from the big west:
Hawai‘i claimed back-to-back Big West tournament titles in addition to garnering two of the top awards: freshman Morgan Martin and senior Mikayla Tucker earned Pairs Team of the Year honors, while Martin also collected Freshman of the Year accolades. Long Beach State’s Mike Campbell earned Coach of the Year, the first such award for the Beach.
The SandBows and 49ers will represent the Big West Conference at the NCAA Tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham May 5-7. The championship will have an eight-team bracket that will be played in double-elimination format.
Playing every match at the No. 1 spot this season, Hawaii’s Martin and Tucker received a Pairs Team of the Week nod over the course of the year to help UH to a 26-5 record. Spearheading the way for the Rainbow Wahine, the duo helped the SandBows maintain a No. 6 national ranking and earn a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. With a 19-12 overall mark for a .613 win-percentage, the pair will be key at the No. 1 spot for the ‘Bows in the postseason.
Not only did Martin earn Pairs Team of the Year honors, she also received Freshman of the Year accolades for her efforts on the sand. The newcomer highlighted her standout season with 11 straight-set wins in 2017 and will play a big role in Hawaii’s postseason run. The Rainbow Wahine open NCAA action with Florida State after earning an at-large selection. Martin is the second-straight ’Bow to receive the accolade.
At the helm for the 49ers, coach Campbell led the Beach to a 26-8 overall mark to earn a No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. The Beach went undefeated versus Big West opposition in the regular season for a clean 8-0 record against league foes heading into the Big West championship. After receiving an at-large selection for the NCAA Tournament, Campbell will take his squad to the championship for the first time where LBSU will face Pepperdine to open postseason play.
The all-conference first team features Hawai‘i duos Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver and Nikki Taylor and Kai’iwi Schucht in addition to the aforementioned Pairs Team of the Year. Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto represent the 49ers along with teammates Sasha Karelov and Kobi Pekich. From Cal Poly, Emily Sonny and Hannah Hubbard earn first team honors alongside fellow Mustangs, Taylor Nelson and Adlee Van Winden.
Emily Sonny/Hannah Hubbard Cal Poly
Taylor Nelson/Adlee Van Winden Cal Poly
Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker Hawaii
Emily Maglio/Laurel Weaver Hawaii
Nikki Taylor/Kai’iwi Schucht Hawaii
Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto Long Beach State
Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich Long Beach State
Carol Grasso/Sara Little Bakersfield
Maddie Leiphardt/Nickeisha Williams CSUN
Ari Homayun/Carly Kan Hawaii
Hailey Harward/Anete Brinde Long Beach State
Alexis Skalbeck/Brie Gathright CSUN
Anna Gorman/Savannah Niemen Cal Poly
Raeann Greisen/Heather Pembroke Cal Poly
Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof Long Beach State
2017 BIG WEST PAIRS TEAM OF THE YEAR
Morgan Martin and Mikayla Tucker, Hawai‘i
2017 BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Morgan Martin, Hawai‘i
2017 BIG WEST COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Campbell, Long Beach State