(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i women's volleyball team (8-5, 3-0 Big West) swept UC Riverside, 25-15, 25-19, 25-17 on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. For the second-straight night, Norene Iosia led all players in kills with eight, while both McKenna Granato and Kamalei Krug added seven kills apiece.
Iosia also added 10 assists, eight digs, two blocks and tied her season-high with three service aces. Her eight-point service run broke the first set open for UH. She had just two errors in 21 swings for a .286 hitting percentage.
Granato also had three service aces and five digs, while Krug hit .333 (7-3-12) and was in on two blocks.
Natasha Burns added six kills and led UH with three blocks. Faith Ma'afala dished out a team-high 19 assists and also had a team-high nine digs. And, for the first time this season, UH libero Tita Akiu was not able to tally double-digits in digs for the first time this season. Akiu notched eight total digs.
In the opening set, neither team was able to pull away as there were eight ties, the last one coming at 14-14. From that point, UH would end the set on an 11-to-1 run. Nine of the points came with Iosia serving tough. She notched a pair of service aces during the run, and forced UCR to call both their timeouts during the streak. UH took the first set, 25-15.
UH picked up where they left off in the first set, jumping out to a 6-0 lead behind the serving of Granato. But the Highlanders would make some of that up with a 4-to-0 run of their own with Nailah Jones behind the service line. Hawai'i, however led the entire second set and pulled away on a four-point run with Ma'afala serving that gave UH an 18-10 lead from which UCR could not come back from as the 'Bows won the second set, 25-19.
Granato and Burns recorded four kills apiece in the third set alone as UH pulled away to complete their second sweep in as many nights, winning the third set, 25-17.
UC Riverside was led by Yuliya Ushakova who had seven kills. She and Kat Lowry also led UCR with three blocks each.
As a team, UCR out-blocked UH, 7.0-to-6.0. But UH out hit the Highlanders, .184-to--.022 and had 37 kills to UCR's 23. Both teams posted 35 digs each.
Hawai'i will go on the road for a pair of pivotal Big West matches. UH opens their second roadtrip at UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Oct. 5 at 4:00 p.m. HT then heads to league-leader, No. 15 Cal Poly on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 4:00 p.m.