Hawaii women’s volleyball: Weekly honor for Williams, Wahine move up to No. 18

Hawaii middle Skyler Williams hit over Sacramento State's Cianna Andrews on Friday. Williams was named the Heineken Rainbow Wahine Invitational MVP and picked up Big West defensive player of the week honors on Monday. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Hawaii junior middle Sky Williams was named the Big West’s Defensive Player of the Week today.

The MVP of the Heineken Invitational averaged 3.20 kills and 1.20 blocks over 10 sets to help the Rainbow Wahine defeated Army, Sacramento State and Denver as UH improved to 6-0 for the first time since 2004.

Williams hit an impressive .481 with 32 kills and just seven errors in 52 attempts. She currently leads the Big West in hitting percentage.

Williams had a career-high 13 kills on .417 efficiency in the four-set win over Army to go along with a team-high four blocks. She hit a career-high 1.000 going a perfect 9-for-9 on kills in the sweep of the Hornets, while posting 10 kills and five blocks (1 solo) in the four-set win against the Pioneers.

Williams was also nominated for player of the week. That award went to UC Santa Barbara’s Lindsey Ruddins. Hawaii’s Hanna Hellvig was nominated for freshman of the week.

Hawaii moves up two spots to No. 18 in this week’s AVCA coaches poll.

Washington, which lost to Hawaii eight days ago, goes from 16 to 12 after a win over then-No. 5 Illinois.

Upcoming opponent Baylor is No. 5, up 12 spots, by far the largest mover in the poll after winning at then-No. 4 Wisconsin and at then No. 11 Marquette.


  1. Jon B September 9, 2019 9:03 am

    Poll voters are ALL over the map when you look at the voter breakdown. Some with UH as high as 5!

  2. Andrew September 9, 2019 10:19 am

    I get that some voters voted last week before the UH UW match, but I don’t get how after last week’s decisive win vs Washinton plus going another 3-0 this week, UH only goes up two spots.

  3. vbfan4ife September 9, 2019 10:20 am

    Baylor moved to #5. We are gonna be playing a top 10 team. That is gonna be a great test for these young ladies.

  4. H-Man September 9, 2019 10:37 am

    Win one game at a time, Win the automatic conference bid. Rankings are nice.

  5. Cindy Luis September 9, 2019 11:00 am

    2. the votes fall where they fall.
    I don’t think the AVCA ever corrected that Hawaii’s win over Washington was 3-1. when they announced Rasmussen as NPOW, they said it was 3-2
    but Washington’s win over Illinois is much bigger IMHO.
    Had San Diego hung on against Nebraska, UH’s win over the Toreros might have swayed a few voters.

  6. vbfan4ife September 9, 2019 11:01 am

    @ Jon – post #1 – I find it interesting that some pollsters still have Hawaii unranked and some had them dropping lower in rankings as opposed to last week. I also think that Hawaii at 5 is way too high or at least not yet warranted. Think where they are at right now is decent. Keep on winning and will move up eventually. Rankings are a nice side benefit, but we really need to worry more about the RPI than anything.

  7. Andrew September 9, 2019 11:27 am

    yeah @ baylor will be really tough. I think UH has to at least split that non conference road trip.

  8. Sheila September 9, 2019 3:05 pm

    Congrats to Skyler (who also raised the standard of MB pool)! Rising Baylor to #5, is the best thing happened for wahine in this week-poll as this wahine team is very likely to bringing 5th National Title to Hawaii this year after more than two decades and need to face a top rank opponent. This team is already filled with fully enthusiastic, energetic star players in each essential category (of course in the process of getting continuous refining). Still UCLA & Missouri are big challenges need to be overcome. Wish wahine practices the ‘TAILORED PLAN against Baylor’, in next two coming games (Utah Valley and West Virginia) where all SSC fans cheer the opponents creating on the road atmosphere. Remember, after stage-1 of post season ends with Baylor game, then can relax little bit until stage-2 of post season begins on Dec 5th. Wahine needs to reach top 8th rank, to earn a manageable bracket for post season. If managed to pass Baylor, Wahine will be there!

  9. blunite September 9, 2019 3:18 pm

    Serve-receive is the great equalizer. Regardless of opponent, if Hawaii is serving tough it can take out any team.

  10. nomu1001 September 9, 2019 5:50 pm

    When a player is recognized by AVCA, they earned and deserve the award. There are so many talented players throughout the country. There are so many great matches played every week.

    Its early, and teams are going to get better every week. Being ranked 18th right now is an honor and theres only one way for this team to move, and thats up. One week at a time. The competition is tough and there are a lot of great teams.

  11. Ray September 9, 2019 5:52 pm

    UCLA, Missouri, and Baylor are going to be tests. Baylor has been so impressive to start the season especially with Pressley in the outside. That 20 kill performance she had with no hitting errors in that sweep at Marquette was spectacular. I expect they will be the biggest challenge to Texas in the Big 12 this season. Overall, this can only help the wahine’s RPI depending how they and their opponents fare the rest of the season.

  12. jmy September 9, 2019 6:25 pm

    9. Pressley is good enough to get Baylor out of most of those broken plays…Still, no team is invincible…

  13. idk September 9, 2019 8:14 pm

    No jump servers on the team after Norene graduates. Whens the last time that happened? Someone needs to develop a JS to add variety/pressure from the service line.

  14. darkfire35 September 9, 2019 8:30 pm

    12. I believe Cindy mentioned previously that Jolie and Brooke were jump servers but it’s still early in the season. Hanna and Riley are evolving close to being able to jump serve as they get more accurate with their great serves now.
    GO BOWS!

  15. T103 September 9, 2019 8:47 pm

    My friend and I were talking earlier today, is there any setters in the pipeline coming through once Norene & Bailey Choi (spelling?) graduate next year? Is there a setter who is in-coming, or on the team currently?

  16. po’okela September 9, 2019 10:38 pm

    kate lang and i’m sure RAM has another setter in the works

  17. nomu1001 September 9, 2019 11:20 pm

    Ok, so would Ryan consider a short segment on the pre or post game show of VB 101? Might be fun, and you got players and hosts who could participate too. Just thinking out loud for fun.

  18. vballfan September 9, 2019 11:29 pm

    15. Ditto on your thought regarding another setter… I feel concerned; unless Lang is fabulous and she can carry the team as a freshman setter??? Need a back-up, tho.

  19. idk September 10, 2019 8:45 am

    14. She’s previously mentioned they had good/great serves. No mention that those serves were “jump serves”.

  20. Cindy Luis September 10, 2019 10:43 am

    17. Guess you’d have to ask Ryan.
    re:setters. Lang is good but she will be young. Just one of the Texas commits that Hawaii will touch base with during their trip to Waco.

  21. tongo September 10, 2019 11:14 am

    Having at least one pre-season tournament off island is a good idea – more exposure will lead to more potential recruits and greater exposure.

    Agree with jmy, BU Pressley will be a definitive stress test on whether we have a viable scheme that can defend itself against elite attackers. Should be fund to watch.

  22. jmy September 10, 2019 11:38 am

    Too bad Baylor didn’t match up with the Huskers when they played up at Nebraska…I have a feeling that Baylor would have won…

  23. rabbit ears September 10, 2019 12:31 pm

    Seems like coach is fine with serves that are deep or close to the sidelines. Having Norene’s jump serve is a great change of pace. I remember coach talking about lollipop serves after the Army game. I think it’s the wahines having the confidence to serve tough during crunch time.
    Love all the excitment surrounding this team!

  24. Kahuna September 10, 2019 8:34 pm

    I wonder if Brooke Van Sickle is interested in becoming a setter next season. She played some setter in HS and it would ease the wear and tear on her body. It’s not like she have a future as an OH at the next level. She also mentioned on her post game interview that passing does not come natural for her. As a setter, she won’t have to pass.

    Didn’t Sarah Sponcil move from OH to setter when she transferred to UCLA?

  25. jm2375 September 11, 2019 9:23 am

    Offtheblockblog.com has UCI playing in the Outrigger Tournament (MVB). Is that true? Doesn’t do anything for UH’s RPI. Didn’t think Charlie would schedule a BWC team for non-conference tournaments. Does that mean UCI plays UH 3 times in the regular season (at the SSC)?

  26. Maverick September 11, 2019 5:22 pm

    25. Probably. There is precedent for triple scheduling. In 2015, UCI was in the Outrigger Tournament and then played UH twice more, 2 1/2 weeks later. If UCI has a good season and SOS next year, a third match will help UH’s RPI. Interestingly, the article points out that Concordia and UCI will play three times in 2020.

  27. bowsfan September 11, 2019 6:28 pm

    Did Natasha Burns get Megan Huff’s scholarship when she left for wahine basketball and Brooke Van Sickle got Burns scholarship when she decided not to return.

  28. Maverick September 11, 2019 7:38 pm

    Question for Cindy: can you verify a rumor from another online forum that Gage Worsley has left the men’s team/university?

  29. jm2375 September 11, 2019 9:57 pm

    26. I thought in-conference games didn’t do much for RPI. Has it changed?

  30. Maverick September 11, 2019 10:53 pm

    29. Was never the case. Conference affiliation is not a component of the RPI calculation. Please see the following for a very good discussion of how RPI is calculated:


  31. Cindy Luis September 12, 2019 7:35 am

    28. Saw Gage Tuesday in the practice gym.
    He wasn’t in school while playing with the U.S. national team in Canada.

  32. Cindy Luis September 12, 2019 7:37 am

    24. Setters do pass.it’s not the first option but sometimes it’s the only one.
    Don’t think they’re looking at Van Sickle as a backup setter next year.

  33. Cindy Luis September 12, 2019 8:00 am

    New thread for Thursday

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