The Bows move to 2-0 in Big West, hold off CSUN
NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—The No. 11 University of Hawaiii women's volleyball team (12-1, 2-0 Big West) held off CSUN in four sets, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, 26-24. Hawai'i was able to grind out the roller coaster win with outside hitters—freshman Hanna Hellvig and senior McKenna Ross—leading the Rainbow Wahine with 14 kills each. Riley Wagoner also recorded double-digit kills for the first time of her young career on Saturday night at the Matadome in Northridge, Calif. In all, three players tallied double-doubles in the match. The win was Robyn Ah Mow's 50th victory for the third year head coach who improved to 50-18 overall. The win also concludes a 12-day road trip that started in Waco, Texas. Hawai'i went 3-1 on its first road trip of the year, with its only loss coming to No. 5 Baylor.
Hawai'i overcame its lowest hitting percentage of the season and being out-blocked for just the second time this season. On offense UH committed a season-high 32 hitting errors in 167 attacks for a .162 hitting percentage. But CSUN also struggled, hitting just .154 for the match. The Matadors out-blocked the 'Bows, 11.0-to-8.0.
Hellvig recorded her fifth double-double of the season complementing her 14 kills with a career-high and match-high 20 digs. She is the second player this season to record a 20-dig match (Brooke Van Sickle had 20 against Army – Sept. 5). It marked the 10th time this season and sixth-straight match that the Swedish rookie has put down 10-or more kills and the fifth time that she has had double-digit digs.
Ross' 14 kills was a career-high and the second time this year that she's had double-digit kills. She hit .250 (14-6-32) for the match. She also added five digs, an assist and a block. It is the second time this season that she's posted double-digit kills.
Freshman outside hitter Riley Wagoner recorded her first career double-double with a career-high 11 kills to go with 10 digs. She filled her stat line with four digs, three blocks and a service ace.
For the second-straight night, senior setter Norene Iosia notched her sixth double-double of the season and the 50th of her career. She dished out 21 assists and 12 digs and a kill against the Matadors. It was Iosia's third double-double performance in the last four matches.
The beginning of the first set was close with the teams trading leads twice with six ties and mini-runs. But with UH leading 12-11, the 'Bows went on a 9-to-2 run that started with a Hellvig kill and back to back blocks. The scoring surge left UH with a 21-14 lead as they cruised to take Set 1, 25-17.
The second was close early, UH led by as much as three points early, but could not shake off the Matadors. But with UH holding a slim 15-14 lead, CSUN went on a 5-to-0 run to catch and overtake UH for a 19-15 lead. Hawaii was able to catch and tie the score at 23-23, but CSUN scored the final two points to take Set 2, 25-23 and tie the match at 1-1.
In the third set, UH was leading by five at 19-14, but the scrappy Matadors rallied for a 6-to-1 run to knot the score at 20-20. CSUN would later take the lead 23-22, But a UH timeout settled the 'Bows as they won the final three points to steal Set 3, 25-23, which ended on a solid kill by Amber Igiede.
Set 4 was tight through much of the beginning with 12 ties and five lead changes. UH led by as many as five points late, but the Matadors once again rallied to tie the score at 22-22. The two teams tied each other twice more before a kill by Skyler Williams and a double block by Williams and Hellvig ended the match by winning the fourth set, 26-24.
CSUN was led by Nicole Nevarez who had 13 kills. Kamalu Makekau-Whittaker (from Hilo, HI) had a match-high 40 assists and Morgan Salone had a match high six blocks to lead the Matadors.
The Rainbow Wahine return home to host a pair of Big West matches against UC Irvine on Friday, Oct. 4 and Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 5. Both matches are set to start at 7:00 p.m. Saturday's match will be preceded by its annual Alumnae Game at 4:30.