UH women's volleyball captures first Rainbow Wahine Classic since 13'
HONOLULU—The University of Hawaii volleyball team (3-0) powered past No. 13 Washington, upsetting the Huskies in four sets, 25-20, 25-12, 20-25, 25-16 to capture the 31st Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic. Junior outside hitter Jolie Rasmussen was named the tourney's Most Valuable Player after leading the Rainbow Wahine with her first double-double of the season on Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
It is the first time Hawai'i has captured the Rainbow Wahine Classic since 2013. It is also the first time since 2015 that the Rainbow Wahine have started the season at 3-0.
Rasmussen recorded her third consecutive game with a match-high 19 kills while also coming up with 10 digs. She was in on five blocks and had an assist. In the second set alone, Rasmussen pounded seven kill with no errors in 10 swings for a .700 hitting percentage. For the match, she hit a team-high .432 while tallying a match-high 22.5 points.
Also posting double digits in kills for the third-straight match was freshman outside hitter Hanna Hellvig. Hellvig put down 11 kills, with four blocks and five digs in the win.
The Manoa Roofing Company showcased their blocking abilty, notching its third straight double-digit block night of the year as a team. Tonight, the 'Bows out-blocked the physical Huskies, 18.0-to-11.5. Dating back to last season's Senior Night, UH is on a five-game streak with double-digit team blocks. The 18.0 was the most blocks since UH recorded 18.0 blocks against UC Irvine on Nov. 17, 2015. Individually, Hawai'i's two middles, Amber Igiede and Skyler Williams put on a blocking clinic, as they posted nine blocks apiece. Brooke Van Sickle was right behind with seven blocks. Williams also had six kills while Igiede added four kills.
UH's two setters combined for 44 assists. Bailey Choy posted her first double-double with 18 assists and 10 digs, while Norene Iosia had 17 assists with seven digs and a pair of service aces.
In the first set, Hawai'i came out swinging. UH went on an early 6-to-2 run that gave them a 15-10 lead at the media timeout. The two teams then traded eight sideouts. But later, Washington tried to close the gap on a 4-to-1 run to trail by three at 23-20. The 'Bows however would close the set out on a Hellvig kill and a double-block by Igiede and Van Sickle to capture the first frame, 25-20.
The second set saw UH hit the gas and pull away as they scored early and often. Hawai'i was leading 13-7 when they went on a 6-0 run on the serve of Iosia—which included two service aces—to extend UH's lead to 19-7. The Rainbow Wahine eventually closed out the set on back-to-back kills by Rasmussen as UH cruised to win the set, 25-12.
Washington played like they were on a mission coming into the third set. The Huskies went on an 8-to-2 run to lead, 18-11 from which UH could not recover from. UW went on to capture the third frame, 25-20.
But in the fourth, the 'Bows battled back and showed their moxie but pulling away for a 25-16 win. The set started with six ties right off the bat. A Hellvig kill made it 6-6 and from there, she served for five-straight points to take an 11-7 lead. Washing would quickly rally right back to knot the score at 11-11 on a four point serving run by Kara Bajema. In all, there were nine ties and three lead changes in the fourth. It remained close until Rasmussen went behind the service line and the team rattled off seven straight points to send the SSC crowd into a frenzy extend the lead to 21-13. From there Hawai'i closed out the match, stunning the Huskies, 25-16 in the fourth.
With the win, Hawai'i emphatically exorcised some old demons as they snapped a four-game losing streak against the Huskies, which included three losses in the NCAA tournament in 2010, '12,& '14.
Washington was led by Bajema who had 14 kills, but also 14 errors to hit .000 on the night. Claire Hoffman came off the bench to record 11 kills for UW. Avie Niece had eight blocks while Shayne McPerson had a match-high 16 digs.
Up next, Hawai'i hosts the Heineken Rainbow Wahine Invitational. The tournament runs from Thursday, Sept. 5 – Sunday Sept. 8. Coming to Honolulu will be Army West Point, Sacramento State and Denver.
31st Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic All-Tournament Team
Amanda Sanabia - St. John's
Megan Jacobsen - San Diego
Lauren Sanders - Washington
Kara Bajema - Washington
Hanna Hellvig - Hawai'i
Norene Iosia - Hawai'i
Most Valuable Player
Jolie Rasmussen - Hawai'i