HONOLULU—The No. 22 University of Hawaii women's volleyball team  (16-3, 6-2 Big West) battled back for a reverse sweep over UC Davis (12-8, 4-3 Big West, 22-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-12 on Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawaii also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Stan Sheriff Center on Sunday night.
For the third straight match and 15th time this year, freshman outside hitter Hanna Hellvig recorded double-digit kills. She led UH with 16 kills and added five digs and three blocks for the match. Hellvig hit .250 for the match (10-5-36). She has led UH in kills in eight of the last 11 matches.
After missing four matches due to injury, Brooke Van Sickle came in off the bench in Set 3 and provided the spark the 'Bows needed in the come-from-behind win. In her three sets played, Van Sickle was key, posting seven kills, eight digs, two service aces and a block.
Junior middle blocker Skyler Williams notched her fourth double-figure kill match of the season, putting down 10 kills. She hit for team-high .625 committing no errors in 16 attacks. Williams also led the 'Bows with five blocks (one solo) and added an assist and a dig in the win.
Senior outside hitter McKenna Ross also posted 10 kills. It was the third-straight game and the fifth time this season that Ross has recorded double-digit kills. She ended just one dig shy of a double-double with nine digs to go with a block.
Senior setter/outside hitter Norene Iosia had her double-double streak snapped at seven. But, she still filled the stat line with 23 assists, nine kills, nine digs and three blocks. Iosia also had one service ace coming in a tight fifth set. The ace pushed her past former UH standout Nikki Taylor into No. 8 in the career service ace records with 118.
Senior setter Bailey Choy led UH with 29 assists while adding five digs.
In the first set, UC Davis capitalized early on five UH hitting errors and one service error to jump out to an 8-3 lead which forced the 'Bows to call an early timeout. Hawaii came out of the timeout to reel off five straight points to knot the score at 8-8 which forced the Aggies to call their first timeout. UC Davis later went on a 7-to-2 run that gave UC Davis a 19-15 lead from which UH could not recover from. The Aggies took the first set, 25-22.
In the second set, UC Davis went on an early 5-to-1 run to take a 7-5 lead and never looked back. UC Davis took a 2-0 lead with a 25-21 win in Set 2.
UH got off to a much better start in Set 3, starting with a 6-2 lead. But the Aggies would rally to tie it twice, the last time at 11-11. But the 'Bows would never trail in Set 3. UH would hold off the Aggies down the stretch to take Set 3, 25-22.
In the fourth set, the 'Bows again got off to a good start with a 5-1 lead. UH would later go on to score six-straight points on Van Sickle's serve to take an 18-to-8 lead. UC Davis rallied late, but UH would coast to a 25-17 win in Set 4 to force a fifth and deciding Set 5 as the match was tied at 2-2.
The 'race to 15' began with UC Davis scoring the first two points. But UH battled right back behind the serving of Van Sickle to take a 4-2 lead. UCD kept things close and took the lead at 11-9, which forced a UH timeout. Hawai'i did not panic. Instead they finished strong, scoring six of the next seven points to end the match. Iosia tied the score at 11-11 with her service ace. UH would get a kill from Van Sickle and Ross and a UC Davis hitting error ended the match, 15-12.
Hawaii is now 5-1 in five set matches.
The Rainbow Wahine out-blocked the Aggies by one, 10.0-to-9.0. It marked the 12th time this season that UH has had double-digits in blocks and the 14th time this season that the 'Bows have out-blocked their opponents in 19 matches this year. UH also had a one kill edge in kills, 64-to-63, but the Aggies had the edge in digs with 50 to UH's 49.
The Aggies were led by Mahalia White's match-high 17 kills and Alex Rockas' match-high six blocks. Shira Lahav led all players with 18 digs.
Hawai'i will go back on the road to start the second round at Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 25 followed by UC Irvine on Oct. 26.