After finishing as the top two in 2017, Cal Poly and Hawaii are the preseason favorites to wind up one and two once again in 2018. As the race was last season, the vote was incredibly tight between the two, with Cal Poly collecting five of the first-place votes and 77 points compared to four and 75 respectively for Hawaii.
Last season Cal Poly went 16-0 in league play while Hawaii went 14-2, with their only losses coming in matches to the Mustangs. Cal Poly also went 27-3 overall and made the second round of the NCAA Tournament while Hawaii went 20-8 overall and made the Big West a two-bid league by also appearing in the NCAA Tournament.
Individually, the two teams return a plethora of all-conference performers from last season. For Cal Poly that’s led by Adlee Van Winden, sister Torrey Van Winden, Katherine Brouker and Madilyn Mercer who were all on some form of Big West award list in 2017. Hawaii had McKenna Granato and Norene Iosia on the All-Big West First-Team.
Beyond the top two, UC Irvine emerged as a clear third place choice after they ended 2017 in that same spot with a 10-6 Big West mark. They also won a total of 24 matches, tying the school-record for victories, and advanced to the NIVC Quarterfinals.
Making the biggest drop from their 2017 finish to 2018 prediction were UC Davis – from fourth to sixth – and CSUN – from a fifth-place tie to seventh. Only Long Beach State (tied for fifth to fourth) made a move upwards.
The full slate of teams and their predicted spot can be seen below:
2018 Big West Women’s Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Cal Poly (5) – 77
2. Hawai’i (4) – 75
3. UC Irvine – 62
4. Long Beach State – 48
5. UC Santa Barbara – 45
6. UC Davis – 38
7. CSUN – 30
8. UC Riverside – 18
9. Cal State Fullerton – 12