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Hawaii dominates Big West volleyball awards

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    Head coach Dave Shoji encourages the team in the second set against Cal Poly at a women’s volleyball match at the Stan Sheriff Center in Manoa.

Just as Hawaii dominated in Big West volleyball play, the Rainbow Wahine dominated in postseason honors with two of the top three awards and four players named to the first team.

Junior opposite Nikki Taylor was named Player of the Year and Dave Shoji named Coach of the Year on Monday. Joining Taylor on the first team were senior middle Olivia Magill, sophomore middle Emily Maglio and senior outside hitter Tai Manu-Olevao.

Sophomore libero Savanah Kahakai and sophomore outside hitter Kalei Greeley.

Freshman of the Year went to Cal Poly outside hitter Adlee Van Winden, the niece of former Wahine Lisa Strand-Ma’a.

Taylor led the Big West in points, kills and aces, ranking in the Top 21 nationally in all three categories, including No. 5 in points (5.46 pps). She was named the Big West Player of the Week five times and was AVCA National Player of the Week on Sept. 14.

The Kaiser High graduate is the eight Hawaii player to take the Big West top honor, third in four years. Emily Hartong earned POY in 2012 and 2013. The Rainbow Wahine also had the Player of the Year during all 16 season when in the Western Athletic Conference.

It is the fifth coach honor for Shoji in the Big West to go along with seven from the WAC.

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