Hartong POY as All-Big West teams announced

Senior All-American hitter Emily Hartong repeated as the Big West Player of the Year, the conference announced today.

Hartong was joined on the first team by Rainbow Wahine senior setter Mita Uitao, senior libero Ali Longo and freshman hitter Nikki Taylor. Taylor was one of two freshmen on the first team; also named was UC Santa Barbara hitter Ali Spindt, selected as Freshman of the Year.

Hawaii middles Kalei Adolpho, a junior, and sophomore Jade Vorster were named honorable mention.

UCSB’s Nicole Latagne Welch and Cal State Northridge’s Jeff Stork were named Co-Coaches of the Year.

Also Cal Poly senior opposite Chelsea Hardin (‘Iolani)) was named to the first team and CSUN senior hitter Mahina Aina (‘Iolani) honorable mention.

A Rainbow Wahine has been named the conference player of the year every season since Angelica Ljungquist in 1995. Hawaii also had four other players so honored between 1987 and 1990.

Hartong led the Big West in kill average (4.64 kps), eighth-best in the country, and in points (5.19), ninth in the country when combining points on kills, blocks and aces. She is the second Rainbow Wahine to earn two Player of the Year honors from the Big West, joining Teee Williams-Sanders in 1988 and 1989.

Also today, Hawaii dropped six spots to No. 17 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index. The Rainbow Wahine (24-4) return to the Stan Sheriff Center Friday when hosting the NCAA tournament’s first round.

Hawaii plays Idaho State in Friday’s second match. BYU and Arizona State meet in the 5 p.m. match.

The winners play Saturday at 7 p.m.


  1. Maverick December 2, 2013 9:16 am

    I can’t argue with the selections. Congrats to all!

  2. surfboy December 2, 2013 9:21 am

    Well deserved for Hartong! Congrats to all the other Wahine ehom made it!

  3. vballfreak808 December 2, 2013 9:31 am

    Congrats Emily! Also congrats to Taylor, Uiato, Longo, Vorster, and Adolpho!

  4. mei mei December 2, 2013 9:38 am

    Congrats Team Wahine!!

  5. Cubicle1126 December 2, 2013 9:40 am

    congrats to all the wahine who were honored. well deserved!

  6. surfboy December 2, 2013 9:41 am

    Anyone know when the all region teams are going to be announced?

  7. Volleyball fan December 2, 2013 9:44 am

    I know that some fans will be disappointed that Nikki Taylor didn’t win FOY. So I decided to check the accumulative stats of both players and compare. (Hope the table lines up properly when the comment is shown)

    Kills Per Set Kill Percentage Blocks Per Set
    Nikki Taylor 2.71 0.301 0.77
    Ali Spindt 2.83 0.243 0.52

    Aces Per Set Digs Per Set Points Per Set
    Nikki Taylor 0.06 0.79 3.54
    Ali Spindt 0.08 2.94 3.43

    So the stats are pretty close except for blocks and digs. My guess is that Ali Spindt won out for three reasons, one for balance since Hartong won POY and second because UCSB won the tiebreaker and she played an important role in defeating Hawaii at home. I also guess that her digging efforts won over other coaches in the vote.

    Since the stats are so close I wouldn’t complain about the coaches voting here. Main thing is that Hartong got POY over Katie Thompson. She richly deserved it.

  8. Cindy Luis December 2, 2013 9:47 am

    7. thank you. pretty much what I said on another thread. That Hawaii would still win without Taylor, ut UCSB likely wouldn’t have won as many without Spindt.
    I doubt that the voting for POY was even close.
    6. All-Region next week

  9. Warriorfan December 2, 2013 10:01 am

    IMO taylor will elevate her game to POY in the future. Maybe next season ! and don’t think Spindt will get there.

  10. Warriorfan December 2, 2013 10:32 am

    I’m happy Aly finally got some recognition but I continue to hate how under rated UH middles are, Lee, Hinger and Okpala are not better and do not have that much better stats and UH middles actually outplay them in head to head matches.

  11. Volleyball fan December 2, 2013 11:12 am

    Here’s a brief comparative check on middle blocker stats. Remember that our coach cannot vote on our own players and other coaches don’t just judge on how their blockers compared with ours but how the other blockers compared with their teams’ blockers.

    Sorry the table won’t come out properly aligned when printing but all the intervening spaces are deleted and tabs don’t work here.

    Kill Percentage Kills Per Set Blocks Per Set Blocks+Kills Per Set
    Jade Voster 0.378 1.61 1.04 2.64
    Kalei Adolpho 0.353 2.01 0.97 2.98
    Victoria Lee 0.403 2.11 0.78 2.89
    Casey Hinger 0.327 2.86 1.06 3.94
    Chisom Opkala 0.351 2.48 1.15 3.63

    So Victoria Lee had the highest kill percentage, Casey Hinger the highest kills per set and Chisom Opkala the highest blocks per set. If we add blocks and kills per set Casey Hinger wins it. Since coaches were given a choices of only three middle blockers, those three won on superior stats in one or two categories. At least our middle blockers garnered honors. Also, Kalei Adolpho was on a midterm slump which was part of the reason for our two losses on the road. I think the judgment was fair here.

  12. Cubicle1126 December 2, 2013 11:15 am

    agreed as to longo. she’s so steady. probably hawaii’s most consistent player. glad she got some honors this year.

    taylor was a nice surprised on the all-conference team. but her conference numbers were strong.

    uiato and hartong — the other senior anchors of the team this year.

    here’s hoping all 4 of them get all-region recognition! hartong, and i think uiato will get there. hartong is a shoe-in for her 2nd first-team AA honor. longo and taylor with an outside shot at the all-region team, imo. but you never know. the regions are shuffled and reorganized this year. we’ll have to see how that plays out.

  13. Cindy Luis December 2, 2013 11:23 am

    11. thanks for the work on that. Agree with what you have said. except for one thing
    I don’t think the coaches were limited to 3 MBs.
    that is the AVCA voting procedure. The Big West said they did not follow that

    12. to be considered for all-region, in the past, player had to make first team or be the FOY in the conference.
    not sure how if the new AVCA rules about all coaches voting changes things.

  14. Maverick December 2, 2013 11:36 am

    Hartong just named player of the week.

  15. Warriorfan December 2, 2013 11:45 am

    I still wouldn’t trade Jade and Kalei for any of those three.

  16. nana kokolele December 2, 2013 12:09 pm

    Congrats to local girl Chelsea Hardin… 1st team All conference. I told her Dad about her award which he didn’t even know. Of course he told her and well, she didn’t even know. How awesome for her.

  17. Cindy Luis December 2, 2013 12:14 pm

    17. I did note that, as well as Mahina Aina HM from CSUN

  18. familano December 2, 2013 1:03 pm

    Will the poy streak be broken next year? Taylor or Adolpho to have monster year?

  19. Cubicle1126 December 2, 2013 1:49 pm

    cindy — it’s never been a requirement that a player be on the first team for their conference, or to be FOY of the conference, to be considered for the avca’s all-region list or region FOY honors, respectively. (maybe early on it was that way. but as far as i can recall, that has not been a requirement for a good many years now.)

    for one thing, the avca all-region selection is based on season stats, but the conference awards are based on conference stats. so it’s really different criteria, at that point. (although, i’m sure there’s always overlap between first team all-conference honorees, and avca all-region honorees.)

    for the regional FOY award, it is not limited to just the FOYs from conferences. and in fact it’d be tough to do that this year, because some schools from the same conference are in different regions now, due to the re-shuffling of the regional alignments. (ucsb is in the ‘pacific south’ region, and hawaii is in the ‘pacific north’ region. so hawaii’s taylor and uscb’s spindt won’t even be competing against each other for their respective region FOY honors.)

    as i understand, each school can nominate one freshman for consideration for all-region FOY. freshmen who are named the region FOY, and any freshmen who are named to the all-region team, will all be eligible for national FOY consideration.

    one significant change in the avca voting this year is that all coaches can vote now to select the all-region team. it’s not just decided by a regional committee anymore. in fact, the coaches HAVE to vote, if they want their own nominated players to be considered as well. and the avca site also says the voting totals will be announced after the selections are announced.

  20. Cindy Luis December 2, 2013 2:19 pm

    18. not what I’ve been told, which is why Shoji said he was so upset about Croson not being FOY 2 years ago. It knocked her out of all-region consideration.

  21. Cubicle1126 December 2, 2013 3:37 pm

    maybe shoji was referring more to the perception of who should be region FOY, versus the actual criteria. being a conference FOY will certainly bode well for the player nominated.

  22. mauna December 2, 2013 4:04 pm

    My take on the FOY awards. Ali Spindt may have been the coaches choice this time but she has no chance for NFOY. Nikki has way more upsides and will show it in her future play. Shoji has kept her from playing the backrow for the first 18/20 matches, but now has more than proven her value of being in for the 6 rotations. Wouldn’t surprise me if she raises her level of play next year and be the BW POY as a soph.

  23. Ron December 2, 2013 6:18 pm

    Totally agree with mauna re: up-side. She is developing right before our eyes just like Emily did.

  24. Kazu December 2, 2013 6:58 pm

    Good going ladies. You all deserve the recognition. I strongly belive that Nikki Taylor will make AA status by the time she graduate.

  25. Hot December 2, 2013 9:56 pm

    Adolpho and Vorster lucky to be honored. Adolpho had a stretch of bad matches in conference, Vorster just did not get enough sets. Bottom line, neither made a real impact. Hawai’i was all about Hartong, Taylor and Olevao when it came to offense.

    Hartong on All-Region team for sure, with Uiato. Taylor might get HM. Longo on the bubble as HM. Were there any “star” liberos in the West Region? Only UH libero to get regional recognition was Ashley Watanabe (honorable mention) in 2005.

  26. Cubicle1126 December 2, 2013 11:09 pm

    Hot — There are new regional alignments this year. Hawaii is in the Pacific North region with the following schools:

    Washington State
    Oregon State
    St. Mary’s
    Santa Clara
    San Francisco
    UC Davis
    Cal Poly
    UC Riverside
    Colorado State
    Utah State
    Boise State
    Air Force
    Portland State
    Northern Arizona
    Sacramento State
    Idaho State
    Southern Utah
    Weber State

    I think Longo has a shot. Off the top of my head, the only standout libero I can think of is Orlandini from Washington. There may be others though from the other schools. But of the Big West schools in this region, Longo will already be the standout, as she was 1 of 2 on the Big West all-conference team. And the other libero is from UCSB, which is in another region.

  27. Warriorfan December 2, 2013 11:13 pm

    23, not enough sets, and that’s totally on Uiato. Anyway one of the reasons they lost three conference matches is that they set Olevao too much.

  28. Hot December 3, 2013 9:10 pm

    26. Thanks Cubicle. With those PAC-12 teams in the mix, I think Hartong might be the only lock. Uiato, Longo and Taylor possible HM’s.

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