This Week in WAC Volleyball - Oct. 20
The Broncos defeated Idaho in four sets (26-24, 28-26, 24-26, 25-20) last Monday, fell at Nevada (25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 11-25) on Thursday and at Fresno State (25-19, 21-25, 18-25, 25-20, 10-15) on Saturday ... The win over Idaho was the Broncos’ first over the Vandals since 1999 ... In the win over the Vandals, Alisha King and Cailin Fellows paced the Broncos with 13 and 12 kills, respectively ... Amanda Remy had a near double-double with nine kills and a match-leading 20 digs ... In the loss to the Wolf Pack, Sadie Maughan just missed a double-double with 13 kills and nine blocks ... In the loss to the Bulldogs, three players - Maughan (13), King (12) and Elizabeth Griffin - reached double-digit kills ... The Broncos host Utah State on Thursday and Nevada on Saturday.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (11-8, 4-3 WAC)
The Bulldogs fell at Utah State (25-23, 20-25, 20-25, 18-25) last Thursday before defeating Boise State in five sets (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 20-25, 15-10) on Saturday ... In the loss to the Aggies, Kelly Leonardo led the team with 10 kills and Kelly Mason had 12 digs ... Baylee Platt had a match-high 15 kills in the win over the Broncos ... With the win over Boise State, the ‘Dogs swept the regular-season series from the Broncos for the first time since 2003 ... With four WAC wins, Fresno State has its most conference victories since the 2004 season ... Brianna Clarke currently ranks 15th nationally in blocks per set (1.33), while Fresno State ranks 37th as a team with a 2.50 average ... The Bulldogs play at New Mexico State on Thursday in a nationally-televised match on ESPNU and at Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
HAWAI‘I RAINBOW WAHINE (17-2, 8-0 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine defeated New Mexico State in four sets (25-13, 22-25, 25-21, 25-8) on Saturday, giving head coach Dave Shoji his 1,000th career win ... Shoji is just the fourth women’s volleyball coach and second Division I coach ever to surpass the 1,000-win mark ... Kanani Danielson had a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs, while Aneli Cubi-Otineru had 15 kills, nine digs and four aces ... Elizabeth Ka’aihue had a season-high 25 digs in the win ... The Rainbow Wahine swept Louisiana Tech (25-12, 25-8, 25-17) on Monday ... Danielson posted her fourth double-double of the season and second in a row, finishing with 11 kills and 10 digs ... Amber Kaufman had eight kills on eight attempts with zero errors for a 1.000 hitting percentage ... The Broncos host BYU-Hawaii on Saturday in their only remaining match this week.
IDAHO VANDALS (9-11, 5-3 WAC)
The Vandals fell in four sets (24-26, 26-28, 26-24, 20-25) at Boise State last Monday before sweeping Nevada (25-23, 25-22, 25-22) on the road on Saturday ... In the loss to the Broncos, Debbie Pederson posted her first double-double of the season with 13 kills and 11 blocks ... In the win over Nevada, Sarah Conwell led the team with 17 kills ... The Vandals defeated Utah State in five sets (24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 15-9) in a nationally-televised match on ESPNU on Monday ... Conwell posted 28 kills, 14 digs and eight blocks, while Anna McKinney tallied 11 kills and 11 blocks for her first double-double of the season ...The Vandals tallied a season-best 20.5 blocks in the win ... Idaho ranks second nationally in blocks per set (3.04), while McKinney (1.44) and Pederson (1.34) are 11th and 28th, respectively ... The Vandals host Nevada on Thursday and Utah State on Saturday.
LOUISIANA TECH LADY TECHSTERS (12-12, 2-6 WAC)
The Lady Techsters fell in five sets (25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 25-21, 12-15) at San Jose State on Saturday ... Kara Jones recorded 15 kills and seven blocks, including two solo ... KC Clayton also had 15 kills to go along with five blocks ... Libero Lori Hunsucker posted a match-high 20 digs in the loss ... The Techsters fell in three sets at Hawai’i (12-25, 8-25, 17-25) on Monday in a match that was postponed due to weather issues last Thursday that prevented Louisiana Tech from making it to Honolulu ... The team posted season lows in hitting percentage (-.032), kills (16) and assists (16) ... Jones now has a WAC-best 23 solo blocks this season ... The Techsters host San Jose State on Thursday and Fresno State on Saturday.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (7-13, 3-4 WAC)
The Wolf Pack defeated Boise State last Thursday (21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-11) and fell in three sets (23-25, 22-25, 22-25) to Idaho on Saturday ... Elissa Ji paced Nevada with 14 kills, while Lindsay Baldwin added 12 ... Nicole Link posted a match-high 22 digs ... The loss to Idaho snapped a season-high two match win streak for the Wolf Pack ... Kylie Harrington leads the Pack with five double-doubles on the season ... Harrington has led or tied for the team lead in kills in 15 of 20 matches ... Five different players - Baldwin, Harrington, Ji, Tatiana Santiago and Sonnie Sei - have recorded a double-double this season ... Nevada is 5-0 in five set matches and 0-9 in three-set matches this season ... The Wolf Pack play at Idaho on Thursday and at Boise State on Saturday.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (11-7, 6-2 WAC)
The Aggies were swept (18-25, 21-25, 23-25) by instate rival New Mexico last Tuesday, defeated San Jose State (25-11, 25-16, 19-25, 25-23) on Thursday and fell in four sets (13-25, 25-22, 21-25, 8-25) at No. 3 Hawai’i on Saturday ... In the win over San Jose State, Kayleigh Giddens posted her third double-double of the season, finishing with 13 kills and 10 digs ... In the loss at Hawai’i, the team posted its second-lowest hitting percentage of the season (.061) ... It was also the first time all season that NM State failed to have a service ace ... In both the SJSU and UH matches, the Aggies had 16 blocks ... NM State is holding its opponents to a .166 hitting percentage on the year ... The Aggies host Fresno State in front of a national television audience on ESPNU Thursday and San Jose State on Saturday.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (1-16, 1-5 WAC)
The Spartans fell in five sets (27-25, 25-18, 21-25, 18-25, 10-15) to Sacramento State last Tuesday, fell in four sets (11-25, 16-25, 25-19, 23-25) to New Mexico State on Thursday and picked up their first win of the season over Louisiana Tech in five sets (23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12) on Saturday ...Caitlin Andrade posted three double-doubles on the week and now has six in a row, dating back to Sept. 26 ... Against Sacramento State, she just missed a triple-double, finishing with 46 assists, a season-best 18 digs and eight kills ... Andrade then had 33 assists and 16 digs in the loss to NM State ... In the win over LA Tech, she posted career highs of 54 assists and four service aces to go with 15 digs and five kills ... The Spartans play at Louisiana Tech on Thursday and at New Mexico State on Saturday.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (12-9, 3-5 WAC)
The Aggies defeated Utah Valley in five sets (25-19, 19-25, 25-19, 16-25, 15-10) last Tuesday and beat Fresno State in four sets (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18) on Thursday ... Three Aggies posted double-doubles against the Wolverines, as Liz McArthur had 19 kills and 10 digs, Chelsea Fowles tallied 51 assists and 12 digs, and Emily Kortsen finished with 12 kills and 10 digs ... In the win over the Bulldogs, Kortsen and McArthur each had double-doubles, as Kortsen had 11 ills and 15 digs and McArthur finished with 18 kills and 10 digs ... The Aggies fell in five sets (26-24, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25, 9-15) to Idaho on ESPNU Monday night ... Kortsen posted her fifth double-double in the last six matches with 12 kills and 13 digs, while Fowles had 51 assists and 13 digs ... The Aggies play at Boise State on Thursday and at Idaho on Saturday.
SJSU’S ANDRADE EARNS WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
San Jose State freshman setter Caitlin Andrade has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 12-18. This is the first-ever WAC Player of the Week honor for Andrade.
The Kailua, Hawai’i (Kamehameha HS), native tallied 133 assists, 49 digs, 14 kills and eight service aces over three matches as the Spartans picked up their first win of the season. Andrade posted three double-doubles on the week and has six consecutive dating back to Sept. 26. In the first match of the week against Sacramento State, she just missed a triple-double, finishing with 46 assists, a season-best 18 digs and eight kills. Andrade followed that up with 33 assists and 16 digs in a loss to New Mexico State. The sophomore saved her best for last as she posted career highs of 54 assists and four service aces to go with 15 digs and five kills on 10 attempts and no errors in a five-set win over Louisiana Tech, San Jose State’s its first victory of the season. For the week, Andrade averaged 9.50 assists, 3.50 digs, 1.00 kills on .323 hitting and 0.57 service aces.
Other nominees included: Kelli Parker of Fresno State averaged 2.22 kills and 0.89 digs as the Bulldogs went 1-1 … Hawai’i’s Aneli Cubi-Otineru averaged 3.75 kills, 2.25 digs and 1.00 service aces as the Rainbow Wahine defeated New Mexico State to give head coach Dave Shoji his 1,000th career win … Anna McKinney of Idaho averaged 2.43 kills and 1.29 blocks per set … Louisiana Tech’s Kara Jones tallied 15 kills and seven blocks in Tech’s only match last week … Erin Garvey of Nevada averaged 2.43 kills and 2.71 points per set … New Mexico State’s Kayleigh Giddens averaged 2.55 kills, 1.82 digs and 0.64 blocks ... Emily Kortsen of Utah State averaged 2.56 kills, 2.78 digs and 0.89 blocks in a pair of wins.
SHOJI EARNS 1,000TH CAREER VICTORY
Hawai’i head coach Dave Shoji became just the fourth women’s volleyball coach ever and only the second Division I coach to reach 1,000 wins when his team defeated New Mexico State in three sets last Saturday. At the Division I level, Shoji trails only UCLA’s Andy Banachowski (1,082) in victories. Shoji has led his team to 14 consecutive conference titles and appearances in 10 of the last 11 NCAA regionals.
IDAHO WINS FIRST OF FOUR ESPNU BROADCAST MATCHES
Idaho defeated Utah State in five sets (24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 15-9) Monday night in the first of four ESPNU broadcasts this season. The remaining WAC ESPNU schedule this season is as follows:
Thursday, Oct. 22 Fresno State at New Mexico State 9 p.m. (MT)
Thursday, Oct. 29 Hawai’i at Fresno State 8:30 p.m. (PT)
Wednesday, Nov. 25 WAC Tournament Championship Match 6:30 p.m. (PT)
HAWAI‘I REMAINS AT NO. 3 IN NATIONAL POLL
For the second-consecutive week, Hawai’i is ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) national poll. It is the highest ranking for the Rainbow Wahine since Dec. 6, 2004, when Hawai’i was No. 2. The Rainbow Wahine currently come in at 22 in the RPI.
WAC IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As a team, Idaho currently leads the nation with 3.10 blocks per set. The Vandals are one of four WAC teams ranked in the Top 50 as New Mexico State (19th, 2.68), Hawai’i (27th, 2.59) and Utah State (39th, 2.48) are also ranked.
In other statistics, the Rainbow Wahine are fifth in hitting percentage (.299), ninth in winning percentage (.889), 21st in service aces (1.75), 25th in kills (13.95) and 27th in assists (12.93). New Mexico State is 40th in kills per set with a 13.68 average.
Five WAC players rank in the Top 50 nationally in blocks per set, led by Hawai’i’s Brittany Hewitt in third place with a 1.54 average. Idaho’s Anna McKinney is 10th with a 1.43 average, followed by teammate Debbie Pederson (1.41). Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke is in 24th place with a 1.33, while Kelsey Brennan of New Mexico State rounds out the group in 34th place (1.28).
Hawai’i has several players in the Top 50 in other statistical categories. Amber Kaufman is sixth in hitting percentage (.432) and 42nd in service aces per set (0.42). Aneli Cubi-Otineru ranks seventh in service aces per set (0.59), while Dani Mafua is 14th in assists per set (11.52). Meanwhile, Brittany Hewitt is 37th in hitting percentage (.373).
HAWAI’I LEADS NATION IN ATTENDANCE
The Rainbow Wahine currently lead the nation in attendance with an average of 6,363 fans per match, ahead of Nebraska’s 5,308 average. In addition, all 16 of Hawai’i’s home matches this season rank in the Top 25 highest attended for the year, including seven of the Top 10.
New Mexico State ranks 13th nationally with a 2,029 average, while Idaho is 37th (1,010) and Fresno State is 43rd (940).
UH RECORDS PROGRAM’S 1,000TH WIN
Hawai’i’s victory over Stanford on Sept. 12 was the program’s 1,000th win since it began playing a Division I schedule in 1974. The Rainbow Wahine have won four national titles in that span and participated in 27 NCAA Tournaments.
HAWAI‘I FAVORED IN WAC PRESEASON POLL
Hawai‘i was selected in a poll by the league’s coaches to defend its crown in 2009 and take home its 14th-straight regular-season title. The Rainbow Wahine received eight of the nine first-place votes, with New Mexico State earning the other first-place vote. Hawai‘i earned 64 total points followed by NM State with 57. Utah State was picked to finish third (45), followed by Idaho in fourth (41). Nevada was picked fifth (37), while Fresno State was sixth (29), just ahead of San Jose State (28). Boise State (12) and Louisiana Tech (11) rounded out the poll.
Hawai‘i sophomore Kanani Danielson was named WAC Preseason Player of the Year. This is the fifth-straight season that a Rainbow Wahine player has earned the preseason honor with All-Americans Kanoe Kamana’o (2005, 2006) and Jamie Houston (2007, 2008) each earning the honor in back-to-back years.
Hawai‘i placed the most student-athletes on the 12-player team with five. Along with Danielson, seniors Aneli Cubi-Otineru and Amber Kaufman, junior Dani Mafua and sophomore Stephanie Ferrell earned preseason honors. Cubi-Otineru and Kaufman were all first-team all-WAC selections in 2008, while Mafua was a second-team pick and Ferrell was on the All-Freshman Team.
Nevada placed two players on the preseason team in juniors Lindsay Baldwin and Kylie Harrington, as did New Mexico State with seniors Krista Altermatt and Kelli Goodan. Utah State also had two selections in juniors Chelsea Fowles and Christine Morrill. Senior Anna McKinney of Idaho rounded out the preseason squad.
2009 WAC TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD IN LAS VEGAS
The 2009 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 23-25, at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas and will include the top six teams in the regular-season standings. The championship match will be televised live on ESPNU.
All-session tickets are $45 and can be purchased over the phone (888-234-2334) or online (www.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/wac-volleyball-tournament).
Fans traveling to Las Vegas are encouraged to stay at the Orleans Hotel and Casino. Rates are $90 per night Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, and $35 per night Sunday-Wednesday, Nov. 22-25, single or double occupancy, plus room tax and Resort Fee. For reservations, please call (800) 657-3267 and request WAC Volleyball Championship Fan Block or Group Code 9WACC11.
Hawai‘i and Brigham Young are the only teams to have claimed the WAC Tournament title in the event’s 11 years. The Rainbow Wahine own the most titles with nine, including the last eight in a row.
The WAC Volleyball Tournament is a single-elimination event with the top two seeds receiving first-round byes and the champion earning the conference’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
2009 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Monday, Nov. 23 (Quarterfinals)
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed 5 p.m.
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 24 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed 5 p.m.
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 25 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
*times local and subject to change
RETURNING ALL-WAC PLAYERS
Of the 12 first-team all-WAC players in 2008, five returned for the 2009 season, including three from Hawai‘i, Aneli Cubi-Otineru, Kanani Danielson and Amber Kaufman. Krista Altermatt of New Mexico State and Lindsay Baldwin of Nevada also return from the first team. Eight of the second-team all-WAC performers return this season, including Katie Astle, Chelsea Fowles and Christine Morrill of Utah State. The other returning second-team honorees are Kylie Harrington of Nevada, Dani Mafua of Hawai‘i, Sadie Maughan of Boise State and Anna McKinney of Idaho.