University of Hawaii’s Sky Williams earns Big West honor as Wahine move up to No. 18 | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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University of Hawaii’s Sky Williams earns Big West honor as Wahine move up to No. 18

  • 2019 September 6 SPT - Photo by Andrew Lee / Special to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii’s Skyler Williams (8) hits over Sacramento State’s Cianna Andrews (2) during the first set of a NCAA Women’s Volleyball Match on Friday, September 6, 2019, at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Hawaii junior middle Sky Williams was named the defensive player of the week by the Big West after helping the Rainbow Wahine to three victories and a new ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25.

The Rainbow Wahine (6-0), off to their best start since 2004, were at No. 18. Hawaii is one of 10 undefeated teams in the rankings.

Williams was named the MVP of last week’s Heineken Invitational, averaging 3.20 kills and 1.20 blocks over 10 sets in the wins over Army, Sacramento State and Denver. She hit .481 with 32 kills, including a career-high 13 kills in the victory over Army.

The Bellflower, Calif., native hit 1.000 against Sacramento State, going 9-for-9. She had a team-high four blocks against Army and tied for the team high with five against Denver.

In the Top 25, defending national champion Stanford (4-0) received all 64 first-place votes in staying No. 1. Nebraska (4-0), which survived a five-set scare by San Diego over the weekend, stayed at No. 2 followed by Texas (3-1).

The biggest jump was made by Baylor (5-0), which hosts Hawaii next week. The Bears stunned then-No. 4 Wisconsin in four on Friday then swept then-No. 11 Marquette to move from No. 17 to No. 5.

Washington (4-1), which lost to Hawaii on Sept. 1, moved up four places to No. 12 after its 3-2 win over former No. 5 Illinois (2-2). The Fighting Illini fell to No. 14.

The only other Top 25 team currently on Hawaii’s schedule is Missouri (4-0), which the Wahine will play at next week’s Baylor Invitational. The Tigers, unranked last week, were at No. 21 today after going 3-0 in the Dayton Invitational, including a sweep of then-No. 14 Michigan.

Hawaii hosts the Outrigger Resorts Invitational beginning Thursday, playing West Virginia (4-2) in the second match. The 4:45 p.m. opener has UCLA (3-2) against Utah Valley (2-5).

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