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WAC Regular Season Comes to a Close
Courtesy: WAC

PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Hawai‘i left-side hitter Jamie Houston was named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Nov.12-18. This is the sixth career WAC Player of the Week for the junior and her third honor of the 2007 season.

The Huntsville, Ala., (Huntsville) native, led the Rainbow Wahine to their eighth-straight WAC Tournament title, as Hawai‘i defeated New Mexico State in the final in five games. Against the Aggies, Houston had 22 kills and 10 digs as the Rainbow Wahine rebounded from losing game one. In the semifinal against Nevada, Houston led Hawai‘i with 27 kills and seven digs, while hitting .404. In the quarterfinal win against Boise State, Houston recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 18 digs. This season, the junior averages 5.38 kills per game and 2.65 digs per game, while hitting .249. This week, the Rainbow Wahine round out the regular season with two home matches against Loyola Marymount.

HAWAI‘I CAPTURES EIGHTH-STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT TITLE – In a rematch of the 2006 championship, the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine captured their eighth-straight WAC Tournament championship after a thrilling five-game match against the host and second-seeded New Mexico State Aggies. This was just the third WAC Tournament title match that was decided in five games, dating back to 1998 when Hawai’i defeated BYU. The Rainbow Wahine were led by the outside hitting duo of Jamie Houston and Aneli Cubi-Otineru. Houston had 22 kills and three blocks and Cubi-Otineru had 17 kills and 20 kills. With the win, Hawai’i receives the WAC automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament and awaits its seeding and opponent, which will be determined during the selection show on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 8:00 p.m. ET.

All-Tournament Team
Keri Anglin, MB, Sr., San Jose State
Stephanie Brandt, So., Hawai`i
Karly Sipherd, MB, Sr., Nevada
Amber Simpson, MB, Jr., New Mexico State
Kim Oguh, MB, Sr., New Mexico State
*Jamie Houston, LS, Jr., Hawai’i
Aneli Cubi-Otineru, LS, So., Hawai’i
Krystal Torres, L, Sr., New Mexico State

*Tournament MVP

WAC TOURNAMENT RECORDS –  A couple of records were broken at the 2007 WAC Volleyball Tournament. Nevada’s Lauren Kelly tied the record for service aces in a match with five against Idaho in the quarterfinals. Hawai‘i set the record for fewest kills allowed when it allowed only 19 kills by Boise State in the quarterfinals.

REGULAR SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE –  This week, the regular season comes to a close with only three teams in action. WAC Tournament Champions Hawai‘i will host Loyola Marymount twice. Fresno State will play in the UPO Banker’s Classic in Stockton, while Idaho will play in the CSUN I&L Freemont Tournament in Northridge.

TOURNEY TIME –  This year’s NCAA Selection Show is set for Sunday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU as a 30 minute program.  Hawai‘i has already advanced to its 26th NCAA Tournament.

UTAH STATE STOPS STREAK –  Utah State notched its biggest win of the 2007 season Nov. 11 with a shocking three-game sweep against No. 10 Hawai’i (30-28, 31-29, 30-27) at the Stan Sheriff Center. With the win, Utah State concluded its regular season with a 17-12 record, and finishes in third-place in the Western Athletic Conference with an 11-5 league record.

Hawai’i, who finished its regular season at 21-5, including a 15-1 league mark, had won 97 straight WAC matches at home and was 169-2 (.988) in WAC play since joining the league for volleyball in 1996. Utah State entered the match against Hawai’i having lost 20 straight contests to the Rainbow Wahine. 

The win for the Aggies was its first over a ranked opponent since it defeated then 24th-ranked UC Santa Barbara in five games on Sept. 15, 2005. The last time Utah State defeated a team ranked in the top 10 was on Sept. 12, 2000 when it beat then 10th-ranked BYU in three games in Logan.

HAWAI‘I CLINCHES WAC REGULAR SEASON TITLE – With Head Coach Dave Shoji missing the match with a stomach flu, the No. 11 University of Hawai`i Rainbow Wahine (20-4, 14-0 WAC) swept the Fresno State Bulldogs (5-21, 3-11) 30-26, 30-25 and 30-23, clinching their 12th-straight Western Athletic Conference title, at the Save Mart Center.
 Many of UH’s players had contracted the same stomach flu that kept Shoji in Reno. The team was also delayed for two hours on the flight from Reno to San Francisco, before flying over to Fresno for the match. The team finally got into their hotel just three hours before match time.

Aneli Cubi-Otineru played through, hitting .385 with 14 kills and 13 digs. Jamie Houston added 17 kills and 15 digs while Elizabeth Ka`aihue led all players with 16 digs. Juliana Sanders put up nine kills and six blocks while Tara Hittle had six kills, 11 digs and three blocks.

ERICSON OVER 1,500 CAREER KILLS AND COUNTING – Nevada senior outside hitter Teal Ericson ends the regular season second in career kills at Nevada with 1540, passing Michelle More’s (1999-02) total of 1,512 career kills. Ericson had 31 kills in last week’s two matches in the WAC Tournament. The senior had 21 kills in the four-game win against Idaho and 10 in the three-game loss to Hawai‘i.

BOSTIC EARNS ANOTHER ACADEMIC HONOR  – New Mexico State senior Jordan Bostic of the nationally ranked NMSU volleyball team was selected to the 2007 ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District XI volleyball team announced Thursday morning by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). This is the third consecutive year Bostic has been named to the All-District XI team. Bostic is majoring in journalism and mass communications and has a 4.00 GPA.

Bostic (El Paso, Franklin HS) has been a key reserve for the No. 13 NMSU volleyball team this season as she played in all 26 matches and has come up with 60 digs and for service aces.   Bostic was also named to the All-WAC Academic team in 2005 and 2006.  She has the sixth most digs in a season with 463 in 2005 and is sixth on the career digs list as an Aggie.  Bostic will now move on to the Academic All-American ballot which will be released later this month.

FOURTH TIME IS A CHARM – Nevada middle blocker Karly Sipherd earned her fourth all-WAC honors after being named to the first team.She was the only member on this year’s team to have earned the honor four-straight years. Sipherd became the 11th player in WAC history to earn all-WAC honors all four years. She was also the first Nevada player to earn the honor after Michelle More and Tristin Johnson were both three-time honorees.

IN THE POLLS – New Mexico State is  No. 14 this week in the AVCA/CSTV poll, and is ranked No. 13 for the third-straight week in the poll.  The Rainbow Wahine are ranked No. 11 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll this week. Hawai‘i has enjoyed a successful run of 232-consecutive weeks in the poll, dating back to 1992, appearing in 361 of the 365 (.989) polls all-time. UH is third in poll appearances, behind only Nebraska and Stanford, who have both appeared in all 365 polls.

WAC IN THE NCAA STATS – No. 13 New Mexico State ranks 11th in the nation in assists per game, averaging 15.61 and 11th in the nation in kills per game, averaging 16.95. Hawai‘i’s Jamie Houston ranks fifth in the nation in kills per game (5.38), followed by Idaho’s Haley Larsen at No. 6, averaging 5.38 kills per game.

PACKING THE STANDS – Hawai‘i is well on their way to leading the nation in attendance for the 13th-consecutive season, averaging 6,070 per match, 629 higher than the next closest team, Wisconsin. UH was a part of NCAA women’s volleyball history this season, when they played in front of a sold-out crowd of 13,396 at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb., vs. Nebraska (Oct. 21), the largest regular season crowd of all time.The Rainbow Wahine have played in front of 18 of the 30 most highly attended matches of the collegiate volleyball season, counting their 17 home matches and their road match at Nebraska, while their two matches at New Mexico State also rank in the top 61. New Mexico State is 16th in the nation attendance with a total of 23,208 fans for an average of 1,785 per match.

SIPHERD REACHES 500 CAREER BLOCKS IN RECORD SETTING MATCH –  Nevada senior middle blocker Karly Sipherd had a career match Oct. 30 at Sacramento State with 29 kills, nine blocks and a .490 attack percentage. Sipherd headed into the match needing five blocks to reach 500 for her career and surpassed that total after finishing with nine. She ranks second in school history to former teammate Salaia Salave`a’s (2002-05) 540 as the two are the only players in school history to reach the 500 career plateau.

Since that match Sipherd has added to the total blocks (532). She holds the school mark with 482 blocks assists, and is eighth with 50 solo blocks. One more solo block would tie her for seventh with Jill Everts (1991-92).

NEVADA’S ERICSON APPEARS IN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED FACES IN THE CROWD – Nevada senior outside hitter Teal Ericson has added another honor after being named the Oct. 15 Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National and WAC Player of the Week as she appears in the lastest issue of Sports Illustrated in the Faces in the Crowd section.  In the Wolf Pack’s match against Fresno State, Ericson hit .500 on 24 kills, while also tallying three digs and one block assist in the 3-0 win. Against Utah State, she garnered 14 kills, three digs and three block assists to lead her team to its second sweep in a row. She combined for 38 kills on the weekend, moving her into fourth on the Wolf Pack’s all-time kills list with 1,348. For the week, Ericson averaged a .433 hitting percentage, 6.33 kills and 6.67 points per game. Ericson is the second player from Nevada to earn the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week honors, and the first since Michele More on September 3, 2002. The WAC honor was the third for Ericson with the other two coming last season.

REGIONAL SITES SELECTED  -  The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee has announced the following sites for regional competition of the 2007 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.

Regionals (4) December 7-8, 2007
Host: University of Florida
Stephen C. O’Connell Center
Gainesville, Florida

Host: Pennsylvania State University
Rec Hall
University Park, Pennsylvania

Host: Stanford University
Maples Pavilion
Stanford, California

Host: University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Field House
Madison, Wisconsin

Boise State Broncos (6-23, 2-14 WAC)
Boise State ended the 2007 season with a loss to top-seeded Hawai‘i in the WAC Tournament ... the Broncos had the tough task of playing two matches in a day ... to start the tournament, Boise State defeated Louisiana Tech in five games before being swept by the Rainbow Wahine ... freshman Lauren Hamm is fourth in the WAC in digs per game (4.37) and  seventh in service aces per game (0.30) ... after winning 13 matches in 2006, the Broncos took a slight step backwards winning only six matches in 2007.

Fresno State Bulldogs (5-24, 3-13 WAC)
The Bulldogs finish the season at the University of the Pacific Banker’s Classic, Nov. 23-24 in Stockton, Calif. ... tournament teams include Pacfic, Fresno State, Saint Mary’s and Cincinnati ... for the fourth-consecutive season, a Fresno State volleyball player has been named to the WAC all-Freshman team as outside hitter Tairyn Rasmussen was selected by the coaches and announced as one of six freshmen on the team at the WAC banquet Nov. 14 in Las Cruces, N.M. ... senior outside hitter Alisha McKee was named to the second team all-WAC, the first such honor for the Bulldogs in two years.

Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (24-5, 15-1 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine won their eighth-straight WAC Tournament in a thrilling five-game match against host and second seed New Mexico State ... Hawai‘i earns the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament ... this is the Rainbow Wahine’s 26th appearance in the NCAA Tournament ... Hawai‘i has one more week of the regular season before NCAA selections ... this week, the Rainbow Wahine close out the regular season with two matches at home against Loyola Marymount .. Hawai‘i had its streak of 97 home WAC wins broken by Utah State on Nov. 11 to end the regular season.

Idaho Vandals  (13-15, 9-7 WAC)
Idaho’s season continues next week when the Vandals head to the CSUN Fremont I & L Tournament at Northridge, Calif. ... the Vandals will face Cal State Fullerton, Friday (Nov. 23), at 4 p.m. and Cal State Northridge, Saturday (Nov. 24), at 7 p.m. ... junior outside hitter Haley Larsen earned first team all-WAC honors and junior middle blocker Sarah Loney was selected to the all-WAC second team  ... Larsen earned her third-consecutive all-WAC honor but this is her first selection to the first team ... Larsen is tied for first in the WAC in kills per game, averaging 5.38 kpg ... she has 559 kills so far this season.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (6-24, 1-15 WAC)
The Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters closed the 2007 season out with a five-game loss to the Boise State Broncos on Nov. 15 at the 2007 WAC Tournament ... the Lady Techsters won the exact same number of overall matches (6) but won one more conference match (1) than last sesaon ... Louisiana Tech finished ninth in the WAC for the third-straight season ... in 2004, the Lady Techsters finished fifth in the Eastern Division ... the Lady Techsters had their best season in the WAC in 2003 when they finished third in the Eastern Division with four conference wins.

Nevada Wolf Pack (16-11, 10-6 WAC)
Senior middle blocker Karly Sipherd was selected to the WAC all-Tournamen team for the third time in her four seasons ... Sipherd also earned her fourth all-WAC honors after being named to the first team ... she was the only member on this year’s team to have earned the honor four-straight years .. Sipherd became the 11th player in WAC history to earn all-WAC honors all four years .. she was also the first Nevada player to earn the honor after Michelle More and Tristin Johnson were both three-time honorees ... Fourth-seeded Nevada defeated fifth-seeded Idaho, 3-1, in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament before falling to No. seed Hawai‘i, 0-3, in the semifinal round.

New Mexico State Aggies (26-5, 14-2 WAC)
For the second-straight season, New Mexico State fell to top-seeded Hawai‘i in the finals of the WAC Tournament ... for the first time, the Aggies were the host school ... the 2007 WAC all-Tournament team was announced at the conclusion of the match with Kim Oguh, Amber Simpson and Krystal Torres earning the honor ... Simpson leads the WAC in hitting percentage following the tournament, hitting .348 ... Oguh is fourth, hitting .330 ... the Aggies now await the NCAA Tournament selection show, Sunday, Nov. 25 ... as a team, the Aggies are first in the WAC in hitting percentage (.250), kills (16.95) and assists (15.61). 

San Jose State Spartans  (14-15, 7-9 WAC)
Keri Anglin recorded one of the best hitting matches of her San Jose State career and the Spartan volleyball team played tough with No. 13 New Mexico State in a semifinal match at the WAC Tournament ... however, the Aggies prevailed in the end with a 31-29, 31-29, 30-23, win on Nov. 16 at the Pan American Center ... Anglin hit .583 in her final match in a Spartan uniform ...  she led the team with 16 kills on 24 attempts and only two hitting errors ... Anglin was the only Spartan named to the all-tournament team.

Utah State Aggies (17-12, 11-5 WAC)
Utah State volleyball’s recent success streak came to a halt Thursday, as the third-seeded Aggies were upset by sixth-seeded San Jose State in five games in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament ... USU had won 15 of its last 21 matches to end the regular season, including upsetting No. 10 Hawai’i in three games Nov. 11, dealing the Rainbow Wahine their first home WAC loss ... head coach Grayson DuBose earned his first WAC Coach of the Year honor, while rookie Chelsea Fowles was named WAC Freshman of the Year  ...  Amanda Nielson was named to the all-WAC first team, while Danielle Taylor earned second-team honors.

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