UC Irvine Prepares For NIVC Quarterfianls
UC Irvine Advances In NIVC: Playing in its first National Invitational Volleyball Championship, which has been revived this year after its six-year run from 1989-1995, UC Irvine has advanced to the quarterfinals. The Anteaters opened play with its 12th sweep of the season after dominating Sacramento State in the first round. In second round action, UCI found itself on the winning side of a five-set decision over host Pacific, sending them to a quarterfinal matchup against Texas Tech. The showdown with the Red Raiders is slated for 2:00 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The winner will face the victor of the other quarterfinal match in Fort Worth, Texas, Green Bay vs. host TCU, the following evening in a semifinal contest at 5:00 p.m. (PT). This marked the first postseason appearance for UC Irvine since 2004, the same year current UCI Head Coach Ashlie Hain was the starting setter for the Anteaters.
CP, UH Advance To NCAAs: Cal Poly, the 2017 Big West Conference Champion, and Hawai’i advanced to the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship The Mustangs, making their first NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship since 2007, and 15th overall, headed to Los Angeles for the first & second rounds. The Mustangs opened with a sweep over Denver to advance to a second round showdown versus host and 15th-seeded UCLA. Cal Poly took an early first-set lead over the Bruins, but UCLA came back and took the next three sets to down Cal Poly, 3-1.
The University of Hawai’i, playing in its 36th overall and 25th straight NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship after receiving an at-large berth, traveled to Seattle, Wash. for first round action against Illinois. Unfortunately the Rainbow Wahine fell short in a marathon five-set match against the FIghting Illini, ending their postseason run.
Cal Poly Wins Big West Conference Title: The Cal Poly women’s volleyball team (26-3) 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 recorded its best season in program history registered a program-high 22-match win streak. The Mustangs didn’t just win these matches, they dominated them as they swept 20 of their opponents this season. The Mustangs’ three losses this year were against Top 25 opponents - No. 8 Washington, No. 14 Oregon and No. 17 UCLA.
Home Sweet Home: Big West Champion 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 this season as she concluded 20017 with 536 scoops. That surpasses the previous UCD benchmark of 526, set by Nichole Brown in her lone collegiate season of 2005. Her 536 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 27 victories this season, captured its first 20-plus win season since 2010. With a school-tying season best 24 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 clubin the final week of the regular season after picking up two league wins to sit at 20-7.
CSUN’s Owens Reaches Milestone: Junior Aeryn Owens owns a career kill total of 1,209 to sit 11th all-time in the Matador annals. She became the 13th player in CSUN history with 1,000 career kills.
UCSB’s Ruddins Ends Regular Season As The Nation’s Leader: Lindsey Ruddins concluded the regular season with an NCAA-leading 5.84 kills per set average, leading all other Big West players by more than a full kill. Should she remain at the perch of the kills list, she will become the first Gaucho ever to lead the nation in kills per set for an entire season.
Mustang 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 eighth in the Big West with kill averages of 4.72 and 3.32. 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 (.29 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.