STANFORD, Calif.—The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (22-6, 19-1 Big West) enters the 2022 NCAA Tournament riding a season-long 12-match win streak after clinching their third-straight Big West title and the automatic NCAA bid with a come-from-behind, five set win at conference rival UC Santa Barbara last Friday, 23-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-18, 15-11. The win propelled the Rainbow Wahine into the NCAA Championship. Hawai’i has won 20 of its last 21 matches and their 12-straight wins was the longest in the Big West this season.

RAINBOW WAHINE VOLLEYBALL – NCAA FIRST & SECOND ROUNDS
ScheduleFIRST ROUND
#8 Hawai’i vs. LSU – Friday, Dec. 2  |  2:30 p.m. HT
#1 Stanford vs. Pepperdine – Friday, Dec. 2  |  5:00 p.m.
Second Round
Winner Gm 1 vs. Winner Gm 2 – Saturday, Dec. 3  |  4:00 p.m. HT
LocationMaples Pavilion (7,233) – Stanford, Calif.
Live Video StreamESPN+
RadioESPN Honolulu (1420 am /92.7 FM) – Tiff Wells (Play-by-Play)
Live Audio Streamespnhonolulu.com -or- Sideline Hawaii app
Game NotesHawai’i (PDF) | LSU (PDF) | Stanford (PDF) | Pepperdine (PDF) 
LIve StatsFIRST ROUND
Hawaii vs. LSU: https://www.ncaa.com/game/6079399 Stanford vs. Pepperdine: https://www.ncaa.com/game/6079400
Social Media@HawaiiWVB  | #HawaiiWVB #GoBows | @HawaiiWVB  | Facebook 

  HAWAI’I VS. LSU TIGERS  (15-13, 9-9 SEC)Series history: UH, 3-0
Last meeting: Oct. 24, 2003
Head Coach: Tonya Johnson (First season)

  • Last week, the Tigers dropped a pair of home matches to Georgia to close out the regular season
  • Coach Johnson has led LSU to eight-straight and 15 total NCAA tourney appearances
  • Six LSU players have recorded over 100+ kills this year, led by Sanaa Dotson who has put down a team-high 411 kills and 3.76 kill/set.
  • Anita Anwusi has been in on a team-best 206 kills while putting down 126 kills
  • Josi Vondran has issued a team-high 699 assists and has also had 101 kills

 #1 Seed STANFORD CARDINAL (24-4, 19-1 PAC-12)Series History: 19-13
Last meeting: Aug. 26, 2012 (W, 3-1)
NCAA Record vs. Stanford: 3-3
Head Cocah: Kevin Hambly (Sixth Season)

PEPPERDINE WAVES (19-10, 10-8 WCC)Series History: 30-4
Last meeting: Nov. 6, 2018 (L, 1-3)
NCAA Record vs. Pepperdine: 3-0
Head Coach: Scott Wong (Eighth Season)

HAWAI’I HEAD COACH ROBYN AH MOWOVERALL RECORD: 108-35 (Fifth Season)
RECORD AT HAWAI’I: Same
BIG WEST RECORD: 79-9 (Fifth Season
NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD: 3-4

  • 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.
  • Ah Mow, who was a two-time first team All-America setter for Hawai’i under legendary head coach Dave Shoji, took over the program in 2017 after Shoji retired as the most winningest coach in NCAA history. Ah Mow, who was the captain on three USA Volleyball Olympic Teams, returned after retiring from her playing career she returned to Hawai’i and served as an assistant coach to Shoji from 2-11-15.
  • 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.
  • Ah Mow has guided Hawai’i to five-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. In 2017 & ’18, UH received at-large bids. But the ‘Bows have won the last three-straight Big West titles to secure the conference’s automatic bid. This is UH’s 29th-straight and 40th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

LAST TIME OUT…

  • UH came from behind to capture its third-straight and 11th overall Big West title with a five set win at UC Santa Barbara, 23-25, 25-20, 26-28, 25-18, 15-11). Four Rainbow Wahine put down double-digit kills led by Amber Igiede and Riley Wagoner who had 18 apiece. Wagoner and Kate Lang both tied their  career-highs with 17 digs each while liberon Tayli Ikenaga added 13.
  • Igiede hit .417 (18-3-36) for her 16th match hitting over .400 this season. She tied UCSB’s Nia Correal with a match-high five blocks.
  • Wagoner had a banner night, tallying her seventh double-double with 18 kills while a career-high tying 17 digs. She recorded her 18th matches with 10+ kills and 13th with double-figure digs.
  • Lang also had a career-high night, posting her eight double-double tying her season high with 55 assists while tying her career-high with 17 digs. Lang added a career-best six kills, was in on two blocks and two service aces to fill her stat line for the match.
  • Hawai’i then extended their season-long win streak to 12 with a 25-18, 25-20, 18-25, 25-9 win at CSUN to conclude the regular season. The 19 BW wins is the most in conference history after the league expanded to 20 matches in 2021 with the addition of CSU Bakersfield and UC San Diego.
  • Igiede was everywhere, putting down a match-high 19 kills while hitting .607 (19-2-28). She dealt out a career-high four service aces to go with six digs and six blocks. It is the third time this year that she has hit over .600 and has had 10+ kills in 26 of 28 total games. She took control of the fourth set early, accounting for six of UH’s first nine points in the frame with five kills plus a service ace. She ended in the fourth set alone tallying six kills on seven errorless swings for a .857 hitting percentage with four digs, a block and two service aces–including a walk-off ace to end the match.
  • Alexander lifted UH with 12 kills and was in on a career-high 6.0 blocks—including two block solos which is also a career-high. It marked her 15th double-digit kill match overall, and her third in last four. For the weekend, Alexander buried 28 kills while hitting .306 against UCSB and CSUN

WHERE HAWAI’I RANKS

  • In the eighth RPI of the season, UH rose a spot to No. 36 after notching road wins over UC Santa Barbara and CSUN. Long Beach State finished 2022 at No. 82 while UCSB ended at 92. Coming in at 103 was UC Irvine while UC Irvine ended up at 103.
  • Six of UH’s seven pre-season opponents are all in the top 75 in this week’s RPI – Pitt-3, San Diego-6, USC-25, Texas State-43, UCLA-58, Texas A&M-75
  • Nationally, Hawai’i as a team is ranked in the Top 40 and led The Big West in four categories
    • Assists/Set: NCAA Rank No. 39 (12.77)
    • Hitting Percentage: NCAA Rank No. 26 (.267)
    • Kills/Set: NCAA Rank No. 29 (13.85)
    • W-L %: NCAA Rank No. 32 (.786)    

Indidually, Hawai’i’s Igiede and Lang are amongst the nation’s elite

  •     –Amber Igiede
    • Hitting %: NCAA Rank – No. 4 (.439) / Big West Rank No. 1
    • Points/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 19 (4.90) / Big West Rank No. 1
    • Kills/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 79 (3.79) / Big West Rank No. 2
    • Blocks/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 33 (1.31) / Big West Rank No. 2
  • Kate Lang
    • Total Assists: NCAA Rank – No. 70 (1,055) / Big West Rank No. 3
    • Assists/Set: NCAA Rank – No. 51 (10.24) / Big West Rank No. 2

NEWS & NOTES

  • IGIEDE LEADING THE WAY – Junior middle blocker Amber Igiede continues to amaze with her all-around prowess. There are not enough accolades for the Baton Rouge, La.-native. On offense she has been a force all season long, notching double-digit kills in 26 of 28 matches. She is also second on the team in service aces. In the last nine matches, she has dealt out 15 aces–including a career-high in the season finale at CSUN.
    • On defense, she leads UH with 38 block solos, 96 block assists and 134.0 total blocks to average 1.30 blocks/set. She has also picked up 94 digs primarily playing just one rotation in the back row.
    • This season, Igiede has obliterated the UH single season hitting percentage record, currently hitting .439, leapfrogging former UH All-America and National Player of the Year Angelica Ljungqvist’s .417 set in 1996. Ljungqvist helped recruit Igiede while she served as an assitant coach for Ah Mow from 2017-19. This year, she has had hit over .500 in 12 matches and three over .600.  For her career, she is currently in third in UH hitting percentage history.
    • For her career, Igiede has registered at least one kill in all 88 career matches and at least one block in all 87 of 88 career matches
  • LANG SETTING UP THE TEAM – Last week, sophomore setter Kate Lang surpassed 1,000 assist for the season at 1,055 which is a career high. Currently, the Keller, Texas native is averaging 10.24 assist/set. She has orchestrated the team to hit a league-best .267 hitting percentage. As a team, the ‘Bows have hit over .300 in 13 matches this season and in six of the last seven matches. UH’s season-high was .471 against UC Irvine (10/7/22). For the season, Lang is third on the team with 24 service aces and fourth with 37 total blocks
  • ALEXANDER RISING – Caylen Alexander has been fearless all year playing at outside hitter. The rookie from Alpharetta, Ga. is thd on the team with 280 kills and 2.75 kill/set average. She leads Hawai’i with 33 service ace. She finished the season strong, puttind down 42 kills in the last four matches in which she tallied three double-digit kill matches. On defense she continues to improve, recording 121 digs.
    • Alexander has made the most strides in blocking this season. Through the first 17 matches, she had just 10 blocks. But in the last 11 matches, she has been in on 16 blocks–including a career-high 6.0 at CSUN to end the regular season last week.
  • THE SILENT ASSASIN – 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 improved power and finesse which she has worked hard to obtain. Wagoner is the glue that holds the team together through thick and thin as arguably the most versatile player on the floor. She is second on the squad with 336 kills, 3.26 kill/set average, and 248 digs, and third on the team with 43 total blocks. Wagoner has seven double-doubles this season and has amassed 18 matches with 10+ kills and 14 with double-digit digs. She has also finished strong, pounding five 10+ kill matches in the last seven and has had double-digit digs in nine of the last 11.
  • AKANA CEMENTS OPPOSITE – Earlier in the season UH had a rotating door of opposites, but 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 13 matches since making her return at Cal Poly, Akana has powered 87 kills and hit .304 on offense while posting at least one block in the last 10-straight matches.
  • 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 scooping up 281 digs and a 3.12 dig/set average. She has been a steadying force on defense. In serve receive, she has just 15 errors in 261 attempts. This season, she has recorded 17 matches with 10+ digs.
  • EDMONDS, HAM SOLIDIFIES BACK ROW – Juniors Talia Edmonds and Kendra Ham have both played in all 28 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 204 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 214 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 23 service aces and has had 10 aces in the last nine games and had at least one ace in the last seven 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 28 matches while notching at least one block in 24 of 28 games. She has come on strong at the end of the season, recording 15 blocks in the last four matches–including 5.0 vs. Cal Poly and CSUN. In 2022, she has more than doubled her kill total from her first two seasons combined. She enters the this week with 164 kills, a 1.61 kill/set average, 23 digs and 59.0 blocks—a career season highs.