Cal Poly In Driver's Seat As Season WInds Down
Big West Women's Volleyball Release - Week 12
Around The Big West: Cal Poly continues to maintain the top spot in the Big West standings with an 11-1 mark and is followed by Hawai’i, who owns a 12-2 record. UC Irvine is third at 9-4 and UC Davis sits fourth with an 8-5 record. The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara are 6-6, Long Beach State (5-8) is seventh and followed by UC Riverside (3-9), CSUN (3-10) and Cal State Fullerton (0-12).
Diaper Dandies Setting The Tone: The top two setters currently in the Big West Conference are a pair of freshmen. Pacing the league is Olivia Lovenberg, who is sporting an 11.08 assists per set average in her first season quarterbacking the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Cal Poly’s Avalon Denecochea holds the second slot with a 10.32 average. The central coast teams aren’t the only two Big West programs led by a freshman this season, as Long Beach State is guided by newbie Carly Aigner-Swesey's 8.06 average that’s good enough for fifth in the league.
Streaking Aggies: UC Davis returns to The Pavilion this week for its final home matches of the season carrying a seven-match win streak, which includes three sweeps. The Aggies open with league-leading No. 16 Cal Poly Thursday night and then entertains UC Santa Barbara Saturday evening.
Cal Poly’s Home Win Streak On The Line: Cal Poly recorded its 13th sweep of the 2018 season Tuesday, October 30 at Motts Athletic Center against UC Irvine to bump its record-breaking home win streak to 19. The next opportunity to extend the streak is November 16-17 against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton.
Hawai’i’s Granato Eclipses 1,000 Kills: Senior McKenna Granato became just the 20th Rainbow Wahine in UH history to record 1,000 career kills in the ‘Bows victory on Saturday night agianst Long Beach State. On the same night, she also recorded her 700th career dig to finish the match with 1,006 career kills and 711 career digs.
Aggie Duo Eyeing School Marks: Senior Emily Allen is inching her way to the 1,000 kills-1,000 digs club with 992 career kills and 987 career digs. Nine UCD players grace the 1,000 clubs in each category, with just three former Aggies appearing on each: Candy Lench (1989-92), Jill Changaris (1993-96) and Kelly Gaudino (2000-03). Senior Malia Bolko has 1,793 career digs, second in school history and 38 shy of catching Avreeta Singh (2006-09) for the top slot in UC Davis annals.
Petrachi Crushes UCSB Digs Record: Senior libero Emilia Petrachi has already tallied 1,873 scoops to own the top spot in UCSB history and sits fifth in the Big West record book. She needs 34 more digs to surpass Pacific’s Julie Magud for fourth place. This is the second time in six years that head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch has witnessed this record being broken. It was in UCSB’s 2013 regular season finale, during her first year at the helm of the Gauchos, when she watched Leah Sully leapfrog past Kristin Nelson for the most in program history at the time.
Owens Climbing CSUN’s Kills Ranking: Last week, senior Aeryn Owens moved up to second on the CSUN career kills list with 1,509. Owens opened the 2018 season ranked 11th in school history. Owens now trails the record-leader, Laura Walter, who holds the CSUN record for kills with 1,694 from 1998-2001, by 185 kills.
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, CP broke the Top 25 and posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 2007. The Mustangs concluded 2017 ranked in the nation’s Top 10 in kills per set, assists, win/loss percentage and hitting percentage.
In head coach Robyn Ah Mow-Santos’ rookie season at Hawai’i, 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 with a 10-6 league mark and a 24-8 overall record, which tied the school record for wins. The Anteaters advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, falling to Texas Tech, 3-1.
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 Santa Barbara at UC Irvine
||Cal Poly at UC Irvine