Hellvig, Okino notch Big West volleyball honors
IRVINE, Calif.—University of Hawaii women's volleyball players Hanna Hellvig and Rika Okino both earned Big West weekly honors after the Rainbow Wahine knocked off previous league-leaders UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly this past week. Hellvig earned a UH record fourth Big West Freshman of the Week award while Okino earned her first career Defensive Player of the Week award on Monday. Hawai'i's two wins propelled the 'Bows into first place in the conference with a 10-2 record, a half-game ahead of UCSB and Cal Poly.
Freshman Hellvig averaged 3.56 kills, 1.11 digs and 0.67 blocks per set while hitting .308 (32-8-78) for the week. The 6-foot-2 outside hitter led UH with a combined 32 kills in the two matches. She compiled a career-high 19 kills on .304 (19-5-46) hitting in a nail-biting, marathon five-set win over the Gauchos on Friday. She also tallied six digs, two assists, a block and an ace for a team-high 20.5 points.
Hellvig then helped avenge UH's earlier loss to Cal Poly by posting a team-high 13 kills while hitting .313 (13-3-32) in the four-set win Sunday. She contributed five blocks (one solo) and had four digs to go toward a team-high 16.0 points.
Hellvig has tallied 18 double-digit kill matches in her rookie season, leading the team in kills in 12 of the last 15 contests. She continues to lead UH with 284 kills and is second on the team with 182 digs and third in total blocks (66).
Junior libero Okino posted a team-high combined 35 digs over the weekend, helping limit the Gauchos to a .218 hitting percentage and the Mustangs to just a .123 mark. Okino recorded a career-high 25 digs in a five-set thriller over the Gauchos. Although she had just seven digs to start the match, Okino finished strong with 18 digs over the last two sets. She posted 12 digs (which matched her previous season match-high) in the fourth set alone. She also produced six digs in the decisive fifth set. Her 25 digs marked the highest amount for a UH player since Tita Akiu had 34 scoops against Baylor in last year's NCAA Tournament's First Round.
The Honolulu native had 10 digs against the Mustangs to secure her seventh double-digit match this season.
She also had four assists in each match and served up an ace against Cal Poly.
The Rainbow Wahine rose two position to No. 19 in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll and up six spots in the NCAA RPI. Hawai'i embarks on its final regular season roadtrip this week to take on UC Davis on Friday, Nov. 8 and UC Riverside on Sunday, Nov. 10.