Huskies Eliminate Rainbow Wahine in Four Sets
By MauiNow Staff
Sarah Mendoza etched her name into the University of Hawai’i women’s volleyball record book but it would come in her final match as the 23rd-ranked Rainbow Wahine ended their season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 25-20, 19-25, 25-16, 25-14 loss to No. 3 Washington on Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Mendoza’s 32 digs set a new program record for a four-set match and was also a career-high for the senior libero. Nikki Taylor had a team-high 15 kills and Tayler Higgins added 15 digs for the ‘Bows who close their season at 22-7.
Reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year Krista Vansant had a match-high 22 kills for the Huskies (31-2), who advance to play at home and host the Seattle Regional next Friday and Saturday. Washington’s Cassie Strickland added a team-high 25 digs as Hawai’i was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament for the third time in five years.
UH had to withstand an early 7-1 run in the opening set. Kalei Adolpho (10 kills, 3 blks) and Kalei Greeley (10 kills, 13 digs) got in on a block to cut the lead to 9-6, but the Huskies went ahead 13-7 after a Courtney Schwan kill highlighted a three-point spurt. Mendoza’s kick-save off a Vansant attack helped cut the UW lead to just two points late in the set, but a late Husky surge gave UW the win.
The ‘Bows got their attack in order in set two and opened up an early 5-1 lead. Adolpho kept it rolling for Hawai’i, crushing back-to-back kills and adding a solo block to help put UH ahead 9-4. Hawai’i extended the lead to seven points but began to feel a Husky surge. Kaleigh Nelson’s kill cut the Hawai’i lead to 16-12, but block assists from Adolpho and Tai Manu-Olevao (5 kills) tempered the rally and the ‘Bows cruised to the second set win.
Set three saw the Huskies run away with a nine-point win. Taylor’s kill tied the set at 9-9 but a 5-0 burst gave UW all the momentum it needed. The ‘Bows remained in striking distance as block assists from Manu-Olevao and Olivia Magill cut the lead to 19-15, but it was all UW from there.
The Huskies took an early lead in set four and never truly allowed the ‘Bows into the set. Kills by Adolpho and Manu-Olevao kept Hawai’i close but a 5-0 run midway through the set all but clinched the win.
Short Box Score (Match)
2014 Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine Volleyball
#23 Hawai’i vs #3 Washington
(Dec 6, 2014 at Seattle, Wash.)
Washington def. Hawai’i 25-20,19-25,25-16,25-14
Hawai’i (22-7, 13-3 Big West) (Kills-aces-blocks) – Taylor,
Nikki 15-0-1; Adolpho, Kalei 10-0-3; Greeley, Kalei 10-0-1;
Manu-Olevao, Tai 5-0-2; Magill, Olivia 3-0-3; Higgins, Tayler 3-1-0;
Long, Ginger 1-0-0; Huff, Megan 1-0-0; Maglio, Emily 1-0-0; Kahakai,
Savanah 0-2-0; Totals 49-3-6.0. (Assists) – Higgins, Tayler 38. (Dig
leaders) – Mendoza, Sarah 32; Higgins, Tayler 15; Greeley, Kalei 13;
Kahakai, Savanah 9
Washington (31-2, 18-2 Pac-12) (Kills-aces-blocks) – Vansant,
Krista 22-0-4; Nelson, Kaleigh 9-0-5; Scambray, Tia 8-0-1; Sybeldon,
Lianna 7-0-6; Wade, Melanie 5-0-8; Jones, Crissy 3-0-5; Schwan,
Courtney 1-0-1; Totals 55-0-15.5. (Assists) – Tanner, Bailey 25;
Finau, Jade 23. (Dig leaders) – Strickland, Cassie 25; Scambray, Tia
18; Tanner, Bailey 12; Vansant, Krista 8
Site: Seattle, Wash. (Alaska Airlines)
Date: Dec 06, 2014 Attend: 3983 Time: 1:57
Referees: Patsy Malta, Dale Goodwin, Margie Ray