(Hawaii Athletics) - In their first mainland matches of the season, the No. 3 University of Hawai'i beach volleyball team split a pair of matches against No. 4 UCLA and No. 17 Loyola Marymount Thursday at the Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. UH fell to UCLA, 4-1, before defeating LMU, 3-2, in the second match.
UCLA (6-3) proved a familiar foe as UH (4-2) met them for the third time in the team's first five matches. The team's split a pair of matches in Honolulu, including a dominate 5-0 win by UH. The Bruins looked to return the favor this time taking a 4-0 lead. UH, however, avoided a sweep whenMorgan MartinandLea Monkhouserallied for a 15-21, 21-11, 15-12 win over Madi Yeomans and Elise Zappia.
UH rebounded in the second match against LMU (4-3), but it wasn't easy.Allyssah FittererandHi'ilawe Huddleston—in their first official match of the season—got UH off to a good start with a straight set win at the No. 5 court. But the Lions took two of the next three flights to knot it up 2-2. It came down to the No. 3 flight, and Martin and Monkhouse came through with the clinching point after a 21-18, 21-12 win over Chloe Reinig and Kekai Whitford.
Up next for the Rainbow Wahine is the East Meets West Challenge, March 10-11 at Manhattan Beach Pier. The SandBows will take on four ranked squads from the East over the weekend, highlighted by matchup versus No. 5 Florida State on Saturday.