FULLERTON, Calif.–The University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball team (5-5, 2-0 Big West) embarks on their second road trip of the season to take on Cal State Fullerton (7-3, 1-1 BWC) on Friday, Sept. 30 and Long Beach State (6-4, 1-1 BWC) on Saturday, Oct. 1. Both matches are slated to start at 4:00 p.m. HT. The reigning Big West Setter and Freshman of the Week, Kate Lang and Caylen Alexander, will help lead the Rainbow Wahine into the second week of the conference season. 

HAWAI’I (5-5, 2-0 BWC) vs. CAL STATE FULLERTON  TITANS (7-3, 1-1 BWC)  
Date | TimeFriday, Sept. 30, 2022   |  4:00 p.m. HT
LocationTitan Gym (4,000) – Fullerton, Calif.
Live Video StreamESPN+
RadioCBS 1500 (1500 am) – Tiff Wells (Play-by-Play)
Live Audio Streamcbssportshawaii.com -or- Sideline Hawaii app
Live Stats    fullertontitans.com  
Game NotesHawai’i (PDF) | Cal State Fullerton
Social Media@HawaiiWVB Twitter | #GoBows | @HawaiiWVB Instagram | Facebook Facebook

Cal State Fullerton (7-3, 1-1 Big West)

  • LAST WEEK – The Titans split their two road matches to open the BWC season. CSF cruised past CSU Bakersfield (25-17, 25-10, 25-15) then fell in straight-sets at Cal Poly (14-25, 19-25, 19-25). Overall, the Titans’ ase led on offense by Julia Crawford and Lyla Traylor who both come into the weekend with 114 kills apiece.
  • All-time Series Record vs. CSF: UH leads series, 43-0
    Streak: UH has won 43
    Head Coach: Nicole Polster (Second Season)
  • Last year in Honolulu, UH held off the Titans in five sets, 25-13, 25-20, 25-27, 13-25, 15-10. On the road, the ‘Bows swept Cal State Fullerton (25-23, 25-19, 25-14).
HAWAI’I (5-5, 2-0 BWC) vs. LONG BEACH STATE “THE BEACH”  (6-4, 1-1 BWC)  
Date | TimeOct. 1, 2022   |  4:00 p.m. HT
LocationWalter Pyramid (4,200) – Long Beach, Calif.
Live Video StreamESPN+
RadioCBS 1500 (1500 am)  – Tiff Wells (Play-by-Play)
Live Audio Streamcbssportshawaii.com -or- Sideline Hawaii app
Live Stats     longbeachstate.com
Game NotesHawai’i (PDF) | Long Beach State
Social Media@HawaiiWVB Twitter  |  #GoBows  |  @HawaiiWVB Instagram  |  Facebook Facebook

Long Beach State (6-4, 1-1 Big West)

  • LAST WEEK – Last week, The Beach fell at Cal Poly in four sets (20-25, 25-16, 23-25, 20-25), but bounced back to sweep CSU Bakersfield (25-22, 25-16, 25-14). Overall on offense Morgan Chacon leads LBSU with 145 kills averaging 3.63 k/s.
  • Series vs. LBSU: UH leads series, 32-24-1
  • Streak: UH has won last nine
  • Head Coach: Tyler Hildebrand (First Season)
  • Last year under former head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer, UH swept The Beach at home (10/1/21), 26-024, 25-16, 25-21. On the road, the ‘Bows won in four sets at the Walter Pyramid (11/6/21), 25-21, 25-11, 21-25, 25-19.
  • The only tie in Rainbow Wahine history came against the Beach at the UCLA/NIVT Tournament in Los Angeles, Calif on Nov. 4, 1978 (12-15, 15-6).

Head Coach Robyn Ah Mow

  • Overall record: 91-34 (Fifth season)
  • At Hawai’i: Same
  • Big West: 62-8 (Fifth Season)
  • UH head coach Robyn Ah Mow is in her fifth season (sixth overall – BWC did not play in 2020 due to COVID-19). Overall she has an 91-34 record and a 62-8 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 year, the ‘Bows upset SEC runner-up, No. 24 Mississippi State in the NCAA First Round (in Seattle, Wash.) in a five set thriller, 17-25, 25-14, 25-13, 21-25, 15-11. Ah Mow led UH to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, extending UH’s streak to 28-straight and 39 overall NCAA appearances.

TWO EARN BIG WEST WEEKLY AWARDS

  • On Monday, The Big West handed out their weekly awards. Sophomore Kate Lang was named Setter of the Week and rookie Caylen Alexander earned Freshman of the Week honors. For Lang, it marks her third career weekly BWC accolade after twice being named Freshman of the Week last year. For Alexander, it is her second Big West Freshman of the Week award.
  • Lang orchestrated the Hawai’i offense to a .356 hitting percentage in sweeps over UCD and UCR this past weekend. She dished out a match-high 36 assists to go along with seven digs, a block, a kill and an ace against the Aggies. The sophomore from Keller, Texas followed a night later with a match-high 39 assists against UC Riverside and had UH’s offense firing on all cylinders for a season-best .414 team hitting percentage, which is the highest hitting percentage since Sept. 29, 2017  when UH hit .494 vs. Cal State Fullerton. Lang averaged 12.5 assists per set in the two matches. Overall, she leads The Big West with 9.57 assists per set this season.
  • Rookie Caylen Alexander helped power the Rainbow offense. The outside hitter caught fire against UC Riverside, pounding a match-high 15 kills with no errors in 27 attacks for a career-best .556 hitting percentage. Alexander pummeled seven kills in the third set alone–including five in a span of seven points in the middle of the final frame.
  • For the weekend, the native of Alpharetta, Ga., put down 23 kills, averaging 3.83 kills per set with a .375 hitting percentage in six frames of play.  Alexander recorded a career-best four blocks and added eight kills and two digs in the win over UC Davis. She also recorded a service ace in each match and now has at least one ace in nine of Hawai’i’s 10 matches played. Her 0.48 service ace/set average ranks her third in The Big West. 

LAST TIME OUT . . .

  • The Rainbow Wahine opened the Big West season with a pair of home sweeps defeating UC Davis on Friday night (25-22, 25-14, 25-21), and followed a night later winning in three-straight against UC Riverside (25-17, 25-23, 25-13).
  • Outside hitter Riley Wagoner recorded her first two double-doubles of the season with 12 kills and 11 digs in both matches. 
  • Against UC Davis, junior Amber Igiede came through with 10 kills and a match-high four blocks while rookie Caylen Alexander added eight kills and a career-high four blocks.
  • Against UC Riverside, the scrappy Highlanders led by as many as eight points in the second set at 17-9. But the ‘Bows fought their way back and were able to catch UCR at 21-21. UH won four of the last five points to steal Set 2, 25-23.
  • In the third set, Alexander put the team on her back and propelled UH past the Highlanders. With the score tied at 6-6 and Igiede serving, the ‘Bows reeled off seven-straight points during which time Alexander pounded five kills to give UH a 13-6 lead from which UCR could not rally back from. In all, Alexander had a match-high 15 kills—seven coming in the third set alone. She had no errors on 27 attacks for a career-high .556 hitting percentage. Igiede however hit even better recording a match-high .571 hitting percentage (12-0-21) with a match-high four blocks.
  • As a team, UH hit a season-high .414 (49-8-99). It was the highest team hitting percentage since UH hit .494 against Cal State Fullerton on 9/29/17).
  • Sophomore setter Kate Lang issued 49 assists—20 to the middles and 29 to the pin-hitters.   

NEWS & NOTES

  • Igiede continues to lead Hawai’i in kills (126); kill/set (3.41), hitting percentage (.423), blocks (46), and points (164.5). She has recorded double-digit kills and has had at least two blocks in nine of UH’s 10 matches this season. Igiede also leads UH with 15 block solos and 31 block assists and has had the team’s match-high in rejections in eight matches. For her career, Igiede has had at least one kill in all 70 matches. Her streak of matches with at least one block was snapped at 60 in the season-opener at Texas A&M. That is the only match in 70 career appearances that she was not in on at least one block.
  • Wagoner has come one strong the last few games, starting in the reverse sweep of Southern California to end UH’s preseason schedule. In UH’s first match vs. the Trojans, she had 12 kills, but had 13 hitting errors for a -.022 hitting percentage. The following night, Wagoner stepped up and made adjustments and has become an even steadier force at outside-hitter ever since. In that match, Wagoner was the catalyst in the come-from-behind win pounding 17 kills and hitting a season-best .389 (17-3-36). In UH’s conference opening weekend, she posted her first two double-doubles of the season to help lead UH to a early 2-0 BWC record.
  • Lang averaged 12.5 assists/set this past week with 36 assists vs. UCD and 39 against UCR. The sophomore from Keller, Texas was key in directing UH’s season-best .414 hitting percentage against UC Riverside on Saturday. After being aggressive offensively putting down five and three kills respectively in UH’s two matches vs. USC. She had just one kill over the weekend.
  • Alexander has improved match by match in her rookie campaign. She is third on the team with 97 kills while hitting .245 on the leftside. She has already had five double-digit kill matches—including a career-high 18 vs. UCLA and most recently 15 kills and a .556 hitting percentage vs. UC Riverside (9/24/22). Last week, Alexander also posted a career-high 4.0 blocks in UH’s sweep over UC Davis. She leads UH and is ranked third in the Big West with 18 service aces. Alexander has had at least one ace in all but one match (West Virginia).
  • Sophomore libero Tayli Ikenaga has been amazing patrolling the back line with a team-best 131 digs (3.54 d/s). She has come up with 10+ digs in eight of UH’s 10 matches—including the last five straight. Her season-high of 18 digs came in UH’s first match vs. USC.
  • Standing tall in the middle has been Tiffany Westerberg who is second on the team with 23 blocks and fourth with 71 kills. She posted a season-high 5.0 blocks in the BWC opener vs. UC Davis and was very efficient on offense, picking up eight kills in both BWC matches averaging a .435 hitting percentage. Until UH’s most recent match vs. the Highlanders, Westerberg had at least one block in the first nine matches.
  • Two Rainbow Wahine have also played in all 10 matches. Juniors Talia Edmonds and Kendra Ham have bolstered the back row with their serving and defensive play. Edmonds, who transferred from Michigan State, is fourth on the team with 68 digs while Ham who transferred from Cal Poly last season is right behind with 67 digs. Against UCR, Edmonds came up with her second 10+ dig match of the year with 11. Ham, who is an outside hitter by trade, has recorded three double-digit dig matches (at Texas A&M, Texas State, and USC) and she has three service aces as well.
  • The Big West’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released and Hawai’i was voted to finish first, edging out conference rival UC Santa Barbara. UH received six first-place votes from the 11 conference head coaches for 96 points. The Gauchos garnered five first place votes and tallied a total of 94 points. Cal Poly came in third with 79 points and Long Beach State tallied 75. In the 10 seasons since rejoining the Big West in 2012 (the BWC did not play in 2020), UH has been voted to finish first eight times—including the last two and has won the BWC crown in four of the last six seasons.
  • Hawaii’s two returning all-Big West first team players—Amber Igiede and Kate Lang—both were selected to the Big West Preseason Team as voted on by the head coaches. Igiede, a 6-3 junior middle blocker, led the ‘Bows and finished fourth in the Big West with 316 kills and a .388 hitting percentage while coming in third with 135 total blocks. She also recorded 113 digs and was one of two Rainbow Wahine to start all 30 matches. Lang, UH’s sophomore setter, concluded 2021 atop the Big West rankings with 10.36 assists per set. Lang dished out 901 total assists and finished the year with 12 double-doubles while recording 50+ assists on three occasions.
  • Hawai’i added three redshirt junior transfers to their roster in 2022. All three had extensive playing time prior to arrinving and each brought a wealth of experience with them. All three had taken a red-shirt year prior to the COVID year, thus all three players have earned  their Bachelor’s degrees and still have two seasons left of eligibility.
    • First to sign with UH was Talia Edmonds who played two full seasons at Michigan State where she served as a captain in 2021. The Kalamazoo, Mich.-native appeared in 58 career matches for the Spartans while recorded 298 digs, 60 assists, and 25 service aces. Last year she led the Spartans with 238 digs. For Edmonds this has been a return to her Hawai’i roots. Her mother Peka (Malae) Edmonds was raised in Honolulu and was an All-American volleyball player at the University of Hawai’i-Hilo who won four consecutive NAIA championships. Currently, the younger Edmonds is enrolled at UH as a post-baccalaureate student who is working towards entering the social work Master’s program.
    • Maui native Chandler Cowell is returning home after the athletic pin-hitter spent her first few years at St. Mary’s (CA). In 2021, Cowell had her best season as a Gael with 219 kills, 2.52 kills/set (tied with Elena Baka), and 260.0 total points. For her career, Cowell recorded 391 kills (2.43 k/s), 306 digs, 70 total blocks, 31 service aces, 36 assists and 460.5 total points (2.86 p/s). She earned her Bachelor’s degree in communications this past Spring and has begun pursuit of her Master’s degree in communications at UH. Chandler is the younger sister of UH men’s volleyball standout Colton Cowell.
    • UH’s final transfer joined the team right before the start of fall camp. Kennedi Evans, a 6-2 middle, will provide much needed depth at middle blocker. Evans, who hails from Twin Falls, Idaho transferred to UH from Utah where she competed in 57 career matches while recording 226 kills and 32.5 blocks. Evans earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Utah and has begun her master’s degree at UH’s Shidler College of Business.