championship match will broadcast on ESPN2.

Mustangs Crowned Big West Champs: 
Cal Poly was crowned Big West champion for the second straight year after posting a 15-1 conference record. It’s also the second time the Mustangs have earned back-to-back titles, as they did so back  in 2006 and 2007. Hawai’i finished second after registering a 14-2 mark and was followed by UC Irvine (10-6).  UC Santa Barbara (9-7) finished fourth, while UC Davis and Long Beach State tied for fifth with an even 8-8 record. CSUN and UC Riverside were knotted in seventh with a 4-12 and Cal State Fullerton (0-16) rounded out the nine-team field.
ovember 30 with the winner advancing to the second round to face the victor of the USC-Samford showdown.

UC Irvine (16-12) and UC Santa Barbara (17-11) accepted invitations to the second annual National Invitational Volleyball Championship, which was revived in 2017 after its six-year run from 1989-1995. Both teams are salted to travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the first two rounds of the tournament. The Gauchos drew Fresno State (20-10) in first round action on Thursday, November 29 with first serve slated for 4:30 p.m. (PT).  The Anteaters are set to play the second game of the doubleheader against host UNLV (19-11) at 7:00 p.m. The winners of the two matches advance to the second round on Friday, November 30 at 7:00 p.m.

This marks the second straight postseason appearance for UC Irvine, as it played in the inaugural NIVC where it advanced to the quarterfinals. UC Santa Barbara is making its first postseason appearance since 2013.
Big West Announces Top Award Winners:
Back-to-back Big West Conference champions Cal Poly secured at least a share of all three top awards. Junior Torrey Van Winden was name Big West Player of the Year and Sam Crosson secured his second straight Big West Coach of the Year accolade.  Cal Poly’s Avalon DeNecochea, along with UC Irvine’s Abby Marjama, received Big West Co-Freshman of the Year honors.

Cal Poly’s Home Win Streak In Tact:
Cal Poly concludes the 2018 regular season with an active 21-match home win streak.

Davis Duo Reach Milestones:
UC Davis’ senior libero Malia Bolko became the school’s all-time career digs leader, while senior outside hitter Emily Allen achieved both her 1,000th career kill and 1,000th career dig this season.  Bolko concluded her career at UCD as the school’s all-time leader with a career total of 1,855, which places her sixth all-time in the Big West annals. Allen ends her collegiate career with totals of totals 1,014 kills and 1,014 digs. She is the 10th member of the 1,000 club in each category, and just the fourth player in UC Davis history to reach both thresholds.  She joins the ranks of Candy Lench (1989-92), Jill Changaris (1993-96) and Kelly Gaudino (2000-03).

Petrachi Crushes UCSB Digs Record:
  Senior libero Emilia Petrachi increased her career total to 1,959 scoops in the final week of play. She already owned the top spot in UCSB history but now owns the fourth spot in the Big West record book.  This is the second time in six years that head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch has witnessed this record being broken. It was in UCSB’s 2013 regular season finale, during her first year at the helm of the Gauchos, when she watched Leah Sully leapfrog past Kristin Nelson for the most in program history at the time.

Owens Ends Career Second In CSUN’s Annals:
Senior Aeryn Owens concludes her career as a Matador ranked second on the CSUN career kills list with 1,555. Owens. Owens opened the 2018 season ranked 11th in school history.

Celebrating 50/35:
The 2018-19 season marks the 50th anniversary for men’s sports in the Big West Conference, and the 35th for women’s.  All season long the Big West Conference will celebrate the history of all 16 conference-sponsored sports.

Did You Know?

• Including this year, the Big West Conference has had 156 teams make appearances in the NCAA Tournament since its inception back in 1984.  Over that time the league has tallied 153 victories and has two teams in this year’s event in hopes of securing a few more.

• Two Big West athletes were named most outstanding player of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament.  Long Beach State’s Antoinnette White earned the first distinction in 1991 and fellow Beach member, Misty May, nabbed the honor in 1998.