This Week in WAC Volleyball - Sept. 14
Hawai`i junior outside hitter Kanani Danielson has been named Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 6-12. This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor of the season and seventh of her career for Danielson.
The ‘Ewa Beach, O’ahu (Kamehameha Schools) native was named Most Outstanding Player of the Verizon Wireless Challenge as she led the Rainbow Wahine to the tournament championship with wins over San Diego State, UC Irvine and Saint Mary’s. Danielson hit .331 with 5.40 kills, 2.70 digs and 0.80 blocks per set over the three matches. She opened the week by hitting .516 with 19 kills vs. San Diego State, then hit .429 with 15 kills vs. UC Irvine. She closed out the week with a double-double, posting 20 kills and 12 digs in the championship match vs. Saint Mary’s.
Danielson currently leads the WAC with 4.83 kills per set on .323 hitting this season.
Other nominees included: Alisha Young of Boise State was named MVP of the Cowgirl Classic after averaging 3.44 kills, 1.44 blocks, 0.78 digs and 0.56 service aces over the three matches … Fresno State’s Marissa Brand averaged 4.00 kills and 2.30 digs en route to all-tournament team honors at the Hilton Garden Inn Classic … Kelsey Taylor of Idaho hit .316 with 1.40 kills and 1.10 blocks per set last week … Louisiana Tech’s Jennifer Goodwin averaged 3.08 kills on .337 hitting and 3.17 digs as the Lady Techsters swept all four of their opponents at the Louisiana Tech Tournament last weekend … Janelle Batista of Nevada was named MVP of the Wolf Pack Invitational after averaging 3.05 points, 2.36 kills and 1.27 blocks … New Mexico State’s Ellen Miks averaged 5.91 digs and 0.64 assists per set last week … Hannah Blume of San Jose State averaged 3.33 kills and 2.80 digs as the Spartans went 3-1 last week ... Utah State’s Shay Sorensen was named MVP of the Montana Invitational after averaging 2.64 kills on .278 hitting and 1.18 blocks over the three matches.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (9-2, 0-0 WAC)
The Broncos went undefeated last week, beating Utah Valley (25-17, 25-23, 25-23) and Weber State (20-25, 25-11, 25-13, 25-23) before taking the Cowgirl Classic with wins over Portland (25-20, 25-11, 25-9), UT-Arlington (25-16, 25-12, 25-15) and host Wyoming (28-26, 26-24, 25-23) ... Alisha Young was named MVP of the Cowgirl Classic after averaging 3.44 kills on .373 hitting, 1.44 blocks and 0.56 service aces over the three matches ... Kersti Whitney and Liz Harden were also named to all-tournament team ... The Broncos’ win over Wyoming handed the Cowgirls (11-1) their first loss of the season ... Boise State’s 9-2 record is its best start since 2004 ... The Broncos travel to Davidson, N.C., for the Mizuno Wildcat Classic this weekend, where they will face High Point, Eastern Michigan and host Davidson.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (3-5, 0-0 WAC)
Fresno State went 1-2 last week, defeating Seton Hall (21-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-17) before falling to UC Davis (14-25, 17-25, 22-25) and No. 10 California (12-25, 22-25, 18-25) ... Marissa Brand was named to the all-tournament team after tallying 40 kills on .217 hitting, 23 digs, three blocks and two service aces ... Kelly Mason added 42 digs over the weekend to bring her career total to 971. Mason looks to become the sixth Bulldog ever to surpass the 1,000-dig mark ... The Bulldogs host the Fresno State Invitational this weekend, where they will face Sacramento State, No. 7 USC and Cal State Bakersfield.
HAWAI‘I RAINBOW WAHINE (8-1, 0-0 WAC)
Hawai‘i went 3-0 to claim the title at the Verizon Wireless Volleyball Challenge last weekend, defeating San Diego State (25-17, 25-18, 25-13), UC Irvine (25-17, 25-13, 25-17) and Saint Mary’s (25-22, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23) ... Kanani Danielson earned Most Outstanding Player honors after hitting .331 with 5.40 kills, 2.70 digs and 0.80 blocks per set. She hit .516 with 19 kills vs. San Diego State, then closed out the week with a double-double, posting 20 kills and 12 digs vs. Saint Mary’s ... Elizabeth Ka`aihue and Chanteal Satele were also named to the all-tournament team. Ka`aihue averaged 4.60 digs and 1.20 assists, while Satele averaged 2.70 kills on .350 hitting and 0.80 blocks ... UH won the Verizon Wireless Challenge for the fourth-straight year and have won 14 of the 16 challenges it has hosted overall ... The Rainbow Wahine host Brigham Young for a pair of matches this weekend.
IDAHO VANDALS (4-4, 0-0 WAC)
The Vandals went 2-1 last week, falling to Cal Poly (23-25, 15-25, 21-25) last Thursday, defeating Eastern Washington (25-18, 25-17, 16-25, 25-11) on Friday and sweeping Montana State (25-4, 25-14, 25-23) on Sunday ... Kelsey Taylor didn’t have an error after the first match of the week, notching 12 kills on 27 attempts for a .444 hitting percentage in that time ... Taylor’s 11 blocks on the week led the team, as did her .316 hitting percentage ... Idaho’s 25-4 win in the first set against Montana State was the biggest win in a set for the Vandals since the NCAA switched to rally scoring in 2001 ... Idaho travels to Spokane, Wash., for the Gonzaga Tournament this weekend, where they will face Seattle, Wyoming and the host Bulldogs.
LOUISIANA TECH LADY TECHSTERS (7-4, 0-0 WAC)
Louisiana Tech went undefeated last week, sweeping Jackson State (25-11, 25-15, 25-18) on Tuesday before winning the LA Tech Tournament over the weekend with sweeps of Grambling State (25-7, 25-14, 25-14), Southeastern Louisiana (25-17, 25-18, 25-18) and Centenary (25-17, 25-15, 25-10) ... Jennifer Goodwin recorded her first double-double with a career-high 10 kills and 12 digs against Jackson State ... Goodwin also had a career-high 14 digs against Southeastern Louisiana ... With 318 career blocks, Kara Jones moved past Amy Underwood for fifth place all-time in Louisiana Tech history. She needs just four more blocks to move into fourth place ... The Lady Techsters travel to Thibodaux, La., for the Nicholls State Tournament this weekend, where they will face Houston, Southeastern Louisiana and the host Colonels.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (6-3, 0-0 WAC)
Nevada went 2-1 to claim the title at the Wolf Pack Invitational last weekend, defeating Northern Arizona (22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-13) and Pacific (26-24, 27-25, 25-21), and falling to No. 24 Arizona (26-24, 10-25, 15-25, 13-25) ... Janelle Batista was named MVP of the Wolf Pack Invitational after averaging 2.36 kills on .321 hitting, 1.27 blocks and 3.05 points ... Kylie Harrington was also named to the all-tournament team after averaging 3.36 kills and 2.18 digs over the three matches ... Batista had a career-high 10 kills vs. Northern Arizona ... The Wolf Pack travel to Davis, Calif., for the UC Davis Tournament this weekend, where they will face Portland, Oregon State and the host Aggies.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (6-3, 0-0 WAC)
New Mexico State went 2-2 last week, sweeping UTEP (25-15, 25-21, 25-22) and Rice (25-19, 25-22, 25-23), before falling to North Carolina (15-25, 17-25, 17-25) and No. 21 LSU (19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-15, 15-17) ... Ellen Miks was named to the all-tournament team at the Tiger Classic after averaging 5.91 digs per set over the three matches ... Miks had a career-high 31 digs against No. 21 LSU ... The Aggies are hitting .229 and holding opponents to a .174 hitting percentage ... Kayleigh Giddens ranks 15th in the nation with 4.52 kills per set and 23rd with 4.94 points per set ... setter Jennah DeVries currently ranks 37th nationally with 10.77 assists per set ... NM State plays at New Mexico on Tuesday, then travels to Tucson, Ariz., for the Arizona Tournament, where they will face Pepperdine, Texas State and the host Wildcats.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (4-6, 0-0 WAC)
San Jose State fell to Sacramento State (20-25, 15-25, 17-25)last Tuesday, then went 3-0 to claim the title at the SJSU Tournament with wins over Portland State (25-19, 15-25, 25-21, 16-25, 16-14), Seattle (25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 21-25, 15-13) and Cal State Bakersfield (25-15, 25-16, 25-18) ... Hanah Blume, Alex Akana and Caitlin Andrade were named to the all-tournament team ... Blume posted a double-double with career bests of 20 kills and 19 digs vs. Portland State ... The Spartans rallied from down 8-14 to Portland State in the fifth set to win 16-14. Asia Casino served the final eight points of the match ... Against Seattle, the Spartans recorded a season-high 13 service aces. Akana led the team with a career-best five aces, followed by Andrade with three ... The Spartans travel to Las Vegas for the UNLV Classic this weekend, where they will face Xavier, Cal State Northridge and the host Rebels.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (9-0, 0-0 WAC)
Utah State went 3-0 to claim the title at the Montana Invitational last weekend, defeating the host Grizzlies (25-13, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20), Temple (20-25, 25-15, 25-11, 25-22), North Dakota (25-19, 25-15, 25-19) ... Shay Sorensen was named tournament MVP after averaging 2.64 kills on .278 hitting, 1.18 blocks and 0.55 digs per set ... Chelsea Fowles and Christine Morrill were also named to the all-tournament team. Fowles hit .526 and averaged 8.64 assists, 1.73 digs, 1.00 kills and 0.45 blocks, while Morrill averaged 5.00 digs per set ... As a team, the Aggies rank 22nd nationally in hitting percentage (.285) and 25th in blocks per set (2.68) ... Utah State plays at in-state rival Brigham Young on Tuesday, then hosts the Utah State Invitational this weekend, where it will face Loyola Marymount, UC Riverside and Utah Valley.
NUMEROUS WAC PLAYERS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS LAST WEEKEND
The WAC had 16 of its players named to all-tournament teams last weekend, including four MVPs. Alisha Young of Boise State, Kanani Danielson of Hawai’i, Janelle Batista of Nevada and Shay Sorensen of Utah State were all named MVP of their respective tournaments. Meanwhile, Kersti Whitney and Liz Harden of Boise State were named to the all-tournament team at the Cowgirl Classic. Fresno State’s Marissa Brand was named to the Hilton Garden Inn Classic all-tournament team, while Hawai‘i’s Chanteal Satele and Elizabeth Ka’aihue were named to the Verizon Wireless Volleyball Challenge all-tournament team. Kylie Harrington of Nevada earned a spot on the Wolf Pack Invitational all-tournament team, while Ellen Miks of New Mexico State was named to the Tiger Classic all-tournament team. San Jose State’s Hanah Blume, Caitlin Andrade and Alex Akana were named to the SJSU all-tournament team, while Chelsea Fowles and Christine Morrill of Utah State were named to the Montana Tournament all-tournament team.
HAWAI‘I REMAINS AT NO. 6, USU RECEIVING VOTES
With three wins last weekend, Hawai‘i remains at No. 6 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Coaches Poll released Monday. Meanwhile, Utah State, which is 9-0 on the year, received 23 votes in the poll.
UTAH STATE OFF TO BEST START SINCE 1979
Utah State has won three tournament titles this season to jump out to a 9-0 record, best in the WAC. It is the fourth-best start to a season in school history and the best since the 1979 AIAW National Runner-up team won its first 11 matches. USU’s 1978 AIAW National Championship team holds the school record for most wins to start a season with 26, while the 1977 team won its first 18 matches.
SJSU SCORES EIGHT STRAIGHT TO BEAT PORTLAND STATE
In the Spartans’ five-set win over Portland State last weekend, San Jose State had to score eight straight points in the fifth set for the win. The Spartans trailed 14-8 in the fifth set when Asia Casino served the final eight points of the match, which included two time outs by Portland State, to pick up the victory.
IDAHO HOLDS MONTANA STATE TO JUST FOUR POINTS IN SET
Idaho defeated Montana State 25-4 in the first set Sunday, setting a school record. The 21-point win was the largest set victory for Idaho since the NCAA began using rally scoring in 2001. After Montana State tied the first set at 3-3, the Vandals scored 10 straight points to pull ahead 13-3. MSU scored to make it 13-4, but Idaho reeled off 12 straight points to close the set.
HEWITT LEADS NATION IN BLOCKS PER SET
Three weeks into the 2010 season, Hawai`i sophomore middle Brittany Hewitt currently ranks first nationally with 1.83 blocks per set. As a freshman last year, she averaged 1.33 blocks per set.
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 after being named MVP of the Utah Classic, where she led Utah State to wins over UC Davis and Utah. 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. 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. For the week, McArthur hit .507 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 on Aug. 27 when the Vandals defeated Weber State in the Nike Cougar Classic. In her 11th season at the helm, Buchanan is 153-151 (.503).
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 RANK SECOND NATIONALLY IN ATTENDANCE
Three weeks in to the 2010 season, Hawai`i currently ranks second in the nation in attendance with an average of 6,217 fans per match, just under 500 fans behind the top team, Nebraska (6,704). The Rainbow Wahine have led the nation in average attendance in each of the last 16 seasons.
WAC STAT LEADERS
In team statistics, Boise State leads the WAC in hitting percentage (.26), assists (12.84) and kills (13.84). Louisiana Tech is tops in service aces (1.66), digs (15.76) and opponent hitting percentage (.118).Hawai’i leads the league in blocks (2.77).
Individually, Hawai’i’s Kanani Danielson leads the WAC in kills (4.83) and points (5.46), while Boise State’s Alisha Young is tops in hitting percentage (.414). Breann Nesselhuf of Boise State leads the league in assists (11.39), while Hawai`i’s Brittany Hewitt leads the WAC in blocks (1.83). Liz McArthur of Utah State leads the WAC in service aces (0.36), while Lori Hunsucker of Louisiana Tech is tops in digs (5.16).
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)
REGIONAL, SEMIFINAL/CHAMPIONSHIP SITES SELECTED
The NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee announced the following sites for regional and semifinal/championship competition of the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships.
Regionals (4): Dec. 10-11, 2010
Host: University of Washington
Bank of America Arena
Host: Penn State University
University Park, Pa.
Host: University of Texas at Austin
Host: University of Dayton
University of Dayton Arena
Semifinals and Championship: Dec. 16 and 18, 2010
Co-Hosts: University of Missouri, Kansas City and Greater Kansas City Sports Commission
Kansas City, Mo.
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.