Rainbow Wahine volleyball hits the road with chance to lock up outright Big West Championship


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The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (20-6, 17-1 Big West) takes its season-long 10-match win streak on the road to closes out the 2022 regular season.

The Rainbow Wahine will take on UC Santa Barbara (19-9, 15-3 BW) on Friday, Nov. 25 at The Thunderdome, followed by the season finale at CSUN (9-21, 4-14 BW) on Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Premier America Credit Union Arena. Both matches are slated to start at 5:00 P.M. HT. Hawai’i needs one win to claim The Big West title.

RAINBOW WAHINE VOLLEYBALL – WEEK #13
Date | Time | Opponent UC Santa Barbara  |  Friday, Nov. 25, 2022  |  5:00 p.m. HT
CSUN | Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022  |  5:00 p.m. HT
Location Friday – The Thunderdome (Isla Vista, Calif.)
Saturday – Premier America Credit Union Arena (Northridge, Calif.)
Live Video Stream ESPN+ 
Friday – UC Santa Barbara 
Saturday – CSUN
Radio CBS 1500 (1500 AM) – Tiff Wells (Play-by-Play)
Live Audio Stream cbssportshawaii.com -or- Sideline Hawaii app
LIve Stats Friday – UC Santa Barbara
Saturday – CSUN
Social Media @HawaiiWVB  | #HawaiiWVB #GoBows | @HawaiiWVB Instagram | Facebook Facebook

HAWAI’I VS. UC SANTA BARBARA (20-9, 16-3 Big West)UCSBOverall series record: UH leads 44-11
Streak: UH won 1 
Head Coach: Nicole Lantagne Welch (10th season)

  • Last week, the Gauchos split their two conference matches – falling in a hard-fought, five setter at UC Davis (11/14/22) (which included a marathon third set which the Aggies hung on to win at 40-38). UCSB then bounced back to sweep UC Riverside on the road two nights later.
  • Tallulah Froley and Michelle Ohwobete both led the Gauchos with 29 kills each in the two games. Mehana Ma’a dished out 59 assists averaging 7.38 assists/set and had 26 digs. Deni Wilson registered a team-high seven blocks. Macall Peed scooped up a team-best 27 digs in the two matches
  • At UC Davis, Ohwobete went off for 21 kills on 62 attaks while Froley added 17 kills. In all, four Gauchos put down double-digit kills
  • At UC Riverside, Froley tallied 12 kills to lead all players, while Peed had a team-high 13 digs. 

HAWAI’I VS. CSUN (9-22, 4-15 Big West)California State University, Northridge LogoHead Coach: John Price (First Season)
Overall series record: UH leads 29-2
Streak: UH has won last 15

  • Last week the Matadors split their matches, defeating UC Riverside in five sets on Thursday and a four set loss at UC Davis on Saturday. 
  • Nicole Nevarez led CSUN with 26 kills and a 2.89 hit%. Breanna Mitchell was a vacuum cleaner, picking up 51 total digs (5.67 digs/set). Taylor Hunter was in on a team-high eight blocks while Carisa Barron had a team-high 38 assists. 
  • In CSUN’s five-set win at UC Riverside Nevarez Barron and Taylor Oshrff all had over 10 kills to lead the Matadors.
  • At UCD, Nevarez struck again with a team-high 13 kills.

HAWAI’I HEAD COACH ROBYN AH MOWUniversity of Hawaii LogoOverall record: 106-35 (Fifth Season)
At Hawai’i: Same
Big West: 75-9 (Fifth Season)

  • Head coach Robyn Ah Mow record her 100th career win at UC Davis in UH’s five-set win over the Aggies on Oct. 29, 16-25, 25-12, 28-26, 19-25, 15-9.
  • UH head coach Robyn Ah Mow is in her fifth season (sixth overall – BWC did not play in 2020 due to COVID-19). She has recorded a 75-9 mark in the Big West Conference. She was voted BWC Coach of the Year the last two seasons (Co-Head Coach in 2019) and was named the 2019 AVCA Pacific North All-Region Coach of the Year. The two-time first team AVCA All-American and three time Olympian setter took over the program following legendary head coach Dave Shoji. Ah Mow has led her alma mater to back-to-back Big West titles. 

LAST TIME OUT…

  • On Friday night, Hawai’i overcame a slow start then powered past Cal Poly in four to avenge its lone loss in The Big West earlier this season, 16-25, 25-12, 25-16, 25-23. 
  • In Set 1, the Mustangs pulled away to briefly stun the Rainbow Wahine. But then UH started clicking on all cylinders as Amber Igiede and Caylen Alexander started to heat up putting down six and four kills respectively. Hawai’i sustained several long scoring runs throughout the rest of the match. In Set 2, UH scored 10-straight points with Kendra Ham serving, to take an 11-2 lead from which CP could not recover from. In Set 2 with Kate Lang behind the service line, UH scored a season-long 14-consecutive points to give UH an 18-5 lead. Cal Poly took command early, jumping out to a 7-1 lead and then extending it 10 10-3 to start Set 4. Hawai’i however did not panic, instead they started chipping away. With UH trailing at 20-16 and Lang going back to serve, the ‘bows reeled off seven-straight points to tie then leapfrog past the Mustangs as UH eventually won the frame, 25-23.
  • On Sunday, UH honored setter Mylana Byrd on Senior Night with a sweep over CSU Bakersfield. The match tied for UH’s quickest of the season (1:20) as the ‘Bows, 25-13, 25-10, 25-12. Except for leading at 1-0 in Set 2, Hawai’i led almost from wire-to-wire. The 25-10 Set 2 win for UH marked it’s most lopsided set win since defeating UC Davis last season 25-7.
  • CSU Bakersfield struggled mightily to find an answer to Igiede and the UH squad. The Rainbow Wahine dominated in all facets of the match–on offense, outhitting the ‘Runners, 38-to-16 in kills and .307-to-.050 in hitting percentage, 36-to-14 in assists, 6-to-2 in aces and 54.0-to-23.0 in total ponts. UH also out-dug CSUB 51-to-32 and out-blocked the Roadrunners, 10.0-to-5.0.

WHERE HAWAI’I RANKS

  • In the seventh RPI of the season, UH fell a couple spots to No. 37 after notching wins over Cal Poly and CSU Bakersfield. Long Beach State is the only other Big West Team to be in the Top 100 coming in at No. 82.
  • Six of UH’s seven pre-season opponents are all in the top 70 in this week’s RPI –
    • Pitt-4, San Diego-9, USC-26, Texas State-44UCLA-62, Texas A&M-70
  • Nationally, Hawai’i as a team is ranked in the Top 40j and leads The Big West in four categories
    • Assists/Set: NCAA Rank No. 38 (12.77)
    • Hitting Percentage: NCAA Rank No. 29 (.262)
    • Kills/Set: NCAA Rank No. 38 (13.78)
    • W-L %: NCAA Rank No. 37 (.769)
  • Indidually, Hawai’i’s Igiede and Lang are amongst the nation’s elite
    • Amber Igiede 
      • Hitting %: NCAA Rank – No. 4 (.433) / Big West Rank No. 1
      • Points/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 24 (.4385) / Big West Rank No. 1
      • Kills/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 82 (3.76) / Big West Rank No. 1
      • Blocs/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 33 (1.31) / Big West Rank No. 2
    • Kate Lang
      • Assists/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 51 (10.28) / Big West Rank No. 2
      • Total Assists: NCAA Rank – No. 95 (966) / Big West Rank No. 4

NEWS & NOTES

  • GETTING IT DONE IN THE CLASSROOM – Four Rainbow Wahine were named to the College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team on Tuesday. Kendra Ham (Human Development and Family Studies), Amber Igiede. (Psychology), Tayli Ikenaga (Elementary Education) and Riley Wagoner (Chemistry) all earned the award for the first time in their careers. This year marked the first time that all student-athletes who meet the requirements were named to the all-district team. In order to be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) at his current institution. UH’s four honorees are the most in a single-season in program history.
  • IGIEDE LEADING THE WAY – Junior middle blocker Amber Igiede continues to amaze with her all-around play. On offense, she leads UH and is ranked No. 4 in the NCAA DI with a .433 hitting percentage and a team-best 353 kills and 3.76 kill/set average. She committed zero hitting errors in five matches this season (vs. Pitt, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and CSU Bakersfield). Her hitting percentage in those five matches is a jaw dropping, .602 (62-0-103). Igiede recorded a career-high .652 hit% against UC Irvine (10/7/22) and she’s hit over .500 in 20  matches this season—including the last eight-straight. She has tallied 24 double-digit kill games out of UH’s 26 matches played. Igiede is second on the squad with 24 service aces. On defense, she is second in The Big West averaging 1.31 blocks/set and leads UH with 35 block solos, 88 block assists and 123.0 total blocks. She has had at least two blocks in 25-straight games this season. Igiede also has 85 digs, primarily from playing just one rotation in the back row. She also leads The Big West averaging 4.85 points/set.
  • WAGONER’S TERMINATING using FULL ARSENAL – This season, junior outside hitter Riley Wagoner has emerged as a terminator at the pin. Her array of shots has been showcased this season with some improved power which she has worked hard to obtain. Wagoner is the glue that holds the team together through thick and thin as the most versatile player on the floor. She is second on the squad with 309 kills, 3.29 kill/set average, and 226 digs, and third on the team with 40 total blocks. In UH’s most recent match against CSU Bakersfield, Wagoner recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs. She now has 17 matches with at least 10 kills and 12 matches with 10+ digs—including in eight of UH’s last nine matches.
  • LANG SETTING UP THE TEAM – Sophomore setter Kate Lang is closing in on her 1,000th assist in 2022. Currently, she has 966 assists with a 10.28 assist/set average. She has orchestrated the team to hit a league-best .262 hitting percentage. As a team, the ‘Bows have hit over .300 in 11 matches this season—including a season-best .471 against UC Irvine (10/7/22). Sor the season, Lang is third on the team with 21 service aces and fourth with 37 total blocks.
  • ALEXANDER RISING – Freshman Caylen Alexander has been fearless all year playing at outside hitter. The rookie from Alpharetta, Ga. is third on the team with 252 kills and 2.71 kill/set average. She leads Hawai’i with 31 service ace. On defense she continues to improve, recording 113. digs and 20 blocks. At the net, Alexander has 10 blocks in the first 17 matches. She has worked hard to becoming the newest member of the Mānoa Roofing Company, posting 10 blocks in the last nine matches—having at least one block in seven of the last nine matches. This past Friday, Alexander helped UH avenge its lone Big West loss of the season pounding 16 kills with a .444 hitting percentage while adding eight digs and three blocks in UH’s four-set win over Cal Poly. Alexander has recorded 13 matches with 10+ kills—including a career-high 18 twice (at UC Davis and vs. UCLA). Earlier this season, Alexander tied former UH player Hanna Hellvig winning her fifth Big West Freshman of the Week award. It is the most for a Rainbow Wahine since the award was created in 2015.
  • AKANA CEMENTS OPPOSITE – After missing a couple of games due to illness, junior Braelyn Akana returned to the court a changed hitter. In the first 11 games, Akana had 58 kill and had a .110 hitting percentage. In the last 11 matches since making her return at Cal Poly, Akana has put down 74 kills and hit .313 on offense while posting at least one block in the last eight-straight matches—including three against CSU Bakersfield last Sunday.
  • IKENAGA QUARTERBACK OF BACK ROW – Even though sophomore libero Tayli Ikenaga missed the first three games of her young career due to an injury, she continues to lead UH with 256 digs and a 3.16 dig/set average. She has been a steadying force on defense. In serve receive, she has just 14 errors in 242 attempts. This season, she has recorded 15 matches with 10+ digs.
  • EDMONDS, HAM SOLIDIFIES BACK ROW – Juniors Talia Edmonds and Kendra Ham have both played in all 26 matches and have proven their mettle in the back row this season. Edmonds, a transfer from Michigan State, is a defensive specialist who also started at libero for three games while Ikenaga was out with injury. She is fourth on the team with 195 digs. While playing at libero, she scooped up a career-high and UH season-best 28 digs—the most since Tita Akiu had 34 against Baylor in the NCAA First Round in 2018.
  • Ham has played as a defensive/serving specialist all season, but has also seen spot duty playing at opposite when needed. She just recorded her 200th career dig at Hawai’i last weekend and Ham enters this week with 204 total digs. She has registered nine double-digit dig matches this year with a career-high 18 coming in UH’s first match-up against UC Santa Barbara. While seeing action in the front row, Ham has posted 22 kills and five total blocks. She is tied for fourth on the team with 20 service aces and has had at least one ace in the last five-straight matches.
  • WESTERBERG HOLDING DOWN THE MIDDLE – Junior middle blocker Tiffany Westerberg has held her own playing opposite of Amber Igiede. Westerberg, who floated from playing at the pins and in the middle over the first two years of her career, has proven herself to be a solid commodity in the middle. She has put down at least one kill in all 26 matches while notching at least one block in 22 of 26 games. In 2022, she has more than doubled her kill total from her first two seasons combined. She enters the last week of the regular season with 153 kills, a 1.63 kill/set average, 19 digs and 52 blocks—all career season highs.
  • TEAM AWARDS – At UH’s women’s volleyball banquet held this past weekend, four Rainbow Wahine earned the team’s six awards. Igiede took home three awards on her own, earning Most Valuable Player, Best Attacker, and Best Blocker awards for her efforts this year. Sophomore Tayli Ikenaga nabbed her second Best Defender honor, while junior Riley Wagoner earned Most Improved Player and senior Mylana Byrd was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player.
  • UH’S IRON WOMEN – Only five Rainbow Wahine have played in all 94 sets this season–Edmonds, Igiede, Lang, Wagoner and Westerberg. Only four of those have started all 26 matches this season–Igiede, Lang, Wagoner and Westerberg.




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