Women's Volleyball - bigwest.org
Women's Volleyball

Quest For The Big West Title Begins This Week


The 2018 #BWCWVB conference race begins Tuesday, September 18 with the defending #BigWestChamps hosting.

Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 5

Quest For The Title Begins This Week:
Tuesday, September 18 marks the start of Big West Conference play for women’s volleyball. Defending champion Cal Poly, riding a nine-game win streak, kicks things off hosting UC Davis at 5:00 p.m.  Long Beach State entertains UC Riverside for the first conference contest to air live on ESPN3. First serve is slated for 7:00 p.m.  UC Irvine visits UC Santa Barbara while Cal State Fullerton travels to CSUN to open the league portion of their schedules.  Hawai’i, who is idle on Tuesday, plays its first conference match Friday, Sept. 21 when the Rainbow Wahine travel to UC Davis.

Ten Matches Slated For WatchESPN:
The Big West Conference announced its fall schedule for the women’s volleyball, which commences Tuesday, Sept. 18 when UC Riverside visits Long Beach State at The Walter Pyramid. Opening week of Big West Conference play for women’s volleyball also showcases defending champion Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton September 21 at 7:00 p.m.  and Hawai’i at UC Irvine in a Sunday matinee that begins at 3:00 p.m. Complete Schedule:
Sept. 18 UC Riverside at Long Beach State 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 21 Cal Poly at Cal State Fullerton 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 23 Hawai'i at UC Irvine 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 5 UC Davis at CSUN 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 6 UC Davis at Long Beach State 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 19 Cal Poly at CSUN 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 2 Hawai'i at CSUN 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 3 Hawai'i at Long Beach State 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 8 UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 10 Cal Poly at UC Irvine 7:00 p.m.

Reyes Sets Personal-Best Mark:
Sophomore Ally Reyes was stellar on defense in UC Davis’ match versus Arizona as she more than doubled her previous dig high with 30 scoops. Prior to last weekend, the libero’s personal best was just 13 digs. She is the second UC Davis player to hit the 30-dig threshold, joining teammate Malia Bolko, who totaled 37 against Northern Arizona back on August 26.

Hawai’i Gears Up For First Road Trip:
The University of Hawai’i will play its first road contests of the 2018 this season when the Rainbow Wahine open Big West action at UC Davis on Friday, Sept. 21.  They are also scheduled to battle UC Irvine live on ESPN3 on Sunday afternoon.  Last season Hawai’i posted a 7-1 conference road mark.

Cal Poly Picked To Repeat As Big West Champion:
After capturing its first Big West title in 10 years, Cal Poly has been selected to repeat as the Big West Conference women’s volleyball champion after claiming five first-place votes en route to a 77 point total, as voted on by the nine head coaches. The University of Hawai’i secured the remaining four first-place votes to lock down the second spot with 75 points.  UC Irvine followed in the third slot with 62 points, while Long Beach State  registered 48 points to rank fourth and UC Santa Barbara was close behind in fifth place with 45 points. The Aggies of UC Davis nabbed 38 points for the sixth spot and was followed by CSUN (30), UC Riverside (18) and Cal State Fullerton (12).

The Mustangs are coming off a year where they posted the program’s best overall record of 27-3, a perfect 16-0 Big West Conference mark and an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007.  Led by 2017 AVCA Pacific North Coach of the Year Sam Crosson, Cal Poly broke the AVCA Top 25 and posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 2007.  As a team, the Mustangs concluded 2017 ranked in the nation’s Top 10 in kills per set (2nd - 15.07), assists (4th - 14.06), win/loss percentage (5th - .900) and hitting percentage (7th - .310).

They return four players who earned Big West postseason awards this past season in seniors Adlee Van Winden and Katherine Brouker, junior Torrey Van Winden and sophomore Madilyn Mercer. There are six new additions to the team, five true freshmen and one transfer from Duke, who will all be competing for playing time.

In head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos’ rookie season at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine women’s volleyball program, she led them to a 20-8 overall record and a 14-2 conference mark which advanced them to their 36th NCAA Tournament appearance. Hawai’i is on a quest to capture its fifth conference title in seven years and will rely on 2018 All-Big West First Teamers outside hitter McKenna Granato and setter Norene Iosia to lead the way.

Securing the third spot is UC Irvine, who finished third in the Big West a season ago with a 10-6 league mark and a 24-8 overall record, which tied the school record for wins, matching the 2009 squad that went 24-10. The Anteaters advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, falling to Texas Tech, 3-1. It was the first postseason appearance since 2004. The Anteaters welcome back 2018 All-Big West First Team members middle blocker Idara Akpakpa, outside hitter Haley DeSales and opposite.

Gauchos Awarded AVCA Team Academic Award for Fourth Straight Year:
Over the summer, UC Santa Barbara earned an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the fourth consecutive year. Since the first time they received the honor in 2014-15, the Gauchos have remained the only Division I program from either the Big West or the UC school system to be named an AVCA Team Academic Award recipient. The prestigious award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

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?

• Eleven teams have posted a perfect record in Big West play, with the most recent coming last season as the Cal Poly Mustangs tallied a 16-0 record to win the league title.  Hawai’i was the first school to register an unblemished record with an 18-0 mark back in 1988.

• Long Beach State’s Danielle Scott notched the first above-.400 season hitting percentage in 1991 with a mark of .422.  She followed that up with two more impressive years, posting a Big West record .452 clip in 1992, and a .431 hitting percentage in 1993. Scott is the only player to pace the league in hitting percentage for three consecutive years.