Busy Week Of Competition Confronts Men's Volleyball
2019 Men's Volleyball Release No. 5
Five Big West men's volleyball squads occupy the top 12 spots in the AVCA poll, entering a busy 15-match week that features UC Santa Barbara (No. 9) and Hawai‘i (No. 2) hosting BYU and Stanford in doubleheaders.
The Week That Was
The Big West played a total of 10 matches for the second consecutive week – and fared well with a 6-4 record. The six member schools have combined to post an outstanding 33-14 (.702) non-conference record. The Big West has a winning record against every conference, including the MPSF (14-9), EIVA (8-0) and MIVA (8-5). The league is also a solid 17-13 against teams ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll at the time of the match.
Busy Week Ahead
The upcoming week is the busiest so far this season for Big West men’s volleyball squads. All six teams are in action, combining for 15 total contests. Undefeated Long Beach State (7-0) heads to the frigid weather of the midwest with hopes of staying red hot on the court. The Beach partake in the Lindenwood Tournament for three matches, taking on host Lindenwood, Quincy and McKendree. UC Irvine has a three-match week, culminating in a rematch with USC following a four-set loss last Wednesday. UC San Diego also plays a trifecta - all at home versus Princeton, Concordia and UC Santa Cruz.
Gauchos Bring Momentum Into BYU Double Dip
UC Santa Barbara is certainly battle tested having played nine straight contests against AVCA top 15 teams. The Gauchos are 6-3 against that level of competition, including a pair of top 10 conquests in No. 5 Loyola-Chicago and No. 9 Lewis last week. UCSB takes a four-match winning streak into a home doubleheader against No. 3 BYU on Friday and Saturday.
Rainbow Warriors Return To Action
Hawai‘i returns to competition for the first time since Jan. 12 when the Rainbow Warriors welcome No. 8 Stanford for two matches. The 19 day layoff means UH has played the fewest matches (3) of any of the teams in the AVCA top 15. UH has not lost a set in any of its three wins.
Long Beach State held its No. 1 position in Monday’s AVCA top 15 poll release, and have had that distinction since Jan. 22, 2018, a span of 18 consecutive weeks. Hawai‘i is No. 2 in the nation while UC Irvine fell one spot to No. 4 after going 2-1 last week. UCSB’s recent surge lifted the squad to a No. 9 ranking and CSUN checks in at No. 12 this week.
Number One In All The Land
The Big West is ranked No. 1 nationally in three team and one individual categories. Hawai‘i is No. 1 in hitting percentage (.493), kills per set (14.78) and assists per set (13.33). Individually, UH senior attacker Stijn van Tilburg is No. 1 in hitting percentage (.585).
Tritons Debut On ESPN3
UC San Diego produced the first of 13 home men’s volleyball matches for ESPN3 when a near-record crowd of 1,648 packed RIMAC Arena for last Friday’s contest against No. 7 UCLA. All three Triton home matches this week will also appear on ESPN3.