Junior hitter Nikki Taylor picked up a third consecutive Player of the Week and sophomore libero Savanah Kahakai her first Defensive Player of the Week, the Big West announced Monday.
Taylor was averaged 4.75 kills, 2.25 digs, 1.33 blocks and 0.75 service aces per set to help the Rainbow Wahine take down San Diego State, then-No. 2 Florida and Eastern Washington for the Outrigger Resorts Volleyball Challenge title. She also hit .252 with a tournament-high 57 kills to go along with 27 digs, 16 blocks and nine service aces en route to the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honor..
The 6-foot-3 opposite came up big in the five-set win over the Gators. Taylor slammed a career-best 27 kills and added a season-high 17 digs in the win.
She has led the Rainbow Wahine in kills in all nine matches this season. Taylor also tied her career-high three times with three service aces in each contest.
Kahalai led UH in digs in all three tournament matches, totaling 42. Her best effort came against Florida when she finishes with a career-high 19 digs.
Also on Monday, the Rainbow Wahine (8-1) moved up to No. 12 the AVCA Coaches Top 25, their highest ranking this season.
Penn State (8-0) are a unanimous No. 1, receiving all 60 first-place votes. Losses by Florida and then-No. 3 Stanford helped Texas (7-1) move two spots to No. 2
Behind the Longhorns are USC (10-0), also moving up two spots, with Nebraska (8-1) up a spot to No. 4 and Florida (6-1) dropping to No. 5. Rounding out the Top 10 are Illinois (7-1), Washington (8-0), Stanford (4-2), BYU (8-1) and Arizona State (8-0).
Hawaii is the only Big West team ranked. Defending conference champion Long Beach State (8-2) continues to receive votes (28).
The Rainbow Wahine conclude their nonconference schedule when hosting Cal State Bakersfield (2-8) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. Sunday’s match is preceded by the alumnae match at 3 p.m..