Rainbow Wahine sweep Big West Conference weekly honors

Hawaii Athletics
Hawaii Athletics

A trio of Univeristy of Hawai’i women’s volleyball players swept this week’s Big West awards for their roles in a pair of conference road sweeps. Nikki Taylor earned Player of the Week honors, Emily Maglio garnered Defensive Player of the Week recognition and Norene Iosia was voted Freshman of the Week. It is the third time this season that Taylor has earned the honor and the second time for both Maglio and Iosia to receive their accolades. It is the first time that Hawai’i has ever swept all three awards for a week.

Taylor, a senior out of Honolulu, O’ahu and Kaiser High School, helped Hawai’i roll to a pair of road sweeps with solid all-around play. It is the 10th time in her career that she’s earned the conference’s weekly award.

The 6-4 opposite averaged 4.50 kills, 1.83 digs, 1.50 blocks and 0.33 service aces per set to spur UH past UC Irvine and UC Davis. Combined for the two matches, she recorded a team-high .440 hitting percentage with 27 kills and just five errors in 50 attempts as the Rainbow Wahine held on to first place in the league with a 20-5 overall and 13-1 Big West records.

Against the Anteaters, Taylor was extremely efficient, swinging at a season-high .733 clip with 11 kills and no errors in 15 attempts. She nearly posted a double-double with nine digs. Taylor also rejected several attempts at the net as she finished with seven block assists to average 2.33 blocks per set. Against the Aggies, Taylor pounded 16 kills and hit .314 overall with five errors in 35 swings. She also contributed three assists, two digs and two blocks. Taylor had a service ace in each match this week.

For the season, Taylor is averaging career-highs in kills per set (4.53), service aces per set (0.60), digs per set (2.33) and blocks per set (1.21).  During the UCI match, she became just the 12th player in Rainbow Wahine history to reach the 1,300 career kill mark. She currently has 1,317 kills.

A team-high in total blocks from Maglio propelled her to receive her second Big West Women’s Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season. Maglio, a 6-3 middle hitter from Coquitlam, B.C., Canada and Pinetree High School, tallied 12 blocks combined and averaged 2.00 blocks per set in UH’s road wins at UC Irvine and UC Davis.  Maglio, the Big West leader in total blocks and blocks per set, tied her career high with nine blocks against the Anteaters. She notched one block in the first set, and then went on a blocking barrage with four apiece in the second and third frames. Maglio collected three more blocks versus the Aggies, including a solo stuff. She also provided offense with 12 kills on .435 hitting, committing just two errors in 23 attempts.  Maglio also had three digs in each match.

Maglio, like Taylor, is averaging career-highs across the board with 2.38 kill per set, 1.40 blocks per set, 0.59 digs per set, and 3.15 points per set. She has already recorded career highs with 202 kills and 119 total blocks (12 solo/107 block assists). Overall, Maglio continues to lead the league with a .399 hitting percentage, total blocks, and blocks per set.

Running the offense with precision, Hawai’i’s rookie setter Iosia earned her second Big West Freshman of the Week honor this season. Iosia, who is from Torrance, Calif. and Redondo Union High School, averaged 10.17 assists and 3.83 digs per set with a pair of double-doubles to help the Rainbow Wahine sweep UC Irvine and UC Davis on the road.

She dished out 28 assists and 11 digs against the Anteaters for her first double-double of the weekend. Iosia set her teammates up for success as the squad hit .383 (40-6-89) for the match. Iosia then tallied 33 assists at UC Davis, adding 12 digs for her team-leading 10th double-double.  She also recorded a service ace and a block.  Seven different Rainbow Wahine got into the kill column with Iosia spreading the ball around. UH hit .261 for the contest.

The Rainbow Wahine now return home for their final homestand of the season. UH will take on Cal Poly on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. and then the ‘Bows will play UC Santa Barbara on “Senior Night” on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. Four Rainbow Wahine seniors will be recognized following the match—Tayler HigginsAnnie MitchemKatiana Ponce, and Nikki Taylor.

On Thursday night, head coach Dave Shoji will be vying for his 1,200th career victory. Only one other NCAA DI head coach has reached the 1,200 win milestone in Russ Rose of Penn State earlier this season. Shoji, who is in his 42nd season at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine program, currently has a record of 1,199-203-1.

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