Hawaii hopes to get back on track with the Big West volleyball title ( News Hawaii )

24 Nov – Before leaving on the last road trip of the regular season, Robyn Ah Mow called her former mentor for some advice.

Before setting off on her last scheduled trip, Robyn Ah Mow called on her former mentor for some advice.

The sixth-year University of Hawaii coach has extensive experience competing at UC Santa Barbara, where the Rainbow Wahine will square off against the Gauchos on Friday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Big West Conference women’s volleyball tournament.

As for planning a Thanksgiving get-together for a travel party in Santa Barbara, Calif., that’s where she could use some guidance from Dave Shoji, a UH education legend and UCSB alum.

‘Dave,’ he said, ‘don’t you know where we can get the girls?’ “Ah Mow was told earlier this week that the machines had uncertain holiday plans.”

“It’s sad that we can’t (at home). Some of the girls don’t have family here, so we usually have a place to celebrate.”

Already a tight-knit group, the Rainbow Wahine (20-6, 17-1 Big West) left for California on Wednesday with a singular focus, to win a one-way tie in a two-way trip to a third straight championship and conference title. program games 40 game knight berth.

Their first opportunity comes Friday against UCSB (20-9, 16-3) in the Thunderdome, where one long streak ends while another.

The Wahine will then close out the season on Saturday at Cal State Northridge (9-22, 4-15) at Premier America Credit Union Arena.

UH and UCSB finished 1-2 in last year’s Big West tournament, with the Wahine clinging to the title before UCSB managed to cap off a lopsided season on senior night at SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center.

This year’s UH team will look to reverse the Gauchos last Friday at the Thunder, where they are 11-0 this season.

The Wahine enter the rematch riding a season-high 10-game winning streak that began in Manoa with a sweep of CSUN on Oct. 21 and was followed by a four-game win over UCSB.

UH has posted an average of 15.2 digs per set to feed the offense in the past five games. After the Wahine posted 51 digs in a quick sweep of CSU Bakersfield last Sunday, Ah Mow noted the work the players — and coaches — have put in in recent weeks in practice to hone their defense.

“We’re definitely tired of the defense. My arms hurt, my back hurts, but it makes me smile,” Ah Mow said of UH’s total after the senior’s ceremony.

“The ball goes off the stump and the balls run (down).”

UH’s defensive effort fueled stretches throughout last weekend’s wins over Cal Poly and CSUB. After dropping the first set to Cal Poly on Friday, the Wahine have put together runs of at least seven points in each of their last six sets, including 10- and 13-point starts in 2 and 3 against the Mustangs.

“He came in to show that we’re taking in the information (the coaches are) giving us and playing in the game,” said UH outside hitter Leo Wagoner, who had 10 digs in each game.

“It’s just going out and playing, and when he’s running it’s awesome, but you have to grind.”

Wagoner Wahine with 17 kills on. 292 hitting and 13 digs in a 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, 25-22 win over UCSB on Oct. 22. Michelle Ohwobete led the Gauchos with 18 kills and digs. The rematch averaged a team high of 3.27 kills per set.

UCSB middle blocker Deni Wilson tops the Big West with 1.37 blocks per set, followed by UH’s Amber Igiede at 1.31. Igiede continues to lead the league in scoring with 4.85 points per set.

UCSB began their home run with a 25-19, 25-20, 25-18 sweep of CSUN on Tuesday to keep their title hopes alive. The Gauchos need a win on Friday and a loss to UH on Saturday to make a breakthrough in the Big West, which puts UCSB in favor of its 2-0 record against current third-place Cal Poly while UH went 1-1 against the Mustangs.

UH made quick work of CSUN in a 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 sweep in the first meeting, hitting .381 to the Matadors’ .168.

While the Wahine remain “dialed” (as Ah Mow often puts it), the Cal Poly match showed the benefits of playing so relaxed. After a tight opening, the Wahine released the tension by rolling through the next two and rallied late in the fourth.

“We have a lot of personality on this team,” Wagoner said. “So when the shows are on the court is when we have the most fun. And we just play looser, that’s been a goal for us a lot of the time, because that’s when we play the best volleyball.”

Big West women’s volleyball

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