The Hawaii women’s volleyball team enters a big competition week with a new RPI but the same ranking.
The Rainbow Wahine, who host the Big West’s co-leaders this week, dropped seven spots to No. 17 in today’s Ratings Percentage Index after last week’s sweeps at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine, two of the three bottom teams in the Big West. It’s the lowest RPI for Hawaii (18-3, 8-2) this season; last week the Wahine were at 10 in the computer-generated system to rate strength of schedule.
In today’s American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 poll, Hawaii remained at No. 21. Texas (14-2, 43 first-place votes) jumped three spots to No. 1 after defeating previous unbeaten Baylor (17-1). Also today, Hawaii senior Norene Iosia was named the Big West’s defensive player of the week in volleyball, the first such honor of her career.
Pitt (21-1, 18 votes) moved up a spot to No. 2 while the Bears (1 vote), which handed Hawaii its first loss of the season, dropped to No. 3. Wisconsin (14-1, 1 vote) up up two places to No. 4 with defending national champion Stanford (14-4, 1 votes) falling three places to No. 5 after being upset by unranked UCLA on Friday.
Hawaii is the lone Big West team in the poll. The Wahine’s next opponent, UC Santa Barbara (18-2, 8-1) received 19 votes putting the Gauchos outside the Top 25 at 29.
Hawaii hosts UCSB Friday at 7 p.m. and Cal Poly (15-6, 8-1) Sunday at 5 p.m.
Among Hawaii’s other opponents, Washington (16-4) dropped three spots to No. 12, Missouri (14-4) moved up one place to No. 24 and UCLA (12-7) made its first appearance in this season’s poll at No. 25.
Iosia, playing both setter and outside hitter, had a combined 22 digs and 12 blocks in last week’s sweeps at Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine, including a career-high eight blocks against the Titans. She recorded double-doubles in assists and digs in both matches, her 12th and 13th of the season and 56th and 57th of her career.
In Friday’s win at Fullerton, Iosia came close to a quadruple-double with 14 assists and 12 digs, as well as eight kills and eight blocks. She also had three aces in the road matches, which moved her to No. 5 on the program’s career list with 121. She also ranks 12th on the all-time dig list (1,070).
Iosia also was nominated for player of the week honors, which went to UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsey Ruddins. It was the 12th career honor for Ruddins, setting a conference record.