Top Teams Battle For First Place
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 10
BIG WEST TID BITS
Simply Perfection: The Cal Poly Mustangs, riding a 13-match win streak, swept CSUN and Long Beach State last week, to keep their perfect Big West record intact at 9-0. Off to their best start in 32 years, the Mustangs’ record will be challenged this week with a tough road ahead as they visit UC Irvine (6-1), who is undefeated at home this year, on Tuesday evening on ESPN3. Cal Poly then returns home to Mott Athletic Center, where it is 4-0 this season, to host second place Hawai’i (9-1). The Mustangs defeated the Rainbow Wahine, 3-2, earlier this season in Honolulu.
UCSB’s Ruddins Named National Player Of The Week: A day after earning her second Big West Player of the Week award of the 2017 season, UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsey Ruddins was named AVCA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Week.
Around The Big West: Cal Poly tops the Big West in kills per set (15.26), hitting percentage (.317) and assists (14.17). Hawai’i tops the conference in blocks with a 2.63 average and opponent hitting percentage with a .160 clip. UC Riverside leads the way in digs (16.80 DPS) and the Anteaters of UC Irvine are dominating at the service line as they sport a 1.67 service ace average.
Gauchos’ Big Week: UC Santa Barbara entered last week with a 2-4 conference record, but tallied three straight wins in a busy week to improve to 5-4 on the season. This is the second three-match win streak for the Gauchos, who strung together three victories from Sept. 16-23. Next up for Santa Barbara is second place Hawai’i (9-1), who it hosts Saturday at 5:00 p.m.
Home Sweet Home: UC Irvine, riding a six-match win streak, improved to 7-0 at home this season after defeating UC Davis, 3-1. This is a vast improvement for the Anteaters, who tallied a 5-6 mark in front of their hometown fans a season ago. The Anteaters put their undefeated record on the line Tuesday, October 24 when they entertain league-leading No. 23 Cal Poly (9-0) at 7:00 p.m. on ESPNU.
League-leading Cal Poly is also perfect at home, with a 4-0 record at Mott Athletic Center so far this season. The Mustangs next home match is schedule for Friday, October 27 against second-place Hawai’i (9-1).
Mustangs Extend Win Streak, And Best Program Start In Over 30 Years: Cal Poly, who enters the week riding a 14-match win streak, improved to 19-2 on the season last week, tying its best start since the 1985 team started 19-2. The Mustangs aren’t just winning these matches, they are dominating as they have swept 15 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: Halfway through conference play and three of Hawai’i’s eight matches took five sets to crown a winner, with UH winning two of the three matches. Its lone five-set loss was to league-leading Cal Poly. Last year the Rainbow Wahine only played one marathon conference match, which was a 3-2 loss to Long Beach State on October 8.
The Big 2-0: This week Cal Poly (19-2) and UC Irvine (18-2) have the opportunity to eclipse the 20-win threshold. It will mark the first time since 2010 the Mustangs reached the milestone, while the Anteaters last 20-plus win season was in 2009. Both registered 22 victories in their respective weeks.
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 4.75 and 3.64. 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 fifth in the conference’s top 10 in hitting percentage (.358), while Adlee ranks fifth in service aces (.36 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.