In the first NCAA Tournament game the University of Hawaii women’s volleyball team has hosted since 2013, the Rainbow Wahine defeated Northern Colorado 26-24, 24-26, 25-9, 25-15 on Friday night.
A spirited Stan Sheriff Center crowd watched the ‘Bows (25-3) advance to the second round of the 2019 NCAA tournament.
Northern Colorado jumped out to a 4-1 lead in set one and led as late as 23-22 before the Rainbow Wahine rallied to take a 1-0 lead.
In set two, it was the Bears (26-8) who rallied from being down 23-21 to take the set.
Jolie Rasmussen made her first appearance for UH since Sept. 3 in the third set, and it lifted Hawaii to a runaway 25-8 set victory. Rasmussen finished with four kills and a dig.
UH closed the deal in the fourth with a 25-15 set victory.
McKenna Ross led the ‘Bows with 14 kills, while 2019 Big West Player of the Year Norene Iosia had a double-double with 25 assists and 13 digs. For UNC, Taylor Muff had a match-high 19 kills.
The ‘Bows will advance to play San Diego, who topped Washington State 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14 in the match previous to their contest against Northern Colorado.
Hawaii has already seen San Diego this season. In their season opening match, the ‘Bows topped the Toreros (24-5) 25-19, 20-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-10 in a five-set thriller on Aug. 30.
Saturday’s second round matchup is set for a 7 p.m. tipoff at the Stan Sheriff Center.