Akiu DPOW, Wahine team awards, RPI at 50, NLIs in

Hawaii's Reyn "Tita" Akiu was again named Big West defensive player of the week. / Photo by Darryl Oumi, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Congrats to Tita Akiu, who earned Big West defensive player of the week.

From the Big West:
Reyn Akiu collected her third honor. The Hawaii senior averaged 4.71 digs in a pair of wins over UC Irvine and UC Davis. She led UH’s defense with 33 total digs with 15 against the Anteaters and 18 vs. the Aggies.
Akiu finished with double-digit digs in all but one match during the regular season. Her 431 digs ranks No. 4 in the Big West.
UH nominated Casey Castillo for offensive POW. It went to UCSB’s Ruddins.

Big West awards will be out Tuesday
From the Wahine banquet last night, year-end awards went to
Best Offense: McKenna Granato
Best Defense: Tita Akiu
Best Blocker: Natasha Burns
MVP: Norene Iosia
Most Inspirational (as voted by players): Faith Ma’afala
Hawaii expected to announce its official indoor signings today.
Hawaii is up 7 spots to 50 in the latest NCAA RPI report.
For the complete list click here.

The only conference team with higher RPI than Hawaii is Cal Poly (down 6 to 25).

Also ahead of the Wahine are:
Oregon (21, up 2) and Pepperdine (37, up 8).

Behind Hawaii are:
Kansas State (staying at 52), UC Irvine 79, down 9), Portland (84, down 8), UC Santa Barbara (98, down 4), UC Davis (137, down 9), Coastal Carolina (139, down 15), Idaho (141, down 4), Long Beach State (142, down 1) and Cal State Northridge (201, down 6) Also, San Diego State (210, down 8), UC Riverside (stays 252, up 2) and Cal State Fullerton (stays 301, up 1) out of the 336 teams in the RPI.
Hawaii officially announced 4 NLIs today
-Braelyn Akana: 6-0, OH/OPP/MB, Kamehameha Schools—Kapalama, Hau’ula, O’ahu
-Amber Igiede: 6-3, MB, St. Michael HS, Baton Rouge, La.
-Riley Wagoner: 6-0, OH, Dublin Coffman HS, Dublin, OH
-Tiffany Westerberg: 6-3, MB, Maple Ridge Secondary School, Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada
Complete release click here

ICYMI Sunday’s pairs results
Round of 16
1: Sonny/Miric (CP) def. Graves/Reyes (UCD) 21-9, 21-8
2: Pembroke/Anderson (CP) def. Martin/Drueews (UH) 10-21, 25-16, 16-14
3: Homayun/Russo (UH) def. Sper/Wright (CP) 21-18, 21-19
4: Jones/Gordon (CP) def. Bowman/Matias (UCD) 21-11, 21-14
5: Loker/Huddleston (UH) def. Seslar/Rockas (UCD) 21-13, 21-10
6: Roscoe/Gruenewald (CP) def. Allen/Bolko (UCD) 21-9, 24-22
7: Lombard/Johansen (CP) def. Hurkett/Stevens (UH) 13-21, 21-17, 15-13
8: Scoles/Napoleon (UH) def. Karsseboom/Moore (UCD) 21-14, 21-14
1: Sonny/Miric (CP) def. Pembroke/Anderson (CP) 24-22, 21-10
2: Jones/Gordon (CP) def. Homayun/Russo (UH) 21-17, 22-20
3: Roscoe/Gruenewald (CP) def. Loker/Huddleston (UH) 21-17, 21-18
4: Scoles/Napoleon (UH) def. Lombard/Johansen (CP) 22-10, 21-15
1: Jones/Gordon (CP) def. Sonny/Miric (CP) 28-21
2: Scoles/Napoleon (UH) def. Roscoe/Gruenewald (CP) 28-16
1: Jones/Gordon (CP) def. Scoles/Napoleon (UH) 28-25


  1. Sheila November 19, 2018 10:02 am

    Wahine hangs on for post-season in realistic hope at RPI 50. Simple math shows 18 conference winners above wahines’ current ranking. At RPI 50, Wahine is the 32nd (last) non-conference team, lined up for post-season this week and IMO, wahine might climb further in final poll on 25th Nov. Well done wahine & coaching staff! Get ready to repeat last week performance!

  2. Cruisecontrol November 19, 2018 10:03 am

    Denver & ETSU both lost in their conference championship matches which means two less at large bids available to UH. I know Bluepenguin’s RPI Futures says Hawaii should be one of the last teams that make the NCAAs, but I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Warriorfan November 19, 2018 10:38 am

    Why exactly do those teams have better at large possiblities? Denver’s only good wins are irvine and St Marys.
    Etsu has one ncie win over washington state and thats all.

  4. Cindy Luis November 19, 2018 10:58 am

    1=2-3 We’ll see what happens Sunday

  5. OrbitalRipZ November 19, 2018 1:28 pm

    As far as I know, the public does not have access to the NCAA D1 women’s volleyball conference power ratings. So we are left to accept the statistics of a few unofficial websites, such as: http://realtimerpi.com/college_volleyball/rpi_conf_Women.html .

    When it comes to automatic qualifiers, a conference’s ratings do not matter at all. You win and you’re one of the 32 in. But when it comes to the 32 at-large bids, these ratings count. Take the Pac-12, for example. Last year, 9 of its 12 teams earned bids to the Big Dance, or 75% of the entire league got in! But it was a tough fight among the top teams, with Stanford winning the tiebreaker to become the automatic qualifier in a league that led all conferences as numero uno in power ratings.

    This year Stanford shattered the field and ran away with the title. But the “most powerful of the power conferences” title unofficially returned to the Big Ten. So even though the Pac-12 has 9 teams again with overall W/L records of .500 or better (not counting conference matches this week), I expect this league’s at-large bids to drop a notch or two.

    That leaves the door open to the WWC, which is rated the 5th most powerful conference in the USA. Last year both the Cougars and Toreros earned a share of the WCC title, and both received invitations to the Big Dance. This year the Cougars trounced the field and became part of the national conversation with the nation’s only undefeated record. Pepperdine (RPI 37) and San Diego (RPI 47) tied for 2nd, but both teams play each other this Tuesday to decide who will likely receive an at-large bid and who sweats it out on Selection Sunday hoping for an invite.

    Now that brings us to the Big West, which is rated 9th in power ratings although Hero Sports ranks the BWC the nation’s 7th most powerful conference in the nation – and I agree with this ranking https://herosports.com/rankings/college-d1-womens-volleyball . Last year we had two representatives to the Championship tournament. Will Hawai’i again receive an at-large bid based on the fact that the conference is either the 9th or the 7th top conference in the USA? I am inclined to think that if the WWC gets two at-large bids, that will leave the Big West with only Cal Poly dancing the night away.

    The Big West failed to win at-large berths from these teams with RPIs that were either on the bubble’s edge (mid 40s ~ low 50s) or on the bubble (mid 30s ~low 40s)
    2011 UCSB RPI = 53 (19-12 overall/11-5 conference)
    2014 Cal State Northridge RPI = 45 (19-9/10-6)
    2015 Long Beach State RPI = 53 (25-6/15-3)
    2016 Cal Poly RPI = 54 (18-9/11-5)
    2018 Hawai’i RPI = 50 (18-8/14-2) ?????

  6. Big Island Volleyball Fan November 19, 2018 1:47 pm

    Well, if not this year, then next year more likely. I checked Cal Poly’s recruits and so far they recruited only one person, a new setter. They really didn’t need a new setter, but more hitters. Hawaii recruited more hitters. I don’t know who will take Adlee’s place, but I know that her sister, Torrey, no matter how talented, can’t do it alone and next year she could face three blockers her height. She’ll see arms all over the net. Also, I don’t see who will take Brouker’s place as libero. I think that Cal Poly’s glory days are done due to scanty recruiting unless Sam Crosson can come up with more later on. So Hawaii fans can take solace that next year, chances are better than 50-50 that UH will win the Big West title.

  7. islandman November 19, 2018 2:56 pm

    According to one volleyball website, the UH men were supposed to have been selected to the NCAA tourney last season but were not picked.

  8. Hawaiian Style November 19, 2018 2:59 pm

    Hope differed maketh a heart sick. lol UH should plan ahead rather than ALWAYS being reactive. smh
    Dude, BYU, Pepperdine and SD makes it for the WCC.

    The only thing on your list which holds water is 2014 CSUN. The rest just needs to be tossed out w/o any consideration. IF a team is not in the Top 50, forget about it altogether.

    If UCLA is the bottom end of the PAC12, they’re getting in.
    The thing would have been to UH’s favor had the Bruins not pulled out of the early preseason tournament–and UH had won.

    What really is screwing UH is the fact that they lost 3-0 (2x) to KSU, a team who did and continues to do crappy this past season. Portland was a fluke. Pepperdine and UH are about even, with Pepperdine as you’ve alluded coming from a “better” conference.

    UH’s projected RPI is to end at #48. Unfortunately, this is still too high.

    It would nice if you could not lead so many down bunny trails.

  9. islandman November 19, 2018 3:17 pm

    You mean still too “low” , as in rank.

  10. noblesol November 19, 2018 4:08 pm

    UCLA (RPI ~38) is 13-12 with two matches remaining vs. Colorado and USC. If they lose both, they can’t make the tournament with a sub .500 record. UCLA was way over-ranked at the start of the year.

    Looking at RPI futures, and the AQ’s known and likely, Hawai’i definitely has a shot at making it into the tournament. They are in the last four in/out category, but currently I have them edging into the last four in. However, for teams in this category they are totally subject to the random walk of the committee. But, I’d put the Wahine’s chances of making the tournament at about 50/50 today. Which is better odds than I’d of thought they’d have two weeks ago. Keep practicing hard!

  11. islandman November 19, 2018 4:13 pm

    So what the above posts are saying is UH is not in a conference that is ranked high enough for them to get into the NCAA tournament with the 50 RPI.

  12. noblesol November 19, 2018 4:49 pm

    Conference ranking is a minor metric. It’s there in the nitty gritty though, so the committee can use it if they see fit. The BW is currently ranked about #7 out of 32, which is relatively high and relatively high in comparison to past years. It’s as likely to work for them as against them this year.

  13. rabbit ears November 19, 2018 4:58 pm

    We would be a one and done team anyhow. Looking forward to next season when Coach has her recruits.

  14. H-Man November 19, 2018 5:20 pm

    With ETSU and Denver losing, I see Hawaii on the outside looking in. By my count, San Diego the last at-large getting in with a 47 RPI.

  15. islandman November 19, 2018 5:31 pm

    The UH men had everything in their favor to be selected last season but were not. Maybe different because so few teams, only 2- at large ?

  16. cappie the dog November 19, 2018 6:29 pm

    A RPI of 50 at least makes it worth your while to tune into the selection show. At least there is a chance. That is a lot better than knowing your fate is a forgone conclusion.

    Maybe, for once, political shenanigans will favor Hawaii.

    Are there any mid-major representatives on the selection committee?

  17. islandman November 19, 2018 6:57 pm

    16. Found this regarding the Committee makeup:

  18. cappie the dog November 19, 2018 7:29 pm



    Thank you.

    Just two Power 5 schools.

    The American Athletic is the midpoint between major and mid-major schools, I think.

    (Digression: Because this continues to irk me.

    Isaac Fleming, upon signing with East Carolina, tweeted about being so grateful to be playing in a major conference.

    Fleming, I recall, before announcing that he would return for his sophomore season under Benjy Taylor, tweeted that he was choosing Hawaii instead of taking his talents to a major conference.)

    So I guess Hawaii’s fortunes rest with Fresno State, Sr. Associate AD Carrie M. Coll; so who are the bubble teams in the Mountain West and how do they stack against Hawaii?

  19. OrbitalRipZ November 19, 2018 8:46 pm

    Re: 11 … Yes, the BWC is a mid-major conference. The major conferences are: Pac-12 (1st or 2nd), Big Ten (2nd or 1st), Big 12 (3rd or 4th), and SEC (4th or 3rd). Depending on the year, the following two leagues are either the taillights of the majors or the headlights of the midmajors: WCC (5th or 6th) and ACC (6th or 5th).

    Please read the following NCAA article: https://www.ncaa.com/news/volleyball-women/article/2018-11-06/how-low-teams-rpi-can-be-make-ncaa-volleyball-tournament

    I think we can all agree with one of this article’s conclusions: “•We also noticed teams from conferences that don’t historically put many teams into the tournament had to have a much better record than teams in conferences that make up a stronger schedule — which makes sense, given RPI considers record and strength of schedule.”

    And as you can see, during the last 5 tournaments, the Big West had only 1 team that made it into the “last 4” at-large teams — Cal State Northridge (23-6) in 2013 had a 41 rpi. During this same 5-year period, 3 schools from major conferences earned at-large bids with rpi’s of 50+ — the most notable being Michigan State with a 54 rpi.

  20. darkfire35 November 19, 2018 8:51 pm

    Aloha Cindy for all you do! Any word on Hanna Helvig?

  21. islandman November 19, 2018 9:24 pm

    The NIVC is okay with me and some other fans but not with the coach maybe. The UH women’s basketball team went to the WNIT three years in a row a few years ago but they hadn’t gone to the NCAA’s almost every year like the WVB team.

  22. noblesol November 19, 2018 9:48 pm

    14. You could be right. I’ve taken another look at the current RPI Futures and AQs and I now have Hawai’i in the last four out. They still have a chance, but it requires a lot of things to break their way, and the odds are against all of them breaking their way:
    1. They need Pepperdine to beat San Diego tomorrow.
    2. They need UCLA to lose to Colorado (at UCLA) on Wednesday, and then lose to USC (at UCLA) on Friday. This knocks UCLA out of the tournament with a sub .500 record.
    3. They need Colorado to beat UCLA (at UCLA) on Wednesday, and then lose to Utah (at Utah) on Friday. This hopefully keeps Colorado around RPI 49 or worse.
    4. RPI Futures has Hawaii at 48. They need their Final Adjusted RPI to be at 48 or better.
    5. They need Marquette or Creighton to win the Big East AQ. (likely to happen)
    6. They need UNI or Ill. St. to win the MVC AQ. (likely)
    7. They need one of the top five RPI teams in the SEC to win the AQ (likely)
    8. They need Kansas State to lose to TCU (at TCU) on Wednesday (possible, Kansas St. lost to TCU at Kansas St. earlier this year)
    9. They need Duke to lose to Notre Dame (W) or Miami-Florida (F) (likely Duke will lose to one or both)
    10. If they get all the above, they need the committee to select them over Colorado (RPI Future: 49), San Diego (RPI Future: 47), Kansas State (RPI Future: 55), Duke (RPI Future: 50), Princeton (RPI Future: 52), James Madison (RPI Future: 51) and over all the other mixed fruit out there. (e.g. Maryland, RPI Future = 60 with two matches left against Iowa and Nebraska. If they upset one or both, that could upset the RPI apple cart).

    So, bottom line, Hawaii’s odds of making the tournament will shift through the week, but I have them with the last four out at the moment. If they get all or the majority of the list above to break their way, their odds improve. But, all the above goes out the window if the committee doesn’t prioritize by RPI and their focus shifts to other factors. If that happens, all bets are off.

  23. noblesol November 20, 2018 1:01 am

    As it stands at the moment, 27 AQs are locked in. Five remain TBD. Three of the 5 AQs remaining TBD are not important to Hawai’i. Only the Big East and MVC are of concern for Hawaii; pull for one of the top two RPI teams in the Big East to win the AQ, and for the same in the MVC.

    I see tournament bids being distributed by conference, as follows:
    America East: 1 bid- RPI Future 99.
    American Athletic: 2- 10; 25.
    Atlantic 10: 1- 26.
    Atlantic Coast: 4- 6; 27; 32; 37. plus Bubble teams: Duke-50 and Notre Dame-54.
    Atlantic Sun: 1-46.
    Big 12: 3- 3; 16; 43. plus Bubble team: Kansas St.-55.
    Big East: 2- 12; 14. AQ is TBD-potentially 3 bids if top two are upset in tournament.
    Big Sky: 1- AQ TBD, best RPI Future 115.
    Big South: 1- 53.
    Big Ten: 7- 2; 4; 9;11; 13; 18; 22. plus Bubble teams: Maryland-60 and Indiana-63 each w/two matches remaining.
    Big West: 1- 24. plus Bubble team: Hawai’i-48.
    Colonial: 1-56. plus Bubble team: James Madison-51.
    Conference USA: 1- 29.
    Horizon: 1- 125.
    Ivy: 1- 42. plus Bubble team: Princeton-52.
    Metro Atlantic: 1- 154.
    Mid-American: 1- 150.
    Mid-Eastern: 1- 163.
    Missouri Valley: 2- 23; 31. Potentially 3 bids if top two are upset in tournament.
    Mountain West: 1- 36.
    Northeast: 1- 199.
    Ohio Valley: 1- 97.
    Pac 12: 8- 1; 7; 15; 19; 20; 38; 41; 45; plus Bubble team: Colorado-49
    Patriot: 1- 90.
    Southeastern: 5- 8; 17; 28; 30; 34.
    Southern: 2- 33; 123(AQ).
    Southland: 1- 40.
    Southwestern Athletic: 1- 230.
    Sun Belt: 1- 21.
    The Summit: 2- 39; 108(AQ).
    West Coast: 3- 5; 35; 44. plus Bubble team: San Diego-47.
    Western Athletic: 1- AQ TBD, best RPI Future 57.

    Summary of above:
    1. 32 AQ and 31 at-large bids are allocated, assuming no tournament upsets in the Big East and MVC. Pull for no upsets.
    2. 1 at-large bid remains for bubble teams San Diego-47; Hawai’i-48; Colorado-49; Duke-50; James Madison-51; Princeton-52; Notre Dame-54; Kansas St.-55; Maryland-60; Indiana-63.

    Notes for Hawai’i:
    1. UCLA (RPI~38) could be eliminated from the tournament with losses to Colorado and USC this week (sub .500 record). Pull for UCLA to lose both their matches this week. This would open up a spot for another bubble team.
    2. Colorado plays UCLA on Wednesday and Utah on Friday. Pull for them to beat UCLA, and lose to Utah.
    3. Pepperdine plays San Diego on Tuesday. Pull for Pepperdine to beat San Diego.
    4. Duke plays Notre Dame and Miami-Florida this week. Pull for Duke to lose one or both.
    5. Kansas St. plays TCU this week. Pull for TCU to beat Kansas St.
    6. Maryland plays Iowa and Nebraska this week. Pull for Maryland to lose both matches.
    7. Indiana plays Purdue and NorthWestern this week. Pull for Indiana to lose both matches.

  24. shar November 20, 2018 9:35 am

    Yes, Mahalo, Cindy for your excellent sports articles and for keeping us up-to-date with this blog. I depend on your reporting so much for the away games.

  25. Cindy Luis November 20, 2018 10:24 am

    New thread up for Tuesday with all-Big West
    Thank you all for the kind words. It is part of the job but enjoy the interaction with readers.
    No word on Swedish player. You’ll know when I do. -)

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