Hawaii women’s volleyball: Norene Iosia DPOW, RPI dips, still No. 21

Hawaii coach Robyn Ah Mow gave setter Norene Iosia a helping of cake against UC Davis on Oct. 20 at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Wahine return home this week still at No. 21 in the Top 25 poll but down seven spots in the NCAA RPI. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Senior Norene Iosia earned her first Defensive Player of the Week award from the Big West on Monday.

Iosia had a combined 22 digs and 12 blocks in the sweep of Fullerton and UCI, including a career-high eight blocks against the Titans.

She has 13 double-doubles on the season, giving her a total of 57 in her career. She has five career triple-doubles and was two kills and two blocks away from capturing a quadruple-double against the Titans.

Iosia’s three aces for the week moved her up to No. 5 in program history with 121, and she is now 12th on the Rainbow Wahine’s all-time dig list with 1,070.

Player of the Week went to UCSB’s Lindsey Ruddins, who set the conference record for most such honors. Iosia was nominated.

Freshman of the Week went to UCSB’s Tallulah Froley. Hanna Hellvig was nominated.

The Hawaii women’s volleyball team’s ranking remained at No. 21 after a pair of road sweeps last week, but the Rainbow Wahine’s NCAA RPI dipped considerably.

After sweeping two of the Big West’s bottom three teams, Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine, Hawaii saw its RPI fall from 10 to 17.

In the AVCA Top 25 poll, Texas (14-2, 43 first-place votes) jumped three spots to No. 1 after defeating previous unbeaten Baylor (17-1). 

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) was 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.

Hawaii has defeated three teams currently ranked. 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 poll appearance of the season at No. 25. The Bruins defeated Stanford and Cal last week.
San Diego, which also lost to the Wahine, dropped out of the rankings this week. The Toreros, with 60 points, are at 26.

Top 25 results Sunday
No. 2 Stanford def. USC, 23-25, 26-28, 25-19, 25-14, 15-11
No. 3 Pitt def. Louisville, 25-21, 25-22, 25-20
No. 6 Wisconsin def. Michigan, 24-26, 25-16, 25-15, 25-16
No. 7 Minnesota def. Michigan State, 25-21, 25-20, 26-28, 25-18
No. 9 Washington def. Colorado, 25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 25-13
No. 13 Florid def. Tenneess, 25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17
UCLA def. No. 15 Cal, 25-19, 25-20, 25-27, 25-20
NO. 16 Kentucky def. Ole Miss, 25-23, 22-25, 25-17, 25-23
No. 24 Washington State def. No. 18 Utah, 23-25, 25-15, 24-26, 28-26, 16-14
No. 19 Rice def. FIU, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 25-21
No. 23 Western Kentucky def. Charlotte, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20
No. 25 Missouri def. Mississippi, 25-19, 27-25, 25-18


  1. Maverick October 28, 2019 8:43 am

    UH is 17th in the official RPI rankings and 21st in this week’s AVCA poll. Neither result is surprising.

  2. jmy October 28, 2019 8:45 am

    Texas #1, as expected…

  3. WahineVBFan808 October 28, 2019 8:46 am

    I don’t understand how Illinois is still ranked with a 10-9 record…

  4. Robin October 28, 2019 9:18 am

    Top 2 teams in the poll with starting setters from Hawaii (Texas and Pitt).

  5. blunite October 28, 2019 9:52 am

    The rankings are becoming a silly charade. At this rate the SOS trumps the record. Anyone can have a SOS loaded with Power 5 opponents and lose to all the “strong” teams.

    Case in point is Illinois (10-9) being ranked #19. Stanford can prolly lose 5 more times and still be in the Top 10 with 9 losses.

  6. jmy October 28, 2019 10:28 am

    4. Agree…don’t understand, for example, how Louisville has a higher RPI than Hawaii since they play in a relatively weak conference and have not beaten anyone of note…

  7. Cindy Luis October 28, 2019 10:56 am

    thanks for all the help. just landed and updated what our Brian McInnis was able to help with.
    Mahalo Brian.

  8. H-Man October 28, 2019 10:59 am

    Pitt setter, Kamalani Akeo, Kamehameha, reminds me a lot of Kanoe Kamana’o.

  9. Cruisecontrol October 28, 2019 12:45 pm

    Looks like Hawaii may have to win out to even have a chance at hosting a subregional. Biggest challenge this weekend. Go ‘Bows!

  10. Sheila October 28, 2019 1:24 pm

    Viewed both last week games on youtube. Wahines’ skills (serving, digging, energy bringing by reserves, etc) have improved very much in all dimensions. This is the week to re-group WITH JR, at least, for few rotations and bring another two wins against top 50 to be in post-season. Anyway, doesn’t matter RPI, now wahine has discern depth to cruise post-season all the way to final-four.

  11. Warrior Lifer October 28, 2019 1:43 pm

    Even if Hawaii were to finish the season with no more conference losses, it seems like they wouldn’t get much respect in the RPI ratings? I guess just have to hope the teams that Hawaii beat in the preseason also keep winning? The RPI is quite a confusing metric.

  12. WaveRipper October 28, 2019 2:18 pm

    As Na Wahine plays both UCSB and Cal-Poly this week, many are wondering if the Big West could receive 3 (the automatic and 2 at-large) bids/berths in the NCAA Championship tournament. Let’s look at what happened with the 2018 bids.

    PAC-12 (12 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 8 (most of all conferences)
    2018 Results: 6 of 8 teams made the Round of 32 (regionals)
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 8 (4/Stanford, 6/Washington, 15/UCLA, 23/California, 24/USC, 26/Utah, 37/Was. St, 42/Arizona St)
    Note: Right now it looks like the Pac-12 will receive 8 bids again, but Arizona St looks vulnerable.

    BIG TEN (14 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 7
    2018 Results: 7 of 7 teams made it out of the sub-regionals and into the regionals
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 8
    Note: 36/ Illinois (10-9) and 50/Ohio St (11-11) are in danger of not meeting the minimum .500 W-L overall record for an at-large consideration … Big Ten Standings: 1st Wisconsin (10-0), 2nd Penn State (9-1) and Minn (9-1), 4th Nebraska (8-2)

    SEC (13 teams)
    2018 Bids: 5
    2018 Results: 5 of 5 teams made it to the Round of 32
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 7
    Note: Appears the league will have a minimum of 5 total bids: In 1st place in SEC standings is (tied) 10/Florida and 8/Kentucky, followed by 31/ Georgia, 22/Missouri, and 11/Texas A&M … 44/Ole Miss(tied for 5th in SEC standings) and 45/South Carolina (7th in SEC standings) appear to be bubble teams

    BIG 12 (9 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 2
    2018 Results: 2 of 2 teams made it to the Round of 32
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 4
    Note: Going from 2 bids last year to an almost certain 4 bids this year (1/Baylor, 2/Texas, 25/Oklahoma and 32/Iowa St) will wreck havoc to the hopes of mid-major conferences hoping to receive at least 2 bids.

    ACC (15 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 5
    2018 Results: 3 of the 5 teams made the Round of 32
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 4
    Note: As a conference, the ACC appears weaker than last year’s (5/Pittsburgh, 16/Louisville, 30/Notre Dame and 35/Florida State)

    WCC (10 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 5
    2018 Results: 4 of the 5 made it to the Round of 32
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 2 (19/BYU and 34/San Diego)
    Note: 57/Pepperdine (11-10) could be a bubble team but I don’t expect the Waves to receive an invitation. Thus, a drop from 2018’s 5 bids to 2019’s what-could-be 2 bids is HUGE, and opens the door for the Big West (considered the West’s other mid-major conference along with the WCC)

    BIG WEST (9 teams)
    2018 Total Bids: 2
    2018 Results: Both Cal-Poly (automatic) and Hawaii (at-large) lost in the sub-regional’s opening round
    2019 Teams in current NCAA RPI Top 50: 17/Hawaii, 29/UCSB, 41/Cal-Poly
    Note: LBSU alumnus and former coach Gimmillaro could be right (for a change) in predicting that the Big West will receive 3 bids/berths to this year’s Big Dance. There’s a lot of exciting conference volleyball to be played yet, which means weeks of nail biting, so let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. One match at a time.

    GO BOWS!

  13. Maverick October 28, 2019 7:04 pm

    4,5. Louisville’s SOS is 15th best in the nation right now, as compared to UH’s 52nd-ranked SOS. This is the main difference between the two teams, aside from UH’s slightly better record. Because SOS is 50% of the base RPI calculation, Louisville’s superior SOS outweighs UH’s better record, leading to a higher RPI ranking (both teams have the same number of bonus points). RPI rewards playing strong opposition, and also rewards teams for winning. Teams with the highest RPIs do both.

    There will be cases when a team with a better record will have a worse RPI, especially if they play an easier schedule. Colorado St. is 20-1 and has the 106th rated SOS. Should they have a better RPI than UH, despite CSU playing 4 top 50 RPI teams as compared to UH’s 7 (soon to be 9 after this weekend)? UH is 5-2 in those matches vs. CSU’s 3-1, so UH gets more bonus points.

    Btw, here are other teams with better records than UH but worse RPIs: Western KY (23-1), Stephen F. Austin (22-1), South Dakota (21-1), UCSB (18-2), Milwaukee (22-2), etc. etc. I would argue none of these should have higher RPIs than UH. Records are only part of the story. Finally, Stanford has played 12 matches (8-4) against Top 50 RPI teams. They are scheduled to play 6 more such matches. They can afford more losses because of this, and the bonus points they have racked up.

  14. Roger October 28, 2019 7:20 pm

    Maverick, great analysis.

  15. Searider October 28, 2019 9:05 pm

    I wonder if Jolie is ever going to be able to play? She’s still limping around. We need her if we hope to go far in the tournament. With Jolie and Hana and everyone else, I think we can really surprise some teams in the tournament. Go Bows!

  16. rabbit ears October 28, 2019 9:24 pm

    Is Jolie Practicing? The conference season is winding down after this weekend. She will probably need 2 weeks to get her back to playing condition. I understand if she’s not ready, she’s not ready. But it’s kind of sad for her.

  17. WaveRipper October 28, 2019 10:45 pm

    Michella, the NCAA.com’s blogger appointed to highlight the top 3 D1 matches of the week, puts the Big West in the spotlight: https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleyball-women/article/2019-10-28/penn-state-vs-nebraska-highlights-top-college-volleyball

  18. warriorwahine October 28, 2019 10:50 pm

    anyone know has robyn lodged a protest to the big west about that uc irvine match at home to have it replayed at set 5 score 1-1 because uc irvine received an unofficial challenge to replay the point? i heard uci coach bullied the officials too at that match so thats another need to investigate as well as delay of game caused twice by uci. need to restore that ‘difficult to defeat the bows’ jack fact record and perhaps restore rpi. irvine received that free pass in 2016 and this year. uh can have rights to receive the same.

  19. sports for fun October 29, 2019 1:16 am

    Hey, if that down official allowed her to bully him, more power to her. 99% of head coaches try to intimidate officials. That down official needed to stand up to her, but he didn’t have the courage. Unfortunately, he allowed the UCI coach to intimidated him. UCI coach had him wrapped around her little finger. In the rematch in Irvine, the UCI coach couldn’t bully the down official. He stood his ground. He’s probably a great person, but I hope that down official from the first meeting is not scheduled for any of the matches this weekend.

  20. Andrew October 29, 2019 8:19 am


    At this point might as well have the mindset that she isn’t coming back this season. Hopefully she’ll be 100 % for next season and try to make a deep run in the tournament.

  21. H-Man October 29, 2019 2:53 pm

    As for next season, hard to imagine the Wahine will be as strong as they are this season. The Wahine will only have a freshman setter. Well, that’s it if she (Kate Lang) signs. Maybe another graduate transfer may decide to finish her career with the Wahine. Otherwise, can’t expect too much from the Wahine without experience at setter and libero. Wahine lose a lot in Norene, Bailey, Rika, McKenna and Kirsten.

  22. Andrew October 29, 2019 3:29 pm


    I think Robyn will go out and find a transfer for setter. If Jolie isn’t back soon, I don’t forsee the team going very far in the tournament. She’s also been out for so long that I wonder how long it’ll take for everything to click again like how it was during non conference season

  23. kula1 October 29, 2019 4:35 pm

    21. Norene and Bailey, definitely. McKenna, Rika, and Kirsten, not so much.

  24. Big Island Volleyball Fan October 29, 2019 5:49 pm

    Meanwhile Cal Poly swept CSUN while the match between UCSB and Long Beach is still going on. Long Beach is ahead two sets to one after a long third set where UCSB won 31-29. Long Beach had its chances but flubbed it. For once I was rooting for Long Beach to get ahead. But Lindsey Ruddins is too much for Long Beach. Missed most of the three sets due to watching Cal Poly.

  25. Cindy Luis October 29, 2019 6:36 pm

    new thread up with Big West scores and box links
    Not sure when Rasmussen will be officially cleared. But they are hoping to get her back this season. IMHO it won’t take her 2 weeks to get back into playing shape.

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