This Week in WAC Volleyball - Sept. 7
Utah State junior outside hitter Liz McArthur has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5. This is the second WAC Player of the Week honor of the season and second of her career for McArthur.
The St. George, Utah (Snow Canyon HS) native was named the MVP of the Arizona State Sheraton Classic as she led Utah State to the tournament championship with wins against San Diego State, Seattle and the host Sun Devils. USU began the week by defeating Weber State in its home opener. McArthur posted double-digit kills in all four matches during the week, including 22 against Seattle. She also posted her second double-double of the season with 20 kills and 10 digs against San Diego State. For the week, McArthur hit .344 and averaged 4.67 kills 1.67 digs, 0.53 service aces and 0.40 blocks per set in helping USU improve to 6-0 on the season, its best start since the 1979 national runner-up team won its first 11 matches. The team is also receiving votes in the AVCA poll for the first time since the 2002 preseason poll, when it was ranked 36th.
Other nominees included: Alisha Young of Boise State averaged 4.09 kills, 1.09 blocks and 0.82 digs over three matches and was named to the all-tournament team at the Northwest Challenge … Fresno State’s Brianna Clarke recorded 25 kills on .479 hitting in two matches on the week … Brittany Hewitt of Hawai’i hit .500 with 2.54 kills and 1.77 blocks per set en route to all-tournament team honors at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic … Louisiana Tech’s Lori Hunsucker of was named to the all-tournament team at the Maverick Classic after averaging 4.71 digs per set over the four matches … Kylie Harrington of Nevada was named MVP of the Nevada Invitational after averaging 3.75 points, 3.33 kills and 2.08 digs … New Mexico State’s Kayleigh Giddens averaged 4.67 kills on .333 hitting and 3.00 digs in a pair of wins last week.
NUMEROUS WAC PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS LAST WEEKEND
The WAC had 12 of its players named to all-tournament teams last weekend, including two MVPs. Kylie Harrington of Nevada and Liz McArthur of Utah State were named MVP of their respective tournaments. Meanwhile, Breann Nesselhuf and Alisha Young of Boise State were named to the all-tournament team at the Northwest Classic. Hawai‘i’s Kanani Danielson and Brittany Hewitt were named to the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic all-tournament team, while Allison Walker of Idaho earned Bankers Classic all-tournament honors. Lori Hunsucker of Louisiana Tech was named to the UT-Arlington Maverick Classic all-tournament team, while Nevada’s Lindsay Baldwin and Tatiana Santiago earned spots on the Nevada Invitational all-tournament team. San Jose State’s Hanah Blume was named to the SJSU/SMC Tournament team, while Christine Morrill of Utah State was named to the Arizona State Sheraton Classic all-tournament team.
HAWAI‘I DROPS TO NO. 6, NM STATE, USU RECEIVING VOTES
After defeating Michigan State and New Mexico and falling in five sets to then-No. 10 USC, Hawai‘i dropped two spots to No. 6 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll released Monday. Meanwhile, Utah State and New Mexico State are receiving votes in the poll.
YOUNG SETS BOISE STATE RECORD FOR POINTS IN A MATCH
Alisha Young of Boise State set the school record for points in a match when she finished with 33.5 against Portland State on Sept. 4. The senior tallied a career-high 29 kills and eight blocks in the five-set win for the Broncos.
McARTHUR NAMED CVU NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State’s Liz McArthur was named the Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com) National Player of the Week for Aug. 31. A 6-1 junior outside hitter from St. George, Utah (Snow Canyon HS), McArthur was named MVP of the Utah Classic as she led Utah State to wins against UC Davis and Utah to claim the tournament championship. The road win against the Utes was USU’s first since the 1990 season, snapping a 13-match road-losing streak to Utah. Against UC Davis, McArthur had 19 kills and hit .500 (19-3-32). Against Utah, she tied her career high with 25 kills and added a career-high 15 digs for her first double-double of the season. She also hit .512 (25-3-43) in the match. For the tournament, McArthur hit .507 (44-6-75) and averaged 6.29 kills and 2.57 digs per set.
BUCHANAN EARNS 150TH CAREER WIN AGAINST WEBER STATE
Idaho head coach Debbie Buchanan earned her 150th career win last Friday when the Vandals defeated Weber State in the Nike Cougar Classic. In her 11th season at the helm, Buchanan is 151-150 (.502).
HEWITT BREAKS SCHOOL RALLY SCORING RECORD FOR BLOCKS
Hawai’i sophomore middle blocker Brittany Hewitt broke the school rally scoring record with 16 blocks in the season-opener vs. San Diego. It was also tied for the third highest block total in any match in school history.
RAINBOW WAHINE LEAD NATION IN ATTENDANCE
After the first two weeks of the 2010 season, Hawai’i leads the nation in attendance with an average of 6,518 fans per match, more than 2,800 fans ahead of the second-place team, Colorado State (3,710). The Rainbow Wahine have led the nation in average attendance in each of the last 16 seasons.
WAC STAT LEADERS
In team statistics, Utah State leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.285), assists (12.86), kills (14.09) and service aces (1.64). Fresno State is tops in blocks (2.95), while Idaho leads the league in digs (16.29). New Mexico State currently leads the WAC in opponent hitting percentage (.139).
Individually, Utah State’s Liz McArthur leads the WAC in kills (5.18) and points (5.75), while New Mexico State’s Kelsey Brennan is tops in hitting percentage (.463). Breann Nesselhuf of Boise State leads the league in assists (11.23), while Hawai’i’s Brittany Hewitt leads the WAC in blocks (1.88). Chelsea Fowles of Utah State leads the WAC in service aces (0.41), while Lori Hunsucker of Louisiana Tech and Courtney Zellmer of San Jose State are tops in digs (5.00).
2010 WAC TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO LAS VEGAS
The 2010 WAC Volleyball Tournament will be held Nov. 22-24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., 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 through each institution’s ticket office. For more information on the WAC Volleyball Tournament, visit www.wacsports.com.
2010 WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Monday, Nov. 22 (Quarterfinals)
No. 3 Seed vs. No. 6 Seed, 5 p.m.
No. 4 Seed vs. No. 5 Seed, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 23 (Semifinals)
Winner Match 1 vs. No. 2 seed, 5 p.m.
Winner Match 2 vs. No. 1 Seed, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 24 (Championship)
Winner Match 3 vs. Winner Match 4, 6:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
FOUR REGULAR-SEASON MATCHES TO AIR ON ESPNU
ESPNU will televise four regular-season matches this season and five total, as it will also air the championship match of the WAC Tournament.
The complete schedule of 2010 WAC volleyball matches that will air on ESPNU is listed below.
Wednesday, Sept. 29, Hawai‘i at New Mexico State, 8 p.m. (MT)
Wednesday, Oct. 6, Utah State at Idaho, 7 p.m. (PT)
Thursday, Oct. 21, Hawai‘i at Idaho, 8 p.m. (PT)
Monday, Oct. 25, Hawai‘i at Utah State, 8 p.m. (MT)
Wednesday, Nov. 25, WAC Tournament Championship Match, 6:30 p.m. (PT)
FRESNO STATE EARNS AVCA TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD
Fresno State was the only WAC team to earn the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 season. In order to receive the recognition, a team must average at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average.
Both NCAA Division I (94) and NCAA Division II (55) recorded their highest-ever total numbers of recipients. There were 119 first-time recipients of the AVCA Team Academic Award in 2009-10, with Fresno State being one of those teams.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (4-2, 0-0 WAC)
The Broncos went 2-1 at the Northwest Challenge last weekend, falling 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 12-25) to No. 9 Washington and defeating Gonzaga (25-17, 25-18, 25-19) and Portland State (25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13) ... Alisha Young and Breann Nesselhuf were named to the all-tournament team. Young averaged 4.09 kills on .399 hitting, 1.09 blocks and 0.82 digs per set over the three matches, while Nesselhuf averaged 11.09 assists, 1.73 digs, 0.91 blocks and 0.55 kills per set … Young posted a career-high 29 kills and set the program record for points in a match (33.5) against Portland State ... The Broncos host Utah Valley on Tuesday, play at Weber State on Wednesday and travel to Laramie, Wyo., for the Cowgirl Classic this weekend, where they will face UT-Arlington, Portland and host Wyoming.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (2-3, 0-0 WAC)
Fresno State went 1-1 last week, defeating Air Force 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 25-13) before falling 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 16-25, 19-25) to Utah Valley ... Against the Falcons, Brianna Clarke had 17 kills on 23 attacks with no errors for a .739 hitting percentage, the second-best clip in a rally scoring match in Fresno State history ... Clarke also paced the team with eight blocks against Air Force ...
As a team, Fresno State leads the WAC with 2.95 blocks per set ... Clarke is second in the WAC with 1.58 blocks per set ... The Bulldogs host Fresno Pacific for an exhibition match on Wednesday, then participate in the Hilton Garden Inn Classic in Berkeley, Calif., this weekend, where they will face Seton Hall, UC Davis and No. 10 California.
HAWAI‘I RAINBOW WAHINE (5-1, 0-0 WAC)
Hawai‘i went 2-1 at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Classic last weekend, defeating Michigan State (25-18, 31-33, 24-26, 25-20, 15-11) and New Mexico (25-15, 25-14, 25-21), before falling to No. 10 USC (23-25, 25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 7-15) ... Kanani Danielson and Brittany Hewitt were named to the all-tournament team. Danielson averaged 4.85 kills, 2.77 digs and 0.77 blocks per set, while Hewitt averaged 2.54 kills on .500 hitting and 1.77 blocks per set ... Against New Mexico, Elizabeth Ka‘aihue became the 12th player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-dig plateau ... Against USC, Hewitt posted career highs in both kills (18) and hitting percentage (.708), adding 10 blocks for her second career double-double ... The Rainbow Wahine host San Diego State, UC Irvine and Saint Mary’s in the Honolulu Advertiser Challenge this weekend.
IDAHO VANDALS (2-3, 0-0 WAC)
The Vandals dropped both matches at the Community Bankers Classic last weekend, falling to Santa Clara (23-25, 25-23, 21-25, 23-25) and Pacific (20-25, 19-25, 20-25) ... Of their six set losses last week, Idaho failed to reach 20 points in only one ... Sophomore setter Jenny Feicht, in her first year as a starter, recorded her 500th career assist vs. Santa Clara and finished the weekend with 566 for her career ... Idaho will be at home for the first time this season with three home matches this week against Cal Poly on Thursday, Eastern Washington on Friday and Montana State on Sunday.
LOUISIANA TECH LADY TECHSTERS (3-4, 0-0 WAC)
Louisiana Tech went 2-2 at the Maverick Classic last weekend, falling to UT-Arlington (20-25, 19-25, 23-25) and Mississippi State (21-25, 12-25, 16-25) and defeating Texas-Pan American (24-26, 25-16, 25-20, 12-25, 15-9) and Arkansas-Little Rock (25-17, 25-14, 25-20) ... Lori Hunsucker was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 4.71 digs ... Taylor Fritz recorded her first double-double of the season with 16 kills and 11 digs vs. UTPA ... The win over UALR snapped a 10-match losing skid to the Trojans ... Hunsucker leads the WAC this season with 5.00 digs per set ... With 314 career blocks, Kara Jones needs three more to crack the Top 5 all-time at LA Tech ... The Lady Techsters host Jackson State on Tuesday and host the LA Tech Tournament this weekend, where they will face Grambling State, Southeastern Louisiana and Centenary.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (4-2, 0-0 WAC)
Nevada went 3-0 to claim the title at the Nevada Invitational last weekend, defeating Weber State (25-17, 25-20, 25-22), Belmont (25-14, 20-25, 25-18, 25-19) and Notre Dame (23-25, 25-22, 11-25, 25-16, 15-12) ... Kylie Harrington was named MVP of the tournament after averaging 3.33 kills and 2.08 digs per set and posting a pair of double-doubles ... Lindsay Baldwin and Tatiana Santiago were also named to the all-tournament team. Baldwin averaged 2.33 kills on .407 hitting and 1.17 blocks per set, while Santiago averaged 9.00 assists, 1.25 digs and 0.75 blocks per set ... Janelle Batista ranks fifth in the WAC in blocks (1.00), while Baldwin is sixth in hitting percentage (.349) ... The Wolf Pack host the Wolf Pack Invitational this weekend, where they will face Northern Arizona, No. 24 Arizona and Pacific.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (4-1, 0-0 WAC)
New Mexico State went 2-0 last week, sweeping Cal State Bakersfield (25-13, 25-15, 25-11) and UTEP (25-15, 25-23, 25-13) ... Kayleigh Giddens tallied her second double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs vs. CSUB ... Giddens also posted a match-high 17 kills against UTEP ... With the win over the Miners, the Aggies extended their winning streak over UTEP to 11 matches ... The Aggies have swept three of five opponents this season ... NM State is out-digging its opponents 13.4 to 10.8, while also averaging more kills than its opponents (13.1 to 10.4) ... As a team, the Aggies lead the WAC in opponent hitting percentage (.139) ... New Mexico State plays at UTEP on Tuesday, then travel to Baton Rouge, La., for the LSU Tournament this weekend, where they will face Rice, North Carolina and No. 21 LSU.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (1-5, 0-0 WAC)
San Jose State went 1-2 at the SJSU/SMC Tournament, falling to host Saint Mary’s (7-25, 15-25, 25-23, 16-25) and No. 14 UCLA (13-25, 18-25, 17-25) before sweeping UC Riverside (25-21, 25-16, 34-32) ... Hanah Blume was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 2.90 kills and 2.00 digs per set over the three matches ... Blume posted her first collegiate double-double with 14 kills and added 13 digs vs. UCR ... Courtney Zellmer currently leads the WAC with 5.00 digs per set ... The Spartans play a single match at Sacramento State on Tuesday, then host the San Jose State Tournament this weekend, where they will face Portland State, Seattle and Cal State Bakersfield.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (6-0, 0-0 WAC)
Utah State defeated Weber State (25-17, 25-19, 25-16) last Tuesday, then won the Arizona State Sheraton Classic last weekend, defeating San Diego State (25-23, 25-14, 26-28, 28-26), Seattle (25-20, 25-14, 20-25, 14-25, 15-11) and Arizona State (25-18, 25-22, 25-17) ... Liz McArthur was named tournament MVP after averaging 4.92 kills on .357 hitting, 1.42 digs and 0.25 service aces per set ... Christine Morrill was also named to the all-tournament team after averaging 4.83 digs per set ... McArthur posted her second double-double of the season with 20 kills and 10 digs vs. SDSU ... The 6-0 start is the Aggies’ best since the 1979 season ... Utah State is receiving votes in the AVCA poll for the first time since 2002 ... The Aggies travel to Missoula, Mont., for the Montana Invitational this weekend, where they will face Temple, North Dakota and host Montana.