HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The No. 7 University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team (28-1, 16-0 Big West) takes on No. 8 Penn State (28-5, 15-5 Big 10) in a high-powered Des Moines Regional on Friday, December 11 at 7:30 pm (CT) at the Iowa Events Center. The other half of the Regional pits No. 21 Illinois against No. 4 Minnesota. That match will take place prior to the Hawai'i vs. Penn State contest at 5:00 pm (CT).
The Rainbow Wahine advanced to its 28th Regional by grinding out a five-set win over TCU (17-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 15-13) and then dismantling No. 15/10th-seeded and SEC-champion, Texas A&M in the first and second rounds respectively in College Station, Texas (25-22, 25-19, 25-20). Hawai'i has now won 23-consecutive matches—its longest win-streak since 2011 when UH won 26 matches in a row. Hawai'i lone loss of the season came at the hands of UCLA, who is currently ranked No. 12, in four sets (Sept. 6). UH has won their last eight-straight matches on the road--six to end the Big West regular season and last week's first and second round wins in College Station.
Hawai'i is led by AVCA Pacific North All-Region players, Nikki Taylor and Olivia Magill. Taylor, the 2015 Big West Player of the Year, leads the league with 4.36 kills per set and 0.43 service aces per set. She also leads the 'Bows with 427 kills and is second on the team with 203 digs and 112 blocks (11 solo). In the NCAA, senior middle hitter Olivia Magill is ranked No. 12 with 1.49 blocks per set and No. 14 with a .414 hitting percentage which were tops in the Big West as well.
This Regional match between the Rainbow Wahine and Nittany Lions will have the two winningest coaches in NCAA DI history going against each other for the sixth time with Russ Rose at the helm of the Penn State squad and Dave Shoji leading Hawai'i. Rose is the NCAA DI all-time winningest coach with a record of 1,189-185 with an NCAA-best .865 win percentage in 37 seasons. Shoji is in his 41st year at UH and is second only to Rose with a 1178-197-1 overall record and an .857 win percentage.
Penn State and Hawai'i have met five previous times, with the Nittany Lions winning all five matches. The last meeting between these two storied programs was in 2009 when Penn State knocked out UH in the NCAA semi-final match in 2009. PSU won in four sets on Dec. 17 in Tampa, Fla., 23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-18
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa (Hosted by Northern Iowa)
Friday, Dec. 11, 2015
5:00 pm (CT) – No. 21 Illinois vs. No. 4 Minnesota
7:30 pm (CT) – No. 7 Hawai'i vs. No. 8 Penn State
Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015
7:30 pm (CT) - Winner of Match #1 vs. Winner of Match #2
Watch Livestream: ESPN3 (web link to be provided)
Radio: ESPN 1420 am will air the NCAA Regional match live with Tiff Wells calling all the action.
Audiostream: Fans can listen to the ESPN 1420 am broadcast online at espn1420am.com
Live Stats: TBA
Tickets: Click here