Just as Hawaii dominated Big West volleyball play this season, the Rainbow Wahine dominated the conference’s annual awards that were announced today.
Senior opposite Nikki Taylor repeated as Player of the Year, and Dave Shoji was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year and third time in four seasons.
Hawaii (22-5, 15-1 Big West) had five players named to the 16-member first team. Joining Taylor were senior hitter Annie Mitchem, junior middle Emily Maglio, junior libero Savanah Kahakai and freshman setter Norene Iosia.
Iosia also was named to the eight-member all-freshman of the year. Freshman of the Year honors went to UC Santa Barbara hitter Lindsey Ruddins.
It was the fourth first-team selection for Taylor and the second in a row for Maglio. Since re-joining the Big West in 2012, a Wahine has earned Player of the Year honors four of five seasons, twice by Taylor and Emily Hartong (2012-13).
Hawaii also had the Player of the Year in the Big West in 1987 (Suzanne Eagye), 1988-89 (Teee Williams), 1990 (Karrie Trieschman) and 1995 (Angela Ljungquist). Shoji also earned the honor in 1987-88, 1995 and 2012; he had eight awards when the Wahine competed in the Western Athletic Conference (1996-2011).
Also today, Hawaii moved up five places to 23 in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Ratings Percentage Index. The Wahine open play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday against USC (18-13) in Minneapolis.
The Wahine moved up a spot to No. 12 in today’s AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll.