Undefeated CP and LBSU Clash This Weekend
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 6
In The Standings: Preseason favorite Cal Poly, riding a 12-match win streak, continued where it left off last year with a perfect 3-0 mark to kick off Big West play. The Mustangs have now won 20 league matches in a row, dating back to 2016. Long Beach State and Hawai’i also registered 2-0 records opening weekend to sit atop of the league standings. UC Santa Barbara is fourth with a 2-1 mark, while CSUN and UC Irvine are knotted in fifth with a 1-1 record.
On Tap This Week: Undefeated Cal Poly and Long Beach State square off Saturday evening in San Luis Obispo with first serve slated for 7:00 pm. But before the clash of the undefeated, the Mustangs must get by CSUN while The Beach visit UC Santa Barbara Friday evening.
Hawai’i entertains Cal State Fullerton (9/28) and UC Riverside (9/29) for its first home conference matches of the season. The Rainbow Wahine are coming off a 2-0 record on the mainland to open Big West action, which includes an impressive come-from-behind 3-2 win over UC Irvine.
In search of its first Big West win, UC Davis visits UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.
Diaper Dandies In Control: Three of the six Big West statistical categories are currently led by freshmen. LongBeach State’s Allison Martinez is tied for first in hitting percenatge with a .364 clip, while UC Santa Barbara’s Olivia Lovenberg owns a conference-high 11.39 assists average. The final young gun sitting atop the leader board is UC Irvine’s Abby Marjama, who is sporting a league-best .56 service ace average.
Cal Poly’s Crosson Reaches Coaching Milestone; Mustangs Set Home Win Streak Mark: In Cal Poly’s sweep over UC Davis on Tuesday, Sept. 18, Cal Poly head coach Sam Crosson earned his 100th career victory at Cal Poly. The Mustangs picked up two more wins over the weekend, extending their win streak to 12 while improving Crosson’s overall record at CP to 102-81 (.557). The win over the Aggies at Mott Athletics Center also set the record for the longest home winning streak in program history at 14, which dates back to 2016.
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.
Volleyball Slated For ESPN3: 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. IN all, 10 matches were scheduled to broadcast live on ESPN3. Below is a list of the remaining Big West volleyball matches:
||UC Davis at CSUN
|| UC Davis at Long Beach State
||Cal Poly at CSUN
||Hawai'i at CSUN
||Hawai'i at Long Beach State
||UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
||Cal Poly at UC Irvine
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?
• UC Irvine’s Kris Roberts owns one of the oldest single season records in the Big West Conference. Back in 1986 the Anteater posted a 2.06 total blocks average which still stands as the highest season average in blocks. During her time donning the blue and gold, Roberts was unstoppable at the net as she also holds the second and third spots in the record books after tallying a 1.82 mark in 1987 and 1.81 average in 1988.
• Cal Poly’s Kylie Atherstone (2005-08) earned 11 Big West Player of the Week honors during her time representing the Mustangs women’s volleyball team to pace the league.