11th ranked Rainbow Wahine open BWC play against UCSB, Cal Poly this weekend


The 11th-ranked University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (10-1, 0-0 BWC) opens its Big West Conference season this week against UC Santa Barbara (4-7, 0-0 BWC) on Friday, September 25 and Cal Poly (8-3 0-0 BWC) on Saturday, September 26. Both matches will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rainbow Wahine rose one spot to No. 11 this week in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll after sweeping CSU Bakersfield this past week. The ‘Bows have gone up in rankings every week through the first four weeks of this season.

As a team in conference, Hawai’i leads in six of seven statistical categories-hitting percentage (.276); assists (13.05); blocks (3.15), opponent hitting percentage (.163); kills (14.27); and service aces (1.58). Individually, Olivia Magill leads the league with a .389 hitting percentage and 1.59 blocks per set. Nikki Taylor is tops in the Big West with 4.82 kills per set and 0.52 aces per set. In blocking, UH is holding down the top three spots in conference with Magill, Taylor (1.42 blocks per set) and Emily Maglio (1.25). Maglio is also ranked No. 8 in hitting percentage (.309).

Taylor had her school-record string of three-straight Big West Player of the Week awards come to an end this week. But, she kept her streak of double-digit kills in tact after recording 20 and 11 respectively this past weekend against the Roadrunners. She now has put down at least 10 kills in UH’s last 13 matches dating back to last season. Taylor leads Hawai’i with 193 kills and 21 service aces. She is second on the squad with 96 digs and 57 blocks.

Magill, UH’s senior middle hitter, leads Hawai’i with 58 blocks-including four solo. She is also second on the team with 102 kills. Magill has had at least two blocks in every match this year, with a season-high of 11 coming against Iowa (Sept. 4).

Emerging in the middle as an offensive threat is Maglio. She led UH in their most recent match against CSU Bakersfield drilling a career-high 12 kills. Maglio is third on the team with 34 blocks in 28 sets played.Match 12-13 Information

Who: No. 11 Hawai’i (10-1, 0-0 Big West) vs. UC Santa Barbara (4-7, 0-0 BWC);

No. 11 Hawai’i (10-1, 0-0 BWC) vs. Cal Poly (8-3, 0-0 BWC)

When: Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 pm; Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7:00 pm.

Where: Honolulu, O’ahu (Stan Sheriff Center)

Promotions: Bank of Hawaii is the match sponsor on Friday and will distribute 100 tote bags and award $200 in gift cards. Pepsi is the sponsor on Saturday and will award a years supply of Pepsi during intermission. UH season-ticket holders in all UH sports receive 50% off adult tickets to both matches. UH Kids’ Club members are invited onto the court for pre-match festivities at Saturday’s contest.

Television: OCSports (Oceanic Time Warner Cable Channels 16 (SD) and 1016 (HD) -or- Hawaiian Telcom Channel 89 (SD) and 1089 (HD) will be broadcasting both of Hawai’i matches with Kanoa Leahey calling the play-by-play and Chris McLachlin providing color commentary.

Streaming Video: Hawai’i’s matches are available to watch online at either http://ocsports.tv/ocsports_live -or- BigWest.tv

Radio: ESPN 1420AM will on the airwaves for all of the UH matches live with Tiff Wells handling the play-by-play.

Audio Webcast: Fans can listen to the UH matches online at espn1420am.com.

Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com

Ticket Information: Tickets can be purchased at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office, online at HawaiiAthletics.com, or by phone at (808) 944-2697.

Series Record: UH has a 34-8 record against the Gauchos, but last season, UCSB battled the ‘Bows in Santa Barbara with UH winning in a tightly contested five-match decision, 25-23, 25-23, 27-29, 19-25, 15-12. In the first meeting between the two schools last year, UH won in four sets in Honolulu.  Similarly, Hawai’i holds a 35-4 record against Cal Poly. Last season the Rainbow Wahine swept the Mustangs at home in the SSC, 25-17, 25-18, 25-22. But on the road in San Luis Obispo, Calif., UH dropped the first set before rallying to win in four sets, 21-25, 25-22, 25-12, 25-16.

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